Wednesday, July 7, 2010

“Investigating immigrant languages in America”

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

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