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Britta Ingebretson


Britta Ingebretson

Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Chinese
Faber Hall (558)
SPRING 2023 office hours: 
T: 2-4 pm



B.A., Swarthmore College
M.A. and Ph.D., University of Chicago


Sociolinguistics, Linguistic Anthropology, Language Variation and Change, Semiotics, Language Ideologies, Contemporary China, Gender



Britta Ingebretson teaches courses in linguistics, anthropology, and Mandarin Chinese. Her research focuses on the politics of language and linguistic difference, particularly in contemporary China and among Chinese diasporic populations. Her current work draws on ethnographic research in a non-Mandarin-speaking region of China, where she examines how local language becomes part of local projects of value-making. She analyzes how linguistic variation both creates and reflects other forms of difference, such as gender, class, political orientation, location, and other forms of social worth. Her future research continues the questions of how language and linguistic difference is implicated in projects of value-making among Chinese immigrant and diasporic populations in NYC and around the globe. Her work has been published in Signs and Society and the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. She is the director of the sociolinguistics lab.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Linguistics
  • Introduction to Sociolinguistics
  • “You talk like a ____:” Language and Stereotype
  • Intermediate Mandarin Chinese
  • Gender and China
  • Chinese Cultural Concepts
  • Sounds of New York
  • Language and Race
  • Language Endangerment

Selected Publications

2017. “The tuhao and the Bureaucrat: The Qualia of ‘Quality’ in Rural China.” Signs and Society. 5(2). 243-268.

2021. "Living Fossils: The Politics of Language Preservation in Huangshan, China." Journal of Linguistic Anthropology