The latest coronavirus information and fall 2020 updates:


Dr. Steve Hartman Keiser

Steve Hartman Keiser
Dr. Steve Hartman KeiserMarquette University

Marquette Hall, 229

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-3465

Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor


Language varies across space and time, and my passion is to explore the "how" and "why" of linguistic variation and change. My research focuses on the spread of linguistic change between Amish communities across North America — a long term, fieldwork oriented project on the dialectology of Pennsylvania German.

In my classes students investigate both the marvelous systematicity of all languages and the intersection of language use with aspects of social identity such as age, ethnicity, gender, history, region, and religion.

Courses Taught

  • Linguistics

Research Interests

  • Linguistic change in Amish communities across the U.S.


  • 2015 "Religious Identity and the perception of linguistic difference: the case of Pennsylvania German” Language and Communication 42. (May 2015): 125-134.
  • 2007 “Ditching the Immigration Line.” American Speech 82:3 (Fall 2007): 330-6.
  • 2006 “Portable Community: The Linguistic and Psychological Reality of Midwestern Pennsylvania German.” Eds. Thomas Murray and Beth Simon. Language Variation and Change in the American Midland: A New Look at "Heartland" English. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 263-74
  • 2003 “Pennsylvania German and the ‘Lunch Pail Threat’: Language Shift and Cultural Maintenance in two Amish Communities.” When Languages Collide: Perspectives on Language Conflict, Language Competition, and Language Coexistence. Eds. B. Joseph, J. Destefano. N. Jacobs, I. Lehiste. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press. 3-20

Honors and Awards

  • 2007 Summer Faculty Fellowship Grant. Marquette University. For writing A Dialectology of Pennsylvania German.
  • 2004 Curriculum Enhancement Grant, Diversity. Marquette University. For course development: Language in the City, focusing on language and social diversity

Additional Information

Office Hours

Fall 2020

To maintain social distancing and protect the health of students and faculty, office hours will, in most cases, be virtual.  Please email your instructor to set up an appointment.

Teaching Schedule

Fall 2020

  • 4140/101 TuTh 12:30-1:45 Humphrey Hall 001
    • Sociolinguistics
  • 4140/102 TuTh 9:30-10:45 Cramer Hall 087
    • Sociolinguistics

Faculty & Staff Directory


Department of English
Marquette Hall, 115
1217 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-7179

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