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Linguists to gather in Minneapolis for national conference
Date:12/6/2013

riel Doyle

People can't stop talking on social media... but that's music to linguists' ears! We can take this idle chatter and use it to learn about the distribution of words, phrases, and grammatical forms throughout the country. New research by Gabriel Doyle at the University of California, San Diego, uses Twitter to generate maps of dialect features throughout the U.S., including the Southern forms "y'all" and the double modal "might could" and the Midwestern "needs done." This method also allows us to track geographic components of linguistic usage in near-real-time, showing how the use of the word 'raining' in tweets tracks neatly with major rainstorms.

Title: Rhythmic differences in Black and White American Sign Language (ASL)

Author: Diane K Brentari

Just as there are dialect differences between Standard American English and African American Vernacular English, there are differences in the standard variety of American Sign Language (ASL) and the one used by the African American Deaf community. In this study, the patterns of movement and pausing during third person narratives reveal a difference in the storytelling register of these two varieties of ASL. Older black signers (over age 55) were educated during the time of segregation while younger black signers (35 years or younger) went to school with white deaf children, so older and younger signers were included in our study. Black signers produced longer sign durations and longer pauses between signs; moreover, younger black signers have maintained and, in some cases, widened the differences between Black and White varieties of ASL, showing that Black ASL serves as a marker of cultural identity for this group even in the absence of the educational practices responsible for their initial separation.

Title: Systematicity and Lifespan Change in the Regional Features of a Supreme Court Justice

Author: Allison Shapp
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Contact: Alyson Reed
areed@lsadc.org
202-835-1714
Linguistic Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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