- In late October, six students and one faculty member headed to the New Ways of Analyzing Variation 41 (NWAV) conference in Bloomington, IN. This was the second consecutive year in which our group headed to NWAV in the infamous "party van". Bloomington is only 5 hours drive from East Lansing. Fortunately for us, the next few NWAVs will also be within a 5-6 hour drive: Pittsburgh in 2013, Chicago in 2014 and Toronto in 2015. Photos soon!
- The opening keynote speech at NWAV 41 was delivered by well-known sociolinguist and linguistic anthropologist Norma Mendoza-Denton (University of Arizona), with our very own MSU Linguistics PhD candidate Ashley Hesson. The talk was entitled "Where does the sociolinguistic variable start?"
- Suzanne Wagner co-organized a tribute at NWAV 41 to her former PhD advisor Gillian Sankoff (University of Pennsylvania), who recently retired. The speakers included Sali Tagliamonte, David Sankoff, Henrietta Cedergren, Miriam Meyerhoff, Rajend Mesthrie, Anthony Naro, Marta Scherre, Walt Wolfram and William Labov.
- Also in October, Chantal Tetreault, assistant professor of linguistic anthropology at MSU, gave a talk to the MSU Sociolinguistics Lab about her ongoing work with Arab-French teenagers and young people in Paris.
- In November, Maddie Shellgren, a Linguistics PhD student, presented at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting in San Francisco, CA. Maddie's paper was entitled "Beyond Vermont rednecks: What local instantiations of a supra-local identity might tell use about the emergence and maintenance of a global imagined community."
- Two undergraduate students presented their ongoing senior thesis research to the lab. Karthik Kovuru, a pre-med student and linguistics major, is studying the social and linguistic factors that predict doctors' interruptions in consultations. In October he and Ashley Hesson presented work on doctor-patient communication at the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare (AACH) annual meeting in Providence, RI. Heidi Little presented preliminary results of a study of general extenders in the Fisher corpus: transcribed short conversations between strangers on pre-determined topics. Next semester she will work with Suzanne Wagner and Ashley Hesson to compare her findings with their previous analysis of general extender use in conversations among familiars. The comparative study is to be published as a book chapter in 2014.
The second half of fall semester 2012 has been fun and busy. Here are some of the highlights:
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.
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.