World Famous Sociolinguist Paul Kerswill Gives a Lecture at XTU
The School of Foreign Languages held a XTU 60th Founding Anniversary Celebration Series high-end academic lecture at the No. 1 Auditorium of the Shaw Building on the afternoon of September 4, 2018. Paul Kerswill gave a lecture on Multicultural London English: the Future of British Dialects? He is a world-renowned sociolinguist, authoritative dialect researcher, professor of linguistics at York University, and, Fellowship of the British Academy.
Professor Kerswill briefed on the British “dialect landscape” from the historical origins of English, traditional dialects, modern dialect “levelling”, and multicultural London English. He focused on the “levelling” phenomenon in modern British dialects; which is, the difference between the dialects is gradually narrowing. He also found that changes in new dialects were produced in the multicultural and multilingual city center, particularly in London. By comparing the different pronunciations of vowels and consonants in traditional and modern dialects, he gave examples on a series of new language and grammatical features. He also analyzed the influence of immigration and relocation of the population around London on dialect changes. He believed that there is a “Multicultural Youth English” in the UK, which is also the influence of the “levelling” phenomenon in the modern British dialect on the English language of the UK.
Kerswill's analysis of traditional and modern dialects provides a theoretical basis for the sociolinguistics and urban dialect research. He elaborated on the causes and phenomena of the changes in the London dialects in detail, highlighting the influence of immigrants' dialects. He said that this is an inevitable development trend of language contact. This applies equally to the language of other countries in the world. It has a guiding role in the study of the language status of Chinese immigrant cities.
Paul Kerswill is a world-renowned sociolinguist and authoritative dialect researcher. He obtained the undergraduate and master's degrees in modern language and the master's and doctorate degrees in linguistics from the Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.
He used to teach at Durham University, Cambridge University, University of Reading, and Lancaster University. He has been invited to give academic reports in more than 20 countries on five continents. He has been appointed academic consultant in urban language research and academic institutions in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Thailand, Japan, China, and Macao. He works in sociolinguistics, specifically language variation and change, focusing on dialect contacts and new dialects formation, especially the issue of immigrant’s language change.