Professor Emerita of Linguistics

Julie Roberts is a linguist specializing in sociolinguistics and dialectology. She teaches classes covering a range of linguistic topics including phonetics, pragmatics, English language structure, language and law, and American English dialects, and she would be happy to meet with any students interested in studying and/or doing research in linguistics.


Publications: Refereed Journal Articles

Roberts, J. (In press.) Internal boundaries and individual differences. American Speech.

Roberts, J. (In Press.) Differential first dialect acquisition. Linguistic Variation special edition. Benjamins.

Roberts, J. (2007) Vermont lowering?  Raising some questions about (ay) and (aw) south of the Canadian border.  Language Variation and Change: 19,2, 181-197.

Roberts, J.  (2006).  As old becomes new:  Glottalization in Vermont.  American Speech, 81,3, 227-249.

Roberts, J.  (2003).  Review of Style and Sociolinguistic Variation by P. Eckert and J. Rickford.  American Anthropologist: 105, 4, 856.

Rescorla, L. & Roberts, J.  (2002).  Nominal versus verbal morpheme use in Late Talkers at ages 3 and 4.  Journal of Speech, Language, & Hearing Research (JSLHR), 45: 1219-1231.

Rescorla, L., Dahlsgaard, K., & Roberts, J.  (2000).  The relation of MLU to Index of Productive Syntax (IPSyn) in late talkers and comparison children at ages 3 and 4.  Journal of Child Language, 27, 1:  643-664.

*Russo, M. & Roberts, J.  (1999).  Linguistic change in endangered dialects: The alternation between the auxiliaries avoir and être in Vermont French.  Language Variation & Change,11, 67-86.

*Roberts, J., Rescorla, L., Giroux, J., & Stevens, L.  (1998).  Phonological skills of children with specific expressive language impairment (SLI-E): Outcome at age three.  Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research (JSLHR), 41, 374-384.

Roberts, J.  (1997).  Acquisition of variable rules: A study of (-t,d) deletion in preschool children.  Journal of Child Language, 24, 351-372.

Rescorla, L., Roberts, J., & Dahlsgarrd, K.  (1997).  Late talkers at two: Outcome at age three.  Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research (JSLHR), 40, 556-566.

Roberts, J.  (1997).  Hitting a moving target: Acquisition of sound change in progress by Philadelphia children.  Language Variation & Change, 9, 249-266.

Roberts, J. & Labov, W.  (1995).  Learning to talk Philadelphian: Acquisition of short a by preschool children.  Language Variation & Change, 7, 101-112

Book-length Publication

Roberts, J.  (1996).  Acquisition of variable rules: (-t,d) deletion and (ing) production in preschool children.  Philadelphia, PA: Institute for Research in Cognitive Science, IRCS Report 96--09.

Other Publications

Roberts, J.  (2013).  Child language variation.  In J. Chambers, N. Schilling-Estes, & P. Trudgill (eds.) Handbook of Language Variation & Change, 2nd edition.  Oxford, UK:  Blackwell. (Refereed book chapter)

Khattab, G. & Roberts, J.  (2010) Working with children.  In DiPaulo, M. and Yeager, M.  Best Practices in Sociophonetics.  New York:  Routledge. (Refereed book chapter)

Roberts, J.  (2006.)  First language variation.  In Brown, K. (ed.)  Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd Edition.  Oxford:  Elsevier. (Refereed book chapter)

*Sadis, K. & Roberts, J.  (2006).  Learning to talk native.  Proceedings of the New Ways of Analyzing Variation Conference.  Philadelphia:  University of Pennsylvania Press.

Roberts, J.  (2005).  Acquisition of variation.  In Ball, Martin (ed.) Clinical Sociolinguistics.  Oxford:  Blackwell.

Nagy, N. & Roberts, J.  (2005).  New England Dialects.  In Schneider, Edgar (ed.) Dialects of English.  The Hague:  Mouton.

Roberts, J.  (2002).  Child language variation.  In J. Chambers, N. Schilling-Estes, & P. Trudgill (eds.) Handbook of Language Variation & Change.  Oxford, UK:  Blackwell.

Nagy, N., Roberts, J., & Boberg, C.  (2001/2005.)  Dialects:  Yakking with the Yankees.  American Language Review, 5,(1), 40-43[To be reprinted in Wolfram, Walt and Ward, Ben (eds.) (November, 2005) Voices of American English.  Oxford, UK:  Blackwell.]

Roberts, J.  (1999).  Going younger to do difference: Acquisition of dialect features by preschool children.  Penn Linguistics Working Papers.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.

Roberts, J.  (1991).  (-t,d) deletion in preschool children.  Papers and Reports on Child Language Development.  Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Roberts, J.  (1988).  Cohesive do in children’s language.  Penn Review.  Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania.

(* = papers with students)

Awards and Recognition

Research Assistantship, Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania.  1987-1988
Merit Scholarship, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania.  1987-1986
Research Assistantship, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania.  1985-1986
Merit Scholarship, Psycholinguistics Department, Boston University.  1983-1984
Certificate of Clinical Competence, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.  1979
UAF Traineeship, Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, Emerson College, 1977-1978

Associations and Affiliations

Member, Committee on the Status of Women in Linguistics, Linguistic Society of America, (2015-present)
Chair, Committee on Linguistics in Higher Education, Linguistic Society of America, (2012-2014)
Board of Directors, American Dialect Society (2009-2012)
Editorial Board, American Speech (2009-2012)
Member, Linguistic Society of America (LSA)
Member, Linguistics in Higher Education (LIHE) Committee, LSA
Member, American Dialect Society (ADS)
Professor Julie Roberts

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Vermont speech, American English dialects, dialect acquisition


  • Ph.D. Linguistics, The University of Pennsylvania


  • (802) 656-0209
Office Location:

507 Waterman

Courses Taught

  • LING 081: Structure of the English Language
  • LING 095: Introductory Special Topics: Language and Law
  • LING 162: American English Dialects
  • LING 164: Structure of the English Language
  • LING 165: Phonetic Theory and Practice
  • LING 168: Introduction to Pragmatics
  • CMSI 160: Intercultural Communication
  • CMSI 162: American English Dialects
  • CMSI 164: Structure of the English Language
  • CMSI 165: Phonetic Theory and Practice
  • CMSI 195: Intermediate Special Topics: Pragmatics
  • CMSI 387: Language Disorders
  • CSD 164: Structure of the English Language
  • CSD 165: Phonetic Theory and Practice
  • ENGS 101: Structure of the English Language
  • ENGS 103: American English Dialects
  • HCOL 195: Honors College Sophomore Seminar: Language and the Law