LEL Undergraduate Students at 2015 Undergraduate Linguistics Association of Britain (ULAB)

Seven of our intrepid undergraduate students will be presenting short talks on their research at the annual Undergraduate Linguistics Association of Britain (ULAB) conference at York St John’s University this coming weekend!

ULAB 2015 boasts a number of distinguished plenary speakers and participants from all over the UK. All of LEL’s attendees happen to be presenting on the cutting-edge independent research they did for Language Change Across the Lifespan (LELA30981) last semester. The lineup is as follows:

  • Siqi Liu & Xinyun Lei: Has Barack Obama Changed his Language in Later Life?: A Case Study on ing/in Variables and MOUTH Vowel
  • Ying Zhou & Yaorui Chen: Lifespan Change in /r/-Vocalization and /t/-Flapping: Can imitation trigger lifespan change?
  • Lisa Perrett & Emma Fieldhouse: An investigation into the Lifespan Change of Madonna Ciccone 1984 – 2012
  • Wen Cai: Social Mobility, Geographical Relocation and Linguistic Change across Lifespan

Congratulations to these budding scholars on their achievement!

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Louise Middleton on a local radio program talking about her work on rhyming in rap lyrics

Our 3rd year undergraduate student Louise Middleton was on a local radio program over the weekend talking about her work on rhyming in rap lyrics and also her Linguistics degree here at the University of Manchester. The link to the program is https://www.mixcloud.com/Hannahs_Bookshelf/hannahs-bookshelf-210315-with-special-guest-louise-middleton/ and Louise comes in at 18:50.

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Louise Middleton and Wendell Kimper are in the news!

Are rappers better linguists than SHAKESPEARE? Complex rhymes are ‘second nature’ to hip-hop artists

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Our undergraduate student Louise Middleton and lecturer Dr Wendell Kimper were interviewed by the Daily Mail, talking about whether rappers are better linguists than Shakespeare.

They will be on BBC Radio Manchester today (12th February, 2015) at 8:45 talking about this topic.

Posted in linguistics in the media, linguistics on the web, local events, undergraduate

Language and Linguistics Research Seminar, Edge Hill University, 12 Feb 2015

the Inaugural Lecture of the Language and Linguistics Research Seminar Series will take place on Thursday 12 February 2015, at B004 in the Business School at 6pm.

The speaker will be Professor Raymond Hickey (University of Duisburg Essen), talking about “The role of contact in the history of English”.

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Langwidge Sandwidge Spring 2015

Week 2 — 3 February 2015

Ellen Wilkinson A 3.6

Olga Gordeeva, Acapela Group and Queen Margaret University (Edinburgh)

Week 4 – 17 February 2015

Ellen Wilkinson A 3.6

Svenja Kranich, University of Mainz

Week 6 – 3 March 2015

Room TBC

Ayumi Miura, Kansai Gadai University

Week 8 –17 March 2015

Room TBC

Laura Arman, University of Manchester

Week 10 – 22 April 2015

Room TBC

Mareike Hamann, University of Manchester

Week 12 – 5 May 2015

Room TBC

Henri Kauhanen, University of Manchester

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Abstract for the coming Tuesday’s LEL seminar talk by Silke Hamann

Loanword adaptation via perception and orthography: modelling Cantonese and Italian

In this talk, I will first discuss the adaptation of English onset clusters into Hong Kong Cantonese and how the diachronic change in the perceptual adaptation strategies can account for cases of loan doublets, where the same word is borrowed at different times resulting in different forms.

In the second part, I will argue that perceptual considerations can be overridden by orthography and will provide a linguistic model that can incorporate the role of orthographic representations in loanword adaptation. Illustrations come from English words with ‘orthographic geminates’ such as tennis or killer, which are borrowed with long consonants into Italian.

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[Call for Papers]: Morphosyntactic Triggers of Tone: New Data and Theories (Our very own Yuni Kim is an invited speaker!)

Call for Papers

Morphosyntactic Triggers of Tone: New Data and Theories

13-14 June 2015


Whereas tone has played a central role in the evolution of phonological theory (Goldsmith 1976, Pulleyblank 1986, Yip 2002), the channels by which morphology and syntax trigger tonal reflexes or conversely restrict tonal alternations are still hardly understood. Firmly persuaded by Hyman’s (2011) dictum that `tone can do everything segmental or metrical phonology can do’ (and more), we think that it is absolutely essential for linguistics to develop a better understanding for the empirical richness and the theoretical implications of the morphosyntax of tone. The goal of this workshop is to provide a forum to this end which brings together descriptively and theoretically oriented linguists addressing questions such as:

• How does morphosyntactic structure interact with tonal phonology? Do syntactic constructions trigger specific tone patterns? Which types of morphosyntactic boundaries restrict (or are required by) general tonal alternations? Does opacity in tonal processes correlate with morphological and syntactic levels of derivation?

• How does tonal featural affixation work morphologically? how are tonal morphemes linearized? Where do they show systematic patterns of syncretism and blocking or multiple exponence? What is the distribution of tonal prefixation and suffixation? Is there a tonal equivalent to infixation, and how does tonal overwriting work in contrast to additive tonal morphology?

• What can tonal phenomena teach us about the morphology-syntax interface? Are tonal alternations at the phrasal level substantially different from word-level processes? Where do tonal alternations crosscut the boundaries between word-level morphology and phrasal syntax?

We invite abstracts for twenty-minute talks with a ten-minute discussion. We especially encourage contributions which present original fieldwork (or experimental results), but also highly welcome submissions that provide new theoretical approaches, establish new descriptive generalizations, or, simply, bring to the fore relevant data that have been published, but so far ignored in a the theoretical discussion.

Invited Speakers

• Yuni Kim (University of Manchester)
• Mary Paster (Pomona College)
• Gerrit Dimmendaal (University of Cologne)

Abstract Submission

Abstracts must be at most one page long. An optional second page is permitted for data and references. Abstracts must be anonymous.

Submissions are limited to one individual and one joint abstract per author, or two joint abstracts per author.

The abstract should be submitted as a PDF attachment and sent to the following e-mail address:


Please use `Abstract‘ as the Subject header and include the information in (1) – (4), which should constitute the body of the message. Please make sure that all fonts are embedded.

Author Information

• Name(s) of author(s)
• Title of talk
• Affiliation(s)
• E-mail address(es)

Deadline for Submission: March 31, 2015

Notification of Acceptance: April 15, 2015

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