Colloquium talk: Dr. Annette D’Onofrio

Dr. Annette D’Onofrio is joining us to give a colloquium talk this fall! Please see details of the talk below.

Dr. Annette D’Onofrio is an Assistant Professor in the Linguistics Department at Northwestern University. She will present on her work on Chicagoland project, style, and personae.

Time: Thursday (09/15/2022) 4:30-6:15pm Eastern Time

Event: In-person and Zoom

Talk Abstract

Locating sound change reversal: Racialized and age-based patterns of the Northern Cities Shift in a Chicago community

While dialectological work once indicated that American English regional dialects were becoming increasingly disparate over time (e.g. Labov 2014), recent sociolinguistic studies are revealing the opposite trend in some regions, showing movement away from regionally distinctive language features (e.g. Prichard & Tamminga 2012, Dodsworth & Kohn 2012). Specifically, the Inland North region’s characteristic Northern Cities Vowel Shift (NCS), which had been advancing throughout the 20th century (Labov 2007), has begun to reverse its trajectory in some Inland North locales (Driscoll & Lape 2015; Wagner et al. 2016), including in Chicago (McCarthy 2011, Durian & Cameron 2019). In this talk, I explore the ways in which NCS reversal is socially conditioned in one Chicago neighborhood area. I demonstrate how both broader sociohistorical dynamics of migration and racialization, as well as highly localized oppositions and ideologies, inform patterns of vocalic change in this neighborhood.

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MSU represented at NWAV 49

For the first time, the New Ways of Analyzing Variation conference is being held online. Hosted by the University of Texas at Austin, NWAV 49 talks are available as pre-recorded videos to registered participants, and live Q&A sessions are happening this week, October 19 – 24, 2021.

MSU will, as always, be pretty well represented! Here’s the list of current and former MSU faculty and students who will be presenting this year:

  • Adam Barnhardt. I didn’t go to college with anyone that country: Age-stratified indexicality of Southern-shifted vowels.
  • Jack Rechsteiner and Betsy Sneller. Non-binary speakers’ use of (ING) across gender-related topics.
  • Denise Troutman. Throwing shade: Signifyin(g) and synchronic change among Ebonics speakers.
  • Mingzhe Zheng. One-ge person or One-wei person: Exploring the use of Mandarin classifier across time.
  • Dennis Preston. Women are hens: A taxonomic exercise in historical gender-based metaphor.
  • Rebecca Roeder. PALM and the low-back merger shift: Evidence from Victoria, BC.
  • Marisa Brook. Language shift in a microcosm: Finnish-English bilingualism, contact, and substrate effects in Sointula, British Columbia.

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Lab meetings in Fall 2020

Welcome ‘back’ to the Socio Lab! Our lab meetings this semester will be on Zoom, 2-3pm Mondays, every other week. Check the calendar to see what’s coming up when. Everyone is welcome to our lab meetings. We invite you to come and try them out. There is no expectation that you’ll commit to coming regularly, although we hope you will.

At lab meetings, you’ll hear people give practice talks for conferences and academic defenses, update on their research projects, share skills they’ve learned, and workshop ideas for new projects (e.g. senior thesis/Honors Option, MA thesis, doctoral qualifying papers etc). Sometimes we read a study together and discuss it. Contact Dr. Suzanne Wagner if you’d like the Zoom link and password.

Members of the MI-COVID Diaries team at a meeting this summer.

This semester we’re also running weekly meetings for the MI-COVID Diaries project team. This group meets Thursdays 5-6pm on Microsoft Teams. The project launched just after Michigan went into coronavirus lockdown. It’s collecting audio diaries from Michigan residents about their pandemic experiences. Contact Dr. Betsy Sneller to join a meeting and see if you’d like to get involved.

Finally, in the wake of the George Floyd protests, members of the lab came together to discuss a seminal paper by John R. Rickford and Sharese King. We’re now running a bi-weekly Anti-Racism Accountability Group for anyone who would like to learn more about anti-racism, and most importantly, who is looking for a community to nudge them to do anti-racist work in academia. The group meets bi-weekly on Mondays, 2-3pm on Microsoft Teams. Contact Jared Kaczor to find out more.

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In the news: Researchers study how COVID pandemic is affecting language change

Check out this August 5, 2020 story from the College of Arts and Letters on the MI COVID Diaries project, run by MSU’s Sociolinguistics Lab. We’ve been collecting recorded speech from Michigan residents since the beginning of April to track changes to language during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Social distancing and distance learning are affecting how people behave in the world. Part of this project is to document how people’s lives are changing. But from the linguistics side, what we are interested in is how these social changes impact language use, both on a short-term scale and potentially on the long-term scale as well.”

Dr. Betsy Sneller
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