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Professor Peter Trudgill FBA (pronounced /ˈtrʌdɡɨl/) is a sociolinguist, academic and author.

He was born and raised in Norwich, England in 1943 where he attended the City of Norwich School from 1955.

Trudgill studied modern languages at King's College, Cambridge. He was later awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh in 1971. He taught in the Department of linguistic science at the University of Reading from 1970 to 1986, before becoming professor of sociolinguistics at the University of Essex. He was professor of English language and linguistics at the University of Lausanne from 1993 to 1998, and after that at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, from which he retired in September 2005. He is now part time professor of sociolinguistics at the University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway; and adjunct professor at the Research centre for linguistic typology at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, as well as honorary professor at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England.

He has carried out linguistic fieldwork in Britain, Greece and Norway, and has lectured in most European countries, Canada, the United States, Colombia, Australia, New Zealand, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, Fiji, Malawi and Japan. Peter Trudgill is the honorary president of the Friends of Norfolk dialect society, and a fellow of the British Academy.

Trudgill is a well-known authority on dialects, as well as being one of the first to apply Labovian sociolinguistic methodology in the UK, and to provide a framework for studying dialect contact phenomena.

Peter Trudgill is also the author of Chapter 1 ("The Meanings of Words Should Not be Allowed to Vary or Change") of the popular linguistics book "Language Myths" of which he is also a co-editor.


His works include:

  • 1974 The Social Differentiation of English in Norwich (based on his Ph.D. thesis)
  • 1976 Introduction to Sociolinguistics
  • 1978 Accent, Dialect and the School
  • 1979 English Accents and Dialects (with Arthur Hughes)
  • 1980 Dialectology (with J. K. Chambers)
  • 1982 International English (with Jean Hannah)
  • 1983 On Dialect: Social and Geographical Perspectives
  • 1984 Language in the British Isles
  • 1984 Applied Sociolinguistics
  • 1986 Dialects in Contact
  • 1990 The Dialects of England
  • 1990 Bad Language (with Lars Andersson)
  • 1992 Introducing Language and Society
  • 1998 Language Myths (with Laurie Bauer)
  • 2001 Alternative Histories of English (with Richard J. Watts)
  • 2003 Norfolk Origins 7: The Norfolk Dialect
  • 2004 New-Dialect Formation: The Inevitability of Colonial Englishes
  • 2004 New Zealand English: Its Origins and Evolution (with et al. Elizabeth Gordon, Lyle Campbell, Margaret Maclagan, Andrea Sudbury, Jennifer Hay)


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