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Seminar from the Migration, Identity and Translation Network (MITN).

Location: A1.11 Social Sciences Building

On Tuesday 28th January, we are pleased to welcome Prof Janice Carruthers, Professor of French Linguistics at Queen's University Belfast and Leader of the Sociolinguistics Strand of the major interdisciplinary project Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies (MEITS). It is her involvement with this project that forms the basis of our seminar. This is an excellent opportunity to engage with current research into how multilingual individuals and societies draw on multiple languages, cultures and modes of thought.


This paper forms part of the research on language and identity in a large interdisciplinary project funded by the AHRC’s Open World Research Initiative (OWRI): ‘Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies’. I will start by outlining the aims, objectives and shape of the full MEITS project, explaining how the work of the Queen’s strand relates to the broader research questions. I will focus on one particular dimension of our work, i.e. research on Contemporary Urban Vernacular French. I will outline the nature of the linguistic and social characteristics normally associated with this variety of French and will explain the methodology and theoretical framework for our study. The core of the paper will analyse listener perceptions in relation to speakers of CUV French, with a particular focus on questions of migration and multilingualism but also including the role of other speaker variables such as age, gender and regional origin. Drawing on Eckert’s (2008) concept of ‘indexical fields’, I will explore the possible indexical meanings of a number of linguistic features, and combinations of features, interrogating their relationship with questions of perceived identity in multilingual urban environments. ​

If you would like to register to attend this seminar, or if you have any queries, please feel free to email or book via forgeskills, or just come along we'd love to see you there.

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