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Conference Information

Full Title: English in Australia: Variation and Change in Diverse Linguistic Communities

Location: Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Start Date: 04-Dec-2012 - 07-Dec-2012
Contact: Celeste Rodriguez Louro
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: The study of variation and change has been vibrantly on the rise since Labov’s ground-breaking studies of sound change in Martha’s Vineyard (1963) and New York City (1966). Among others, American, Canadian, British and New Zealand English have received widespread attention and phonological, morphosyntactic and discourse-pragmatic phenomena have been broadly documented (cf. Schneider, Burridge, Kortmann, Mesthrie & Upton 2004). The complex picture arising from this research has motivated the expansion of theoretical models (e.g., Docherty, Foulkes, Milroy, Milroy & Walshaw 1997) and highlighted the constrained variability arising from language use in monolingual and multilingual settings (Torres Cacoullos & Travis 2010; Cheshire, Kerswill, Fox & Torgersenc 2011; Meyerhoff & Schleef 2012).

Methodologically, progress in research has been aided by the creation of large corpora of naturally-occurring data, an essential tool in researching language variation and change. In the peer-reviewed literature, phonetic/phonological (e.g., Cox 1997; Kiesling 2005; Loakes, Hajek & Fletcher 2010), grammatical (e.g., Engel & Ritz 2000; Collins 2009) and discourse-pragmatic (e.g., Burridge & Florey 2002; Mulder & Thompson 2008) aspects of English in Australia have been explored based on divergent data, including - among many others - online corpora (Collins 2009; Peters 2009), naturally-occurring conversation and sociolinguistic interviews (Rodríguez Louro to appear) and questionnaires (Collins & Peters 2004: 594). Additionally, within the Labovian paradigm, the relationship between the internal and external factors constraining variation was initially explored by Hovarth (1985) in her ground-breaking treatment of sociolinguistic conditioning in the sociolects of Sydney. These studies have helped describe a series of unique linguistic features for the different varieties, contributing in so doing to advancing the claim for the ‘endonormativity’ of Australian English (Collins & Peters 2004) and establishing the existence of crucial dialectal differentiation within Australia (Kaldor & Malcolm 1991).

The aim of this workshop is to bring together scholars interested in the linguistic and social forces shaping English in Australia’s diverse linguistic communities, focusing on phonetic/phonological, grammatical and discourse-pragmatic variation. The workshop consists of presentations by leading scholars in the field (by invitation) as well as other interested contributors (via standard abstract submission). The availability of various large corpora of English across diverse communities in Australia (e.g., the Australian National Corpus, the Big Australian Speech Corpus) now allows us to more deeply engage with the study of variation and change. This workshop seeks to make an exciting contribution in this direction.

Confirmed Invited Presentations:

Kate Burridge, Monash University
Jenny Cheshire, Queen Mary, University of London, England
Peter Collins & Xinyue Yao, University of New South Wales
Gerry Docherty, Newcastle University, UK
John Hajek, Debbie Loakes & Janet Fletcher University of Melbourne
Ian Malcolm, Edith Cowan University
Jean Mulder & Jill Vaughan, University of Melbourne
Pam Peters, Macquarie University
Marie-Eve Ritz, University of Western Australia
Adam Schembri, La Trobe University
Catherine Travis, Australian National University
James Walker, York University, Canada
Linguistic Subfield: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
LL Issue: 23.3546

This is a session of the following meeting:
Australian Linguistic Society

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