- Chantal Tetreault published her book Transcultural Teens: Performing Youth Identities in French Cités with Wiley-Blackwell in the series New Directions in Ethnography. Congratulations, Chantal!
- Suzanne Wagner co-organized a special session at the International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE) 8, in Leipzig, Germany. The session was titled "Community-based studies of language change". Contributions to the session may appear in a forthcoming special issue of the journal Language and Communication. Suzanne was also granted tenure, and is now Associate Professor of Linguistics.
- "Harry Potter and the Secrets of British English" was a great success at this year's MSU Grandparents University. Grandparents and their 8-12 year old grandchildren created mad-libbed potion recipes using British English slang words; deciphered magical runes (phonetic transcriptions); and detected enemies by their accents. The sessions were led by Suzanne Wagner, Chantal Tetreault, Monica Nesbitt and Stacey Rowland, with a little help from Suzanne's 5-year-old son and the 10-year-old daughter of linguistic anthropologist Mindy Morgan.
MSU sociolinguists have been busy this summer already! Here are a few updates, with more to follow.
There was a special session on panel studies at the recent International Conference on Methods in Dialectology XV in Groningen, Netherlands. The session, Panel Studies: Challenges, Food for Thought and Ways Forward, was co-organized by Suzanne Wagner (MSU) and Isabelle Buchstaller (University of Leipzig). Panel studies collect data from the same individuals at multiple time-points, and are a crucial tool for understanding how individual linguistic change intersects with community language change. Yet they are difficult to undertake, presenting a wealth of issues in data collection and analysis.
The participants included Patricia Cukor-Avila, Frans Gregersen, John Rickford, Malcah Yaeger-Dror and many others. Topics ranged from appropriate statistical and acoustic methods, to the changing interviewer-participant relationship, to making use of unexpected sources of data. The contributions to the session will appear in an edited volume to be published by Routledge Ltd, along with other specially commissioned chapters -- one of them from MSU Anthropology professor Chantal Tetreault.
Congratulations to Alyssa Webster, Heidi Little and Kathryn VerPlanck, who won the prize for best poster in the Linguistics, Language and Speech section of this year's University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum. Their poster was titled "Quotatives and age-grading in Philadelphia". The work, funded by the College of Arts and Letters Undergraduate Research Initiative (CAL-URI), was mentored by me, and by Sali Tagliamonte (University of Toronto).
Alyssa, Heidi and Kathryn are long-term active members of the Sociolinguistics Lab, with a number of internal and external conference presentations and two forthcoming publications. Sadly they'll be graduating this May, but what a wonderful way to end their MSU undergraduate careers!
Suzanne Wagner will be convening a workshop on panel studies at the International Conference on Methods in Dialectology XV on Friday, August 15th, 2014. Her co-organizer is Isabelle Buchstaller of the University of Leipzig. The workshop is titled Panel studies: Challenges, food for thought and ways forward and will feature presentations by Patricia Cukor-Avila, Jonathan Harrington, Frans Gregersen, John Rickford, Walt Wolfram, Sali Tagliamonte, Malcah Yaeger-Dror and others. It is hoped that the workshop will provide an opportunity for researchers who have been engaged in panel studies to share their experiences, and to lay out some best practices for future researchers in this area. The guiding questions of the workshop include:
This Friday, April 5, the Linguistics undergraduate group (qUALMS) is holding their annual conference, MSULC. The keynote address will be given by Megan Sutton, a former MSU Linguistics major and current PhD student at the University of Maryland. Students from the Language Acquisition Lab, Sociolinguistics Lab, Speech Lab and from related language/linguistics subdisciplines will give oral presentations and display posters. Sociolinguistics will be represented by these posters:
Poster session 1, 1:15-2:15
1. Shelby O'Brien and Abigail Diedrich. "Listener sensitivity to (ing): insights from a post-task survey."
Poster session 2, 3:15-4:15
2. Shelby O'Brien, Alyssa Webster & Kelly Christopherson. "The effect of college choice on standard speech."
3. Heidi Little & James Shaouni. "Making linguistics relevant to secondary school students."
The second half of fall semester 2012 has been fun and busy. Here are some of the highlights:
The lastest issue of the University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics features four current or former MSU sociolinguists: Suzanne Wagner, Ashley Hesson, Daniel Hasty and Laura Jensen:
Kathryn VerPlanck (Linguistics major) displayed her poster "Back and forth with classes and that kind of thing: A panel study of general extender use in Philadelphia" at the MSU University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) last Friday, April 13th. The annual event is an all-day showcase of undergraduate work. This year for the first time UURAF recognized the wealth of language-related research at MSU with a new category: Linguistics, Language and Speech.
Kathryn's poster reflects work that she carried out in the last year on the social and linguistic distribution of general extenders (and stuff like that, or whatever, and everything etc) in a small corpus of American English. She co-presented the research last August at the International Methods in Dialectology XIV conference in London, ON, Canada.
Ashley Hesson and Suzanne Evans Wagner convened a panel session this weekend at GURT 2012. The panel, titled "Using physician-patient interviews for quantitative sociolinguistic analysis: a methodological check-up" featured contributions from Heidi Hamilton and Wen-ying Sylvia Chou who are co-editors of the forthcoming Handbook of Language and Health Communication (Routledge), as well as from Robert Podesva and Robert Lannon. Ashley and Suzanne's collaborators J. Daniel Hasty and Norma Mendoza-Denton were also represented. The panel was followed by a discussion of how best to bring together qualitative and quantitative analysts to solve healthcare communication problems, and how to access large databases of doctor-patient conversation.
Suzanne Wagner and Maddie Shellgren were at the University of Ottawa today to present their talk "Shifting and separating: Directions in individual lifespan linguistic change" at the Conference on Sources of Individual Linguistic Differences. It was a great opportunity to meet researchers working on language and autism, including some who are using Autism Quotient (AQ) measures of the neurotypical population to determine what kinds of speakers might actuate language change (e.g. Alan Yu, Jeff Mielke).
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.