Lancaster University

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Dialects expert joins University

08/26/2004 11:08:07

One of the UK’s leading authorities on accents and dialects has accepted a post at Lancaster University.

Professor Paul Kerswill, a sociolinguist, specialising in social dialectology, is set to join the Department of Linguistics and English Language this September.

Formerly a senior lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Reading, Prof Kerswill has carried out research into areas such as the role of young people in language change. His interests also include dialect contact resulting from migration and sociolinguistic aspects of phonetics.

He has conducted primary research in Norway (Bergen) and England (Durham, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Reading, Hull and Ashford). Following three successful Economic and Social Research Council -funded projects, he has embarked on a fourth (with Professor Jenny Cheshire, Queen Mary, University of London) entitled Linguistic innovators: the English of adolescents in London.

He is the author of Dialects converging: rural speech in urban Norway (Oxford University Press, 1994) and co-editor (with Peter Auer and Frans Hinskens) of Dialect change: convergence and divergence in European languages (Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Professor Tony McEnery, Head of Lancaster University’s Linguistics and English Language Department, said: "Paul's work is at the cutting edge - defining and explaining how the English Language is changing around us. It is of enormous significance that Paul has chosen to continue his career here at Lancaster - a great vote of confidence in the excellence of language research at Lancaster."