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LINGUIST List 23.2279

Fri May 11 2012

Confs: Sociolinguistics/UK

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <xiyanlinguistlist.org>

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Date: 11-May-2012
From: Sam Kirkham <s.kirkhamsheffield.ac.uk>
Subject: Community Histories, Social Change & Dialect Variation
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Community Histories, Social Change & Dialect Variation

Date: 01-Jun-2012 - 01-Jun-2012
Location: Sheffield, United Kingdom
Contact: Sam Kirkham
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL: http://www.samkirkham.com/socioworkshop/

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

Meeting Description:

We invite researchers working in sociolinguistics to participate in Community Histories, Social Change and Dialect Variation, a one-day workshop at The University of Sheffield on 1 June 2012. This event will feature talks and activities led by Dr Lauren Hall-Lew (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Devyani Sharma (Queen Mary University of London), as well as a poster session highlighting current research in sociolinguistics and language variation and change.

This workshop will provide an opportunity for postgraduates and early career researchers to explore the relationship between language change and social change in contemporary sociolinguistic research. We will cover issues such as the influence of community histories on language change, community members’ representations of community histories, the relationship between social history and the social meaning of linguistic variables, language variation and ethnicity, and the role of bilingualism in dialect change.

Sociolinguists are increasingly producing ethnographically informed variationist analysis. This workshop will address some of the methodological challenges of that interface, particularly for communities that have undergone major demographic shifts within a short span of time. By drawing on our own research projects, the opening talks will focus not simply on end results, but on the challenges inherent to this kind of research. These challenges include recognizing and overcoming initial assumptions, operationalizing community-specific social factors, and coping with the continuous process of analytic revision that occurs throughout the span of fieldwork. These issues raise various questions for scholars working in a field that combines qualitative and quantitative evidence in a single analysis. For example, it becomes complicated to interpret an apparent time change with respect to a factor such as a gender or ethnicity when the social meaning of gender or ethnicity is changing across generations. The workshop that follows the talks will address such issues by discussing different phases of a research project in relation to readings, our projects, and workshop participants' own ongoing research.

In preparation for the workshop, we ask that participants familiarize themselves with the following papers ahead of time:

1. Gal, Susan. 1978. Peasant men can't get wives: Language change and sex roles in a bilingual community. Language in Society, 7:1-16.

2. Hall-Lew, Lauren. (under review) Social meaning and sound change: The low back vowels in San Francisco English.

3. Roberts, Sarah. 2004. The role of style and identity in the development of Hawaiian Creole. In G. Escure & A. Schwegler, Creoles, Contact, and Language Change: Linguistic and Social Implications. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

4. Sharma, Devyani. 2011. Style repertoire and social change in British Asian English. Journal of Sociolinguistics 15 (4): 464-492.

5. Stuart-Smith, Jane, Timmins, Claire, & Tweedie, Fiona. (2007) ''Talkin' Jockney''? Variation and change in Glaswegian accent. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 11:221-60.

[NOTE: Information on how to access these papers will be circulated to registered participants.]

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