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Proceedings of Methods XIV

Papers from the Fourteenth International Conference on Methods in Dialectology, 2011


Edited By Alena Barysevich, Alexandra D'Arcy and David Heap

This volume of papers from the 14 th International Conference on Methods in Dialectology, held at the University of Western Ontario (Canada), 2 to 6 August 2011, brings together recent methodological innovations and current research on the study of dialects and language variation. The research contributions are authored by a range of new and established scholars from different countries working on a number of languages and language varieties. The volume is divided into sections dealing with phonetics and phonology, morphology and syntax, ethnicity and identity, dialect cartography, methods, techniques as well as variation and change.


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Foreword: Looping Back


The fourteenth meeting of the International Conference on Methods in Dialecto- logy returned to the site of Methods III in 1978, the University of Western Onta- rio in London, Ontario. The crowd of almost 300 scholars that assembled at Western in 2011 came from Europe, Asia, the Pacific, Africa, and North Ame- rica, and they made a stunning contrast to the small coterie that had gathered there under the Methods banner 33 years before. Early meetings had a much more homogeneous look in every sense of the word. The Methods conference did not stay small or homogeneous for very long. The founders had chanced upon a template that humanists from all over the world found irresistible. The essential lay-out, then as now, was a midsummer conference every three years in a bucolic setting, or at least in a university with easy access to open country. A mid-week half-day excursion broke up the daily regimen of presentations. Evenings were free and highly sociable. Word spread quickly about the ambiance of the conference, and its quality. In those early days, the winds of change were blowing strongly in dialecto- logy. At Methods IV in Victoria in 1981, William Labov was the invited speaker and the participants were a heady mix of sociolinguists, language historians, and dialectometrists, as well as dialect geographers. The broader constituency brought with it bids for hosting Methods overseas. In 1987, Methods VI was held in Bangor, Wales, and since then the conference has alternated between Canada and Europe....

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