LaVaLi goes UKLVC14!

Three LaVaLi representatives went to UKLVC14 in Edinburgh to showcase the project findings. The conference had an amazing lineup of talks and posters and was a great overall experience! 

Carina Ahrens presented parts of her bachelor’s thesis (parts of which are featured in a previous blogpost) as a poster, attracting valuable feedback from international linguists. Her poster showed changes in two vowels (FACE and GOAT) over time in one speaker. While the speaker is moving first towards the pan-northern variant and then back to the local variant in the vowel FACE, she is becoming less local in her production of the vowel GOAT. Thus, in contrast to previous findings FACE and GOAT do not behave in the same way. 

Anne-Marie Moelders showcased her ongoing PhD research on intraspeaker malleability across the life-span through a poster presentation on changes in the quotative system across the lifespan of our panel speakers. She found that speakers over thirty eschew the use of „be like“ while uncovering a gendered effect in the younger age brackets: Female speakers tended to increase their „be like“ rates, while male speakers exhibited a decrease.

The conference concluded with a plenary presentation by Prof Isa Buchstaller, in which she summarized the previous findings of the LaVaLi project and underscored the critical significance of panel research in understanding language variation and change across the lifespan. Thereby she tied together the findings from the LaVaLi project with the overall conference theme.

We appreciate the work that the conference organisers put into making the conference as accessible as possible.  Sign language interpretation was available for all of the presentations and many talks featured variation in sign languages. Besides listening to all kinds of interesting talks, all attending members were able to engage in numerous conversations with other researchers of their fields and exchange ideas for upcoming studies and research projects.

Looking forward to UKLVC15 in Lancaster in two years! 

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