Please join us for a meeting of the Language Variation & Change workshop, this Friday, April 19 at 3:30pm, in Rosenwald 301.
Up north there eh?: Fieldwork, variation and explaining (socio)linguistic patterns
Sali A. Tagliamonte, University of Toronto
In this talk, I will offer insights from the Ontario Dialects Project, which has been documenting ways of speaking in Ontario, Canada for over nearly 20 years from the largest city, Toronto, to many different types of communities the wilds of the Near North (e.g., Tagliamonte, 2013; 2014a). In addition to the intrinsic contribution of dialect preservation and documentation, this research provides explicit evidence for language innovation and obsolescence, contact, koinéization, dialect levelling and even has significance outside of linguistics (history, cultural studies, contemporary literature). By reviewing the practicalities, procedures and products of sociolinguistic fieldwork (Tagliamonte, 2007), I hope to show how community-based research can lead to new insights into social and linguistic patterns and thereby more integrated explanations. It can also lead to rich and accessible linguistic materials that are not only of use to linguists but also to the broader population, where there is an abiding interest in language puzzles, whether ancient codes or modern innovations.
Tagliamonte, Sali A. (2007). Representing real language: Consistency, trade-offs and thinking ahead! In Beal, J., Corrigan, K. & Moisl, H. (eds.), Using unconventional digital language corpora: Volume 1 Synchronic corpora. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. 205-240.
Tagliamonte, Sali A. (2013). Roots of English: Exploring the history of dialects. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tagliamonte, Sali A. (2014a). System and society in the evolution of change: The view from Canada. In Green, E. & Meyer, C. (eds.), Variability in Current World Englishes. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.