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Plenary Speakers

David Britain (University of Bern)

David Britain is Professor and Chair of English Linguistics at the Department of English, University of Bern, Switzerland. His research is in language variation and change, English dialectology (esp. of Southern England, East Anglia and the Anglophone Southern Hemisphere), sociophonology, dialect contact, new dialect formation and second dialect acquisition, language and dialect obsolescence, the emergent dialects of diaspora communities, and the interface between dialectology and human geography.

Barbara Johnstone (Carnegie Mellon University)

Barbara Johnstone is Professor of Rhetoric and Linguistics at Carnegie Mellon University and former editor of Language in Society (2005-2013). She is the author of Repetition in Arabic Discourse (Benjamins, 1990), Stories, Community, and Place: Narratives from Middle America (Indiana UP, 1990), The Linguistic Individual (Oxford, 1996), Speaking Pittsburghese: The History of a Dialect (Oxford, 2013) and two popular textbooks, Qualitative Methods in Sociolinguistics (Oxford, 2001), and Discourse Analysis (Blackwell, 2002, 2008), in addition to many edited volumes, articles, and book chapters. Her recurrent interests have to do with how people evoke and shape places in talk and with what can be learned by taking the perspective of the individual on language and discourse.

Paul Kerswill (University of York)

Paul Kerswill is Professor at the Department of Language and Linguisitc Science at the University of York. His research is in language variation and change, with an emphasis on phonetic but also grammatical and discourse variation. It is largely focused on dialect contact – the long-term linguistic consequences that ensue when speakers of different accents or dialects come together through migration and mobility.
A consequence of dialect contact is dialect levelling – the overall reduction in linguistic diversity across a dialect area. He worked on a speech community in which there has been 'extreme' levelling - the New Town of Milton Keynes. With colleagues at Queen Mary, University of London, he has also worked extensively on Multicultural London English, a new 'contact variety' which has emerged in London's East End and elsewhere in the capital. This has led to his growing interest in new youth language varieties, particularly in Northern Europe, where he maintain contacts with scholars in several countries.

Sali A. Tagliamonte (University of Toronto)

Sali A. Tagliamonte is Canada Research Chair in Language Variation and Change and a Full Professor in the Linguistics Department at the University of Toronto, Canada. She has published six books on her research and many articles on African American varieties, British, Irish and Canadian dialects, teen language and television across the major journals of the field. Her research has been funded by agencies in Canada, the US and UK. Her most recent research is the Ontario Dialects Project, which focuses on cross-community and apparent time comparisons in corpora of spoken vernacular dialects to explore linguistic change.

Evelyn Ziegler (University of Duisburg-Essen)

Evelyn Ziegler is Professor of German Linguistics with a focus on sociolinguistics at the University of Duisburg-Essen. From October 2015 to March 2018 she held the function of the University’s Vice-Rector for Diversity Management. Her conducted research projects include Signs of the Metropolises: Visual multilingualism in the Ruhr-Area/Germany (MERCUR, 2013-2018), MoCoDa: Mobile Communication Database (2017) and SDiv: Standardization in Diversity. The Case of German in Luxembourg (1795-1920) (2013-2016). Her key research interests lie in language variation, multilingualism, attitudes and perceptions, communication in the new media and language history.


Mozartgasse 8/II 8010 Graz
Univ.-Prof. Dr.phil. Arne Ziegler Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 8165


Heinrichstraße 22/II 8010 Graz
Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 2461
Mobile:+43 (0)316 380 - 2462

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