Greenlaw Hall CB# 3520
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3520
Ph.D. in German with Minor in Linguistics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013
M.A. in German, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2008
B.A. in German & Linguistics, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 2005
Research Interests and Honors
Ben Frey’s research interests center on sociolinguistics, with particular emphasis on language shift. As communities become increasingly intertwined with the larger society, they come to rely increasingly on that society’s language – often at the expense of their traditional one. Frey’s current project is a book manuscript on the general theory of language shift, based on his dissertation. The project compares the process of shift from German to English in Wisconsin and Cherokee to English in North Carolina. An understanding of language shift can provide insights into the development of regional cultures and identities, as well as new strategies for language revitalization.
A member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Frey is the recipient of a Carolina Postdoctoral Fellowship for Faculty Diversity. He was awarded a Chancellor’s Opportunity Dissertator Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and received an Honored Instructor award from University of Wisconsin Housing.