Social Variation and Language Documentation Linguistics in the Pub February

Ruth Singer rsinger at
Tue Jan 24 04:04:31 UTC 2012


Linguistics in the Pub is back for 2012!

Discussion about Social Variation and Language Documentation
Linguistics in the Pub (LIP) 7pm, Tuesday 14th February 2012

The topic for Feburary will be social variation and language documentation.
The aim of language documentation, broadly speaking is to document
linguistic diversity. At one level the diversity refers to the range
of languages and dialects that are used. But zooming in a bit closer
diversity can be understood to refer to the variation in how language
is used across different speakers and contexts, i.e. social variation.
Despite the close link between linguistic diversity and social
variation, variation is often viewed mainly as a problem in initial
stages of documenting and describing a language. It is more
challenging to describe a system of phonology, grammar or morphology
when it varies widely, than to describe a system with little
variation. For this reason, it is often only after documenting one
variety that linguists usually try to document broader social variation and
patterns of language use. In this session, we will look at some good
examples of documentation of linguistic variation and discuss how we
might include some aspects of social variation in language
documentation projects right from the start.

Some background readings will be available on the RNLD events webpage
closer to the date. Please email Ruth Singer if you would like to
suggest any pertinent readings, or if you have something relevant in

Organised by RNLD
Date:      Tuesday 14th February 2012
Time:      7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Venue:    Upstairs room, Prince Alfred Hotel,
191 Grattan St, Carlton
(corner of Bouverie St)
ph ‪(03) 9347-3033‬

Food and drinks available at the venue.

Contact  Ruth Singer if you have any questions rsinger at

LIP is an occasional gathering of language activists and linguists in
Melbourne. All are welcome. Those in other parts of Australia and the
world who can't make it to the Melbourne LIPs are encouraged to
organise a local gathering to discuss this topic and support language
activities in your area.

Ruth Singer
ARC Research Fellow
Linguistics Program
School of Languages and Linguistics
Faculty of Arts
University of Melbourne 3010
Tel. +61 3 90353774

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