Wednesday, 10 September 2014

What we did on our summer vacation

Summer vacation is the time when students (mostly) vacate the university.  While it's when most of the staff take most of their holiday time, it's also a busy time for us. Here's a bit of what we've been doing since teaching ended in May.

What we did together

Our first conference for A-level English Language teachers took place in June and was a great success, with teachers from many parts of the southeast, our staff, and some of our students taking part. Because of it, we've made more connections with more schools who would like to offer students the opportunity to be mentors for A-level students. There will be more news about that later in the year.


In July, we attended graduation, which always makes us want to throw things:


What the staff has been doing

Lynne Cahill organized, hosted and spoke at the 9th International Workshop on Writing Systems and Literacy, which focused on Orthographic Databases and Lexicons, which took place on 4-5 September at The Keep. Lynne presented work that she'd done with one of our BA graduates, Edward Crook, on the differences in typed and handwritten apology letters and on her own work on orthographic databases: CELEX and PolyOrth: database to lexicons.

Melanie Green was in Helsinki in August for the SKY 2014 symposium on Language Contact: The State of the Art and then in Poland for the Societas Linguistica Europea in September to present work she's done with Miriam Ayafor (Cameroon) and Gabriel Ozón (Sheffield, formerly Sussex) on Valency-changing processes in a contact variety: the evidence from Cameroon Pidgin English.  Melanie and her colleagues have also had success in receiving a British Academy/Leverhulme grant to create a corpus of Cameroon Pidgin English. 

Lynne Murphy gave the guest lecture at the UCL Summer Course in English Phonetics on the topic of British and American Englishes. Here's a tiny bit of it:



In May, she took part in the Brighton Fringe Festival, speaking about The Wonder of Language in the Brighton Spiegeltent, and in June she could be heard talking about dictionaries on BBC Radio 3's The Verb

Roberta Piazza's article on The conceptualisation of place among a group of Irish women travellers has appeared in Discourse & Society. She also travelled to The International Linguistic Association conference in Paris to present Documentaries: between stigma and infotainment in May, and to Budapest to present a paper on Irish Travellers’ identity between stigmatisation and self-image at the CADAAD conference.

Justyna Robinson has started her maternity leave. We're all very happy to welcome the newest little Robinson into the world.

Charlotte Taylor gave her paper A metalanguage analysis of sarcastic and ironic at the 8th International Conference on Politeness in Huddersfield.  The slides from the talk can be seen here. Her article Investigating the representation of migrants in the UK and Italian press has appeared in the International Journal of Corpus Linguistics.


What our students have been doing

Of course, not all students take a break. The MA students were finishing up their dissertations (which we're now reading), and the PhD students continued to get on with it. We're very happy to congratulate Carol O'Neal, whose work on early consonant acquisition in children has allowed her to now be called Dr. Carol O'Neal.

We had the privilege of supporting two Junior Research Associates: undergraduates who did summer research projects, funded by the Doctoral School. Annaliese Bagley has been working on variation in use of x 'kisses' in electronic communication, with the supervision of Lynne C. Rhys Sandow has been looking at the history of prescriptivism in British and American dictionaries, with supervision by Lynne M. We'll share more about their projects and results when they are formally presented in October.


On to 2014-15!

We're looking forward to welcoming new and old students to the campus in the coming weeks. Don't forget to follow us @SussexLinguist on Twitter and to like our Facebook page for more news, information and fun. Our next post will be about our new people, things and activities for the 2014-15 academic year. 

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