Working Papers in Educational Linguistics (WPEL)




Citizen sociolinguistics is a response to the need for a new sociolinguistic methodology that accounts for and partakes of the social demands and affordances of massive mobility and connectivity in today’s world. Drawing from contemporary theories about participatory culture (Jenkins, Purushotma, Wiegel, Clinton, & Robison, 2009), orders of indexicality (Silverstein, 2003), and communicative repertoire (Rymes, 2011), as well as the decades-old tradition of citizen science, Citizen sociolinguistics traces the ways citizens, more so than trained sociolinguists, understand the world of language around them. The goal of this article, and the methodology it proposes, is to document, learn from, and advocate for the importance of this public participation in sociolinguistic inquiry and exploration and its potential to illuminate our contemporary communicative environment.