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Peter Trudgill
Born7 November 1943
Academic background
Alma mater
Academic work

Peter Trudgill, TBA (/ˈtrʌdɡɪl/ TRUD-gil; born 7 November 1943) is an English sociolinguist, academic and author.


Trudgill was born in Norwich, England, and grew up in the area of Thorpe St Andrew.[1] He attended the City of Norwich School from 1955. Trudgill studied modern languages at King's College, Cambridge and obtained a PhD[2] from the University of Edinburgh in 1971.

Before becoming professor of sociolinguistics at the University of Essex he taught in the Department of Linguistic Science at the University of Reading from 1970 to 1986. He was professor of English language and linguistics at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, from 1993 to 1998, and then at the University of Fribourg, also in Switzerland, from which he retired in September 2005, and where he is now professor emeritus of English Linguistics.

He is an honorary Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, England. On 2 June 1995 he received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Humanities at Uppsala University, Sweden.[3] He also has honorary doctorates from UEA; La Trobe University, Melbourne; the University of Patras, Greece; and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

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 has been the president of the Friends of Norfolk Dialect society since its inception in 1999.[4] and contributes a regular column on language and languages in Europe to the New European newspaper.

Trudgill is one of the first to apply Labovian sociolinguistic methodology in the UK,[5][6] and to provide a framework for studying dialect contact phenomena.[7]

He has carried out studies on rhoticity in English, tracking trends in British rock music for decades; the Beatles' decreased pronunciation of Rs over the course of the 1960s[8][9] He was a member of the committee for England and Wales for the Atlas Linguarum Europae in the 1970s, doing some research on the East Anglian sites.[10]

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" that he co-edited.

He is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters,[11] and a Fellow of the British Academy.

Since February 2017, Trudgill has written weekly columns relating to European languages in the weekly newspaper The New European.[12] At the end of 2017, he signed the Declaration on the Common Language of the Croats, Serbs, Bosniaks and Montenegrins.[13]


His works include:


  1. ^ "Talking Norwich". University of East Anglia. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  2. ^ Trudgill, Peter. "Social differentiation of English in Norwich". Edinburgh Research Explorer. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Honorary doctorates – Uppsala University, Sweden". Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  4. ^ Scheer, Victoria (26 June 2019). "LONGER READ: Will the Norfolk dialect survive in years to come?". Diss Express. Cambridge: Iliffe Media Ltd. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  5. ^ Trudgill, Peter (1974). The social differentiation of English in Norwich. Cambridge [England]: University Press. ISBN 0-521-20264-7. OCLC 866011.
  6. ^ Hanley, Lynsey (16 May 2016). "Why are schools trying to wipe out regional accents?". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 May 2021. sociolinguist Peter Trudgill noted as long ago as the 1970s that language use had begun to change, and to some extent to level out, in smaller towns due to the undue influence of larger, more culturally dominant cities... The urge to devalue regional accents is part of a deliberate process.
  7. ^ Trudgill, Peter (2006). Dialects in contact. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-21942-0. OCLC 255822483.
  8. ^ Hillard, Nat (13 February 2010). "Dance Wiv Me: Accent and Identity in Dizzee Rascal". Cherwell. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  9. ^ Anderson, L. V. (19 November 2012). "Why Is American English the Lingua Franca of Pop Music?". Slate. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  10. ^ Aveyard, Edward (2023). "The Atlas Linguarum Europae in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland". Transactions of the Yorkshire Dialect Society: 3–11.
  11. ^ "Gruppe 5: Filologi og språkvitenskap" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  12. ^ "Peter Trudgill". The New European. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  13. ^ Trudgill, Peter (30 November 2017). "Time to Make Four into One". The New European. p. 46. Retrieved 1 July 2018.