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Academics celebrate book launch

28 March 2017

Academic colleagues from Cardiff University’s School of Welsh and School of English, Communication and Philosophy are celebrating the launch of a new co-edited book.

Sociolinguistics in Wales, published by Palgrave, presents new and recent sociolinguistic research about Wales, and includes scholarly contributions from academics working in Welsh and English, amongst other languages.

Cardiff University colleagues, Dr Mercedes Durham and Dr Jon Morris, are the co-editors responsible for this new volume. Dr Durham is a Senior Lecturer in Sociolinguistics with the School of English, Communication and Philosophy and works primarily on language variation and change in different varieties of English. Dr Morris is a Coleg Cymraeg CenedlaetholLecturer in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at the School of Welsh. His work focuses on Welsh-English bilingualism and the acquisition of Welsh as a second language.

The new book is divided into three sections, the first is an examination of the latest research on Welsh, the second focuses on English and the third section brings the two languages together alongside other languages spoken in Wales.

The volume contains contributions from colleagues at Cardiff University, Bangor University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of South Wales. There are also contributors from the University of Cambridge, University of Sheffield, University of Finland, and University of Graz in Austria.

The book evaluates and applies new frameworks and methodologies used in sociolinguistics to the Welsh linguistic context, which Dr Durham and Dr Morris argue is unique in the UK. They posit that this distinct context offers an opportunity to consider and observe the interplay between language and society in new ways.

Dr Durham explains the motivation behind the new book: “The volume showcases current research on the languages of Wales and examines the sociolinguistic situation in the country today. Although there are of course already books which examine English or Welsh in Wales, many are over 20 years old and none focus on both in the way that ours does, so we hope our book will provide new insight.”

Dr Jon Morris, added: “We hope that the book will be valuable to those interested in sociolinguistics generally and to those interested in the relationship between language and society in Wales in particular. Mercedes and I are grateful to all of the book’s contributors and are excited to see it published.”

Sociolinguistics is a particular specialism for both the School of English, Communication and Philosophy and the School of Welsh. It is a component of both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, as well as a major interdisciplinary research theme.

Dr Mercedes Durham’s research includes work on the acquisition of sociolinguistic competence, and Welsh and Scottish dialects of English.

Dr Jonathan Morris’ research focuses on sociolinguistic aspects of bilingualism and second language acquisition in the Welsh context.

The new book will be officially launched at an event on Monday 3 April 2017.