At the end of August, three members of SOCLAS’ Sociolinguistics Research Group took part in the 19th Sociolinguistics Symposium, hosted this year by the Freie Universität, Berlin. Over 1000 sociolinguists gathered in Germany’s capital for three days of papers, discussion, and hospitality.

SOCLAS Sociolinguistics Research Group members in Berlin

The three researchers represented two of the Sections from the Department. Dr Stefania Tufi, Head of Italian, presented a paper on her recent fieldwork in Venice, for which she had been awarded a Small Research Grant from the British Academy. Dr Robert Blackwood, Head of French, compared the use of regional languages of Nice and Ajaccio City Councils, in response to the conference theme of ‘Language in the City. Michelle Harrison gave a final paper before she submits her PhD thesis at the end of September on the differences in language policies in schools in Strasbourg, examining the management strategies for the teaching of Alsatian.

Dr Robert Blackwood, Michelle Harrison and Dr Stefania Tufi at the Brandenburg Gate






In addition to the conference, the three researchers made some time to visit Berlin and to sample its cuisine. Having presented papers at the 18th Sociolinguistics Symposium in Southampton in 2010, the trio are looking forward to the 20th meeting of this body, at Jyväskylä University in Finland in 2014. The call for papers will be made in early 2013.