What Social Media Can Tell Us About Dialect Variation and Change

Fri 10 May 2024, 16:15 - 17:30

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Kohn Centre, The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG
Free, booking required

Delivered by the most outstanding academics in the UK and beyond, the British Academy’s flagship Lecture programme showcases the very best scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. This event is part of the Anna Morpurgo Davies Lecture Series.

This talk will look at some of the challenges and discoveries associated with using social media (Twitter/X) as a source for examining dialect variation and change. Messages from social media constitute a fantastic source of evidence for linguistic diversity, much of which is otherwise inaccessible, allowing us to see patterns of linguistic variation across thousands, sometimes even millions, of people. We will look at some of the results of the Tweetolectology project, which has been mapping linguistic variation across various countries, with case studies from Welsh, English and Haitian Creole framed around key research or methodological issues of broad general interest.

Speaker: Professor David Willis FBA, University of Oxford

David Willis is Jesus Professor of Celtic in the Faculty of Linguistics at the University of Oxford. He specialises in historical linguistics, theoretical and dialect syntax, and the use of digital methods in linguistics. His most recent project, Tweetolectology, maps variation in European languages using social media.

Chair: Professor Nigel Vincent FBA, University of Manchester

Free, booking required

This event includes a reception for all attendees after the lecture.

This event will take place in person and online in partnership with the Philological Society. If you have any questions about this event, please email [email protected].

Image: Chesnot / Contributor / Getty Images.

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