Language in the new media, norm, variation, language change

PhD seminar with two public lectures.

Monday 3 November at 1pm
What changed, what didn't: The real impact of electronically-mediated communication by Professor Naomi S. Baron, American University, Washington DC.

The first email message was transmitted in 1971. Between then and now, many predictions have been made about the ways in which online communication would reshape traditional spoken and written language. This presentation will review these prognostications and analyze which ones have and have not materialized. We will also consider some of the unanticipated consequences of the ways we use language online.

Naomi S. Baron is Professor of Linguistics and Executive Director of the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning at American University in Washington, DC. A Guggenheim Fellow and Swedish Fulbright Fellow, she is the author of seven books on language. Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World was the 2008 winner of the English-Speaking Union’s Duke of Edinburgh English Language Book Award. Her new book, Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World, will be published by Oxford University Press this winter.

Tuesday 4 November at 9am
The new spaces of digital writing: Some remarks from an Italian sociolinguistic perspective by Associate Professor Elena Pistolesi, Università degli Studi di Modena et Reggio Emilia.