I am a sociolinguist specializing in language variation, its documentation and description. My research interests include social, occupational, ethnic and geographical varieties of language. I am also a practising lexicographer and applied linguist with a keen interest in dictionary-making, translation and language education.
My primary research interest throughout my career has been informal language, and for the past twenty-five years I have been collecting, documenting, describing, and analyzing it and its sociocultural context. I have done research at such academic centers as the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. I have taught at the University of Gdansk and Spoleczna Akademia Nauk (University of Social Sciences) in Warsaw, and I am currently Full Professor of Linguistics at the UKW University in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
My contribution to linguistic studies lies mainly in explaining the patterns of form, meaning, theme, and use of slang -- the most informal type of lexicon -- and establishing to what extent they are changeable, invariable, specific or universal. My most recent book, African American Slang: A Linguistic Description (2015), published by Cambridge University Press, explores such patterns found is the slang of African Americans.
I also have an extensive experience as an applied linguist. For the past twenty-five years I have taught various EFL (English as a Foreign Language) courses on the English language and its structure. I have also taught courses on Slavic linguistics (mainly Polish) for non-native speakers. Aside from teaching, my experience in applied linguistics includes writing exercise books, handbooks, word lists and dictionaries designed specifically for language learners.
Most of my work is based on sizable databases of contextual examples from various sources such as television, film, press, literature, music, conversation, and the Internet. My research languages are principally English and Polish, but I have also worked on several other languages including Yiddish and Mandarin Chinese.
This webpage explains in some detail my main academic and professional endeavors. Specifically, it provides information about my qualifications, appointments, research, publications, and teaching. You can access it by using the navigation tools above. You can also check out my other webpage about.me/maciejwidawski and my profile on the Chronicle of Higher Education webpage for more information. If you would like to contact me, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.