Investigating immigrant languages in America

Note: The schedule below may be subject to change.

Please join us for a conference on “Investigating immigrant languages in America”, September 16-17 of 2010, in the Memorial Union on the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus. This event will bring together a set of scholars with the aim of creating new collaborations in linguistics and related areas. The program is free and open to the public — everyone is invited. Wisconsin has a long tradition of research into immigrant languages in the North America, led by luminaries like Einar Haugen (Scandinavian Studies), and others including Frederic Cassidy (English / Dictionary of American Regional English) and Lester W.J. Seifert (German). Haugen, a Norwegian-American bilingual from the Upper Midwest, was one of the creators of modern sociolinguistics, and made great contributions to our understanding of language structure, bilingualism, language contact and language history. This conference builds very directly on that tradition, presenting new research on all the just-mentioned areas. Indeed, the program includes a presentation on Haugen’s work, and research founded on insights in his Bilingualism in America. The conference aims to reach two distinct audiences. The first day focuses on linguistics, more directly intended for linguists faculty and students. Particular attention is going to syntax, an area long ignored in the study of immigrant languages. The second day aims to attract and engage a broader public, including language learners, members of heritage communities and those interested in American dialects. Program: “Investigating immigrant languages in America” Thursday, Sept. 16 9:00 Introduction, Janne Bondi Johannessen and Joe Salmons, UiO and UW 
 9:15 Two dialects, one syntax: Wisconsin High German as relexified Pomeranian, Mark Louden, UW 
 10:00 Wisconsin West Frisian morphophonology, Joshua Bousquette and Todd Ehresmann, UW 
 10:45 Break 
 11:15 Einar Haugen’s study of Norwegian in America, within a Matrix Language-Frame-model adapted to Principles and Parameters, Tor A. Åfarli, NTNU 
 12:00 Lunch 
 1:30 Intricacies of interrogative morphosyntax across Norwegian dialects, Øystein Alexander Vangsnes and Marit Westergaard, UiT 
 2:15 The distribution of verb particles in some Norwegian dialects, Leiv Inge Aa, NTNU 
 3:00 Break 
 3:30 Syntactic stability and change in American German, Dan Nützel, IUPUI, and Joe Salmons, UW 4:15 Preliminary investigations into immigrant Norwegian dialects in 2010, Janne Bondi Johannessen, and Signe Laake, UiO 

 Friday, Sept. 17 9:30 The Nordic Dialect Corpus and Database, Janne Bondi Johannessen, UiO, and Kristin Hagen, UiO 
 10:15 Some features of Scandinavian and Germanic influence on the English language in the Midwest, Bert Vaux, Cambridge University 
 11:00 Break 
 11:45 Immigrant language in Norway: Social network analysis, multilingualism and identity, Elizabeth Lanza 
 12:30 Lunch 
 2:00 Code Switching as Literary Device in Norwegian-American Writings: Examples from O.E. Rølvaag and Johs. B. Whist, Ingeborg Kongslien 2:45 The language of Gudbrandsdal immigrants in the 1980s, Arnstein Hjelde, HiØ 
 3:30 Break 
 4:00 What remains of Norwegian in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Louis Janus, University of Minnesota 
 4:45 Closing discussion Academic Interests My interests are in three different areas: theoretical linguistics (syntax and morphology) and dialectology, linguistics methodology and language technology. The last few years my involvement in dialectology has combined these two interests. I am part of several Nordic networks focussing on dialects and language variation, and as a manager of the Text Laboratory, I am pleased that we have been in charge of developing The Nordic Dialect Corpus and Nordic Dialect Database. My linguistic research has recently focussed on Scandinavian demonstratives (especially what I call Psychologically Distal Demonstratives), dialect differences related to dative case and word order variation, and the mapping of grammatical isoglosses, but I am still interested in my old research topics coordination, negation and negative polarity items, compounding, and correlative adverbs. My research languages are Norwegian and the other Scandinavian and Germanic languages, but I have also done research on Modern Greek. My outlook is usually one of a wider cross-linguistic perspective. My linguistics methodology interests are linked to the use of empirical data, from collecting data to using data. Corpus linguistics comes under this heading. My language technology interests are closely linked to my role as head of the Text Laboratory, and my work here is very much part of a collaborative effort. The projects include: part of speech tagging, named entity recognition, corpus (text and speech) and interface development, grammars and treebanks, grammar checking, grammar games, statistical methods, computational lexicography. Areas of supervision Nordic linguistics: syntax, lexicon, dialectology Theoretical linguistics: Syntax (minimalism), morphology. Language technology: a wide range of topics related to Text Laboratory project Students that I have supervised for MA and PhD theses Projects / Ongoing Research • I head the big project Norwegian Dialect Syntax (NorDiaSyn), financed by the Norwegian Research Council 2009-12. Read about it at the NFR pages and on the project homepage. The project is a collaboration with researcher Øystein Alexander Vangsnes at UiT and Professor Tor Anders Åfarli at NTNU. • I also head the NordForsk-financed project Scandinavian Dialect Infrastructure: Corpus, Database and Dialect Maps 2008-9. NordForsk has also financed our international PhD training course: “Infrastructural tools for the study of linguistic variation” at Fefor Høifjellshotell 2.-6. June 2009. I am a member of the following Nordic collaborations networks and projects: • NORMS – Nordic Centre of Excellence in Microcomparative Syntax (NOS-HS) • ScanDiaSyn – Scandinavian Dialect Syntax • RILIVS – Research Infrastructure for Linguistic Variation Studies See also the link Prosjekter on the Text Laboratory Scandinavian Dialect Infrastructure: Corpus, Database and Dialect Maps Janne Bondi Johannessen University of Oslo Norway Project Summary Our aim is to complete and enhance a common language infrastructure by putting efforts into the Scandinavian Dialect Corpus and Database, with Digital Maps. This infrastructure will reach the first stage of completion in 2008. The complete corpus and database will: contain spontaneous speech and systematic data from Scandinavian dialects be represented in a web interface with an advanced search interface have an advanced presentation of text, sound and picture (video). We want to: A.Supplement individual language resources For Swedish: Use questionnaires, re-take recordings in some dialect areas, transcribe these. For Finland Swedish: Supplement with questionnaires. For Danish: Supplement with recordings of young people, plus transcribe. B. Enhance the technological aspects of the infrastructure Investigate technical map solutions Investigate how to make the maps interactive w.r.t. geographical and grammatical information, and implement. This will be done in cooperation with the Dutch SAND and Edisyn project. Develop and program ways of searching and representing dialect-specific features and isoglosses in processing-effective ways. Find ways of representing dialect texts in a multi-lingual interface. Our own (Text Laboratory, UiO) program GLOSSA will be used, since it contains facilities for bilingual and parallel texts. Complete our partly developed transliteration tool that transliterates from phonetically transcribed speech to orthographical transcription. Research training course: “Infrastructural tools for the study of linguistic variation”

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