Sally Boyd

Professor Emerita

Linguistics and Theory of Science
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Sally Boyd

Sally Boyd is professor in general linguistics at the Department of philosophy, linguistics and theory of science at the University of Gothenburg.


Sally Boyd’s research concerns language contact and multilingualism from a sociolinguistic perspective. In recent years, she has carried out research on attitudes to Swedish spoken with an accent, language policy and language use among young people in Sweden’s multilingual suburbs. In 2000, Sally Boyd was promoted to professor of general linguistics, after having been senior lecturer in the same discipline. She has been project leader for a number of externally funded projects on language contact in Sweden and in the Nordic region. Between 1990 and 1994 she was research associate at the Center for research on immigration and ethnic relations, at Stockholm university. She was promoted to associate professor (Swe. docent) in general linguistics in 1992.

Teaching and supervision

Sally Boyd has taught a large number of courses, primarily in general linguistics, on all levels, including the graduate level. She has also taught courses within the programs for speech pathology, teacher training and in the disciplines of Swedish as a second language, various languages and bilingualism in Stockholm, during her years there as research associate. The courses she has taught have primarily been within the field of multilingualism and sociolinguistics, but she has also taught courses in child language, psycholinguistics, language contact and discourse analysis. She has supervised six graduate students, four of whom have successfully defended their dissertations and received their degrees.


Sally Boyd was dean of the Faculty of arts during a period of great change for the faculty, 2007-2009. Among other changes, the faculty, under her leadership, carried out a major re-organization, which implied not only that many small departments became fewer larger ones, but that the leadership and administration of the departments became more professional and efficient. In addition, the new faculty organization lay the groundwork for greater interdisciplinary co-operation. Before she was appointed dean, Sally Boyd served as sub-dean (2003-2006) of the faculty, as well as department head (2002-2003) and director of studies (1994-1997) for the Department of linguistics.


Sally Boyd received her bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, USA in 1971. She was awarded a Master’s degree in education at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA in 1973 and worked as a teacher in Phildelphia from 1971-1973. She did graduate work in general linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, where she worked as research assistent on William Labov’s research project, beginning in 1973 and was awarded an MA there in 1978, one year after her arrival in Sweden. She continued graduate work at the University of Gothenburg and earned a doctoral degree in general linguistics in 1988.