Dr Hall On ‘Minoritized Varieties Of English’ Panel

January 17, 2022

Bermudian sociolinguist Dr Rosemary Hall will be taking part in a webinar on ‘Language prejudice and the documentation of minoritized varieties of English’ on January 20th.

Dr Hall played a key role in the addition of Bermudian English in the Oxford English Dictionary [OED], with the addition of the words in the OED — which dates back to the 1800s – making Bermudian English the “smallest national variety” to be represented.

A number of new words were added to the OED last year including Gombey, aceboy, acegirl, greeze, chopse and mug, with the word onion also receiving a new description as being a “native or inhabitant of Bermuda.”

The webinar website said, “The Oxford English Dictionary has always included words from across the English-speaking world, and in the past few years we have been undertaking a series of projects to improve our coverage of several varieties of English.

“We are now making a significant part of this content freely available to the public, including lexical and other content from minoritized varieties of English in the recently launched Varieties of English section of the OED site.

BNV held with Dr Rosemary Hall back in  March 2021

“Many still consider some varieties of English to be inferior to others. Such language prejudice has a clear social and economic impact on certain language communities, whose members are frequently marginalized because of their accents or their choice of words.

“To mark the launch of the OED’s Varieties of English page, we invite you to join the OED team, Dr Danica Salazar, World English Editor, and Dr Catherine Sangster, OED Executive Editor for an overview of the OED’s coverage of varieties of English and the resources that are now freely available.

“They will also be joined in a panel discussion by our guest speakers:

  • Dr Jeannette Allsopp, retired Senior Research Fellow in Lexicography and founder and former Director of the Richard and Jeannette Allsopp Centre for Caribbean Lexicography at the University of the West Indies
  • Dr Rosemary Hall, Research Assistant, The Dialect and Heritage Project, University of Leeds
  • Dr Kingsley Ugwuanyi, English Lecturer and Researcher, University of Nigeria
  • Kelly Elizabeth Wright, PhD Candidate in Experimental Sociolinguistics, University of Michigan

“The members of the panel will address the following topics and questions, offering insights from their particular geographical and sociolinguistic contexts:

  • Attitudes towards language variation
  • Why are particular varieties valued over others?
  • How does the perception of a language variety impact communication?
  • Why is it important to document minoritized varieties of English?
  • Code switching
  • Dialect parody

“Who is this for?

  • Linguists and lexicographers
  • Those with a particular interest in minoritized varieties of English
  • Anyone interested in attitudes and perceptions around language
  • All users of the English language

As it pertains to Dr Rosemary Hall, the event website said, “Dr Rosemary Hall is a sociolinguist specializing in varieties of English and attitudes towards them. She has taught courses in sociolinguistics and world Englishes in Oxford and Norway.

“Previously her research has focused on language and identity in Bermuda, and she recently acted as a consultant for the OED’s first batch of Bermudian English words. Rosemary currently works for the Dialect and Heritage Project at the University of Leeds.”

You can register for the webinar here.

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