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Final Report Summary - DIALING (Diagnostics of linguistic change: Mapping language change in real and apparent time)

The objective of my project ( was to investigate language change in real time as well as across the life-span of the individual speaker. To this aim, I have created a bespoke database which combines heritage data with new recordings:
• the large-scale corpus of spoken language DECTE ( /index.htm), gave me access to data that spans six decades of dialectal speech and thus provides the perfect data-base to trace ongoing language change across the community.
• I also collected two small supplementary panel samples which allow me to examine the relationship between the individual and the community during on-going language change.

On the basis of these complex datasets, the Dialing team have explored changes in four morphosyntactic features (quotation, stative possessives and the system of future temporal reference) and two phonetic features (the realisation of the FACE vowel and the glottalisation of /t/). Results were presented at 13 international conferences and published in a range of outlets, including five academic articles and four chapters in edited books. I have also co-edited two volumes, both of which are to appear in 2017: A collection of papers from the 8th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe ICLaVE8 (Benjamins, with Beat Siebenhaar), and an edited volume on Panel Studies of Variation and Change (Routledge, with Suzanne Evans Wagner). Material from the research project also featured in my 2014 Monograph Quotatives: New Trends and Sociolinguistic Implications (Wiley-Blackwell).
I am fully integrated into the Leipzig academic landscape. In collaboration with colleagues at Leipzig University, I have organised ICLaVE8 and the 37th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Linguistics. My teaching has been informed by this CIG-research project and I have been delivering lectures and seminars on Language Variation and Change which consistently receive very high student evaluations. A Masters seminar on language change across the life-span taught in Winter semester 2015/2016 resulted in a student-led conference, Language Change across the Lifespan (LCL), which, due to its great success will become a regular bi-annual feature. I have also been involved in two co-teaching projects, one with the German department on ‘Methods for Language in Society’ and one cross-faculty, in conjunction with colleagues in African Studies, American Studies and Ethnology. I have taken on increasingly demanding administrative roles at Leipzig University including the MA degree programme directorship and I am a member the Leipzig University steering committee and the research committee. I will become Head of Department in the Summer term 2017. I have also taken on mentorship commitments, including the German government-funded “Women into Science” as well as the TANDEM program, which supports first generation students.
Internationally, am involved in several collaborative research activities which explore aspects of language change. With Dr. Levon (Queen Mary University, London), we investigate the role of linguistic modularity in socio-cognitive salience. In collaboration with Dr. Wagner (University of Michigan), I am exploring the linguistic, social and cognitive determinants of life-span change. We have organized two panel sessions at conferences and we co-edit the series “Routledge Studies in Language Change”.

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