The MSU sociolinguists were well represented at NWAV 46 this year. We also had a great time catching up with the many MSU alumni and associates who were there, and hearing the work of many of the senior researchers in the field. Congratulations to everyone from MSU for some really good papers!
A new collection of papers on language variation and change across the lifespan has just been published by Routledge.
Edited by MSU's Suzanne Evans Wagner with Isabelle Buchstaller (University of Duisberg-Essen), Panel Studies of Variation and Change focuses on studies in which the same individuals are recorded multiple times over a period of years or decades. The contributors include Gillian Sankoff, Helene Blondeau, Walt Wolfram, Sali Tagliamonte, and Patricia Cukor-Avila, among others.
You can learn how famous individuals, such as the Queen of England, have changed the way they talk over their lives; what measures to take if you're tracking the voices of children as they go through puberty; how prolonged absence from the field can affect the interviewer-interviewee relationship; how to make use of longitudinal corpora collected for other purposes (such as records of the US Supreme Court, or audio samples for speech recognition); and more.
Michigan State sociolinguistics will be represented at NWAV 46 in Madison, WI this year by:
MSU sociolinguists were working hard (and playing hard) all summer. Watch this space for a review of everything that's been happening. For now, make sure you put our Socio Lab meetings in your calendar. Meetings are every other Wednesday, 2:00pm - 4:00pm, starting Wednesday September 6th. The first meeting will be in the lab, B-411 Wells. Feel free to come along and listen, even if you've never joined us before. Sign up for our lab mailing list to get regular updates on meetings and other events.
The Socio Lab is active all summer. Join our mailing list if you'd like to stay in touch with what we're up to. So far, we're meeting at 12 every Wednesday for a round-up of everyone's project activities, to keep us accountable! After that, there's an Inland North discussion group. There will be additional ad hoc meetings as well. Huge thanks to Mohammed, Alex, Matt, and Alichia for helping last week to clean up the lab space, too.
Bethany Dickerson, an undergraduate student who has worked in the Sociolinguistics Lab, was recently featured in an MSU College of Arts and Letters news item. Bethany talks about what brought her to MSU, her experiences as an undergraduate researcher in linguistics, and her outside interests. It's been a pleasure to work with Bethany, and we think she's amazing!
Here are some excerpts:
Dickerson has been involved in undergraduate research since her freshman year, studying broad topics in geology and food nutrition, but mostly focused within the field of linguistics in the language acquisition lab and the sociolinguistics lab.
“I would absolutely recommend getting involved in undergraduate research,” Dickerson said. “If you can use the knowledge you learn in a classroom and apply it to real-life problems, everything seems much more significant.”
Dickerson attributes many of her opportunities for learning outside of the classroom to her instructors and faculty within the linguistics department.
“The graduate students and faculty within my major are so supportive and willing to talk to you about anything, be it about your research or about your stresses of the day,” she said, adding that as a smaller major, linguistics students get to connect with each other and their instructors. “The people within my major have become really important parts of my life.”
Congratulations to Alex Mason, and belated congratulations to Monica Nesbitt, both of whom were granted awards within the last month!
Monica was a recipient of an NWAV 45 Travel Award, which supported her trip to Vancouver, B.C. earlier this month to co-present ongoing research with Alex. Award recipients are also paired with a senior mentor, who is encouraged to maintain a lasting professional relationship with the awardee. Monica's mentor is Kirk Hazen.
Alex has just today been awarded one of three Presidential Honorary Memberships from the American Dialect Society. Each year, ADS members are invited to nominate outstanding students. Alex was nominated by his undergraduate professor Kathryn Remlinger. Alex receives four years of complimentary ADS membership and recognition at the Society's annual luncheon in January.
Please make sure to congratulate Monica and Alex in person if you see them!
Congratulations to these MSU students, faculty and alumni who will be presenting at NWAV 45 in Vancouver later this year!
Current: Gabriela Alfaraz, Xiaoshi Li, Suzanne Evans Wagner, Marisa Brook, Alex Mason, Monica Nesbitt, Xiaomei Wang
Alumni: Minnie Annan, Ashley Hesson, Jim Stanford, Dennis Preston
Last week, the University of Ottawa hosted the third Discourse-Pragmatic Variation and Change (DiPVaC) conference. In addition to some great talks, there was an opportunity for a little lab tourism. Here's MSU's Suzanne Evans Wagner (far right) at the famous University of Ottawa Sociolinguistics Lab, with its director, Shana Poplack (near right). On the far left are Nathalie Dion, the lab director, and Heike Pichler of Newcastle University. Heike is the originator of the DiPVaC conference and the chair of its steering committee.
We're pleased to welcome Marisa Brook, who will be a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Linguistics program in 2016-2017. Marisa joins us from the University of Toronto, where she is completing her dissertation,
Syntactic categories informing variationist analysis: The case of English copy-raising under the supervision of Sali Tagliamonte. Here's a photo from Sali's Twitter feed, showing Toronto students at the recent DiPVaC3 conference in Ottawa. Marisa is the second from the right.
Who we are
We are faculty and students interested in language variation and change at Michigan State University in the departments of Linguistics & Languages, Romance & Classical Studies, Anthropology, Education and beyond.