Next Wednesday, February 28th, in honor of Black History Month, we'll be screening the amazing new documentary, Talking Black in America in B310 Wells Hall, 6pm.
Monica Nesbitt, PhD candidate in Linguistics, was shortlisted for a travel award to the Linguistic Society of America annual meeting in Salt Lake City, January 2018. Awards are granted by the LSA's Committee on Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics (CEDL).
In a recent news announcement, the committee named five student recipients of the awards. Monica received an "honorable mention" for what the committee called her "high caliber application". Congratulations, Monica, and good luck with your application next year!
Congratulations to Mingzhe Zheng, who on November 21 successfully defended his doctoral dissertation You have to learn to adapt: A sociolinguistic study of the "Asian City" of southeast Michigan. Dr Zheng is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Chinese at Earlham College, Indiana.
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.”
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.