Future Perfect: How applying Linguistics in the real world moves the discipline forward
David Adger, Jennifer Smith, and Devyani Sharma each describe linguistics resources that they have created for use in classrooms and by the wider general public. These cover themes such as constructed languages, 'stories’ behind different dialect forms, and embedding 'real' spoken English into A-level classes. They reflect on how this hands-on public engagement work requires transcending long-standing factionalisation of subfields. The session will then be opened up for a Q&A and discussion.
David Adger is Professor of Linguistics at Queen Mary University of London, and President of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain. He works on the syntax of human language and how syntax links to other aspects of language, including sociolinguistics, prosody, word-structure, semantics and pragmatics. His most recent book is Language Unlimited: The Science Behind Our Most Creative Power (OUP, 2019).
Devyani Sharma is Professor of Sociolinguistics at Queen Mary University of London. Her research is on new English dialects, inter-ethnic contact, bilingualism, accent variation, and language change. Her edited works include The Oxford Handbook of World Englishes, Research Methods in Linguistics, and English in the Indian Diaspora. She directs the online public resources Teach Real English! and Multilingual Capital.
Jennifer Smith is Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of Glasgow. She works on language variation and change, with a specific focus on how sociolinguistic norms are acquired in childhood and how they develop in later life. She is director of the Scots Syntax Atlas, an online resource for the study of Scots.