PhD Research School in Linguistics and Philology

Master classes on Norwegian dialects

Professor Paul Kerswill will discuss Norwegian dialects with PhD candidates Edit Bugge and Randi Neteland on 27 and 28 September.

Main content

Place: Room G, Sydneshaugen school.

Time: 27 and 28 September.

Participants: Professor Paul Kerswill, University of York, PhD candidates Edit Bugge and Randi Neteland, University of Bergen.

In addition to the two master classes, Paul Kerswill will give a guest lecture.

Organised by the PhD Research school in linguistics and philology at the University of Bergen. Please sign up by email to Martin Paulsen by 21 September. The Master class will be held in Norwegian and the guest lecture in English.


Thursday 27 September

09.00-10.30: Presentation and discussion of Randi Neteland’s thesis draft.

10.30–11.00: Coffee break.

11.00–12.30: Discussion of Randi Neteland’s thesis, continued.

12.30–13.30: Lunch.

13.30-15.15: Guest lecture by Paul Kerswill: "Operationalising sociolinguistic typology: on investigating speech communities in Great Britain and their role in language change"

Friday 28 September

09.00-10.30: Presentation and discussion of Edit Bugge’s thesis draft.

10.30–11.00: Coffee break.

11.00–12.30: Discussion of Edit Bugge’s thesis, continued.

Guest lecture abstract

In this lecture, I approach current ideas about sociolinguistic typology from the point of view that they present testable hypotheses. Henning Andersen has propagated the notions that speech communities vary along two dimensions: endocentric vs. exocentric in terms of their speakers' orientation towards other communities, and open vs. closed in terms of speakers' actual contact with other communities. Cutting across these is Peter Trudgill's proposal that the direction and details of change in a given time and place is a function of the type of dialect and language contact involved: whether or not there is a high degree of contact; whether or not children are primarily involved; whether or not there is social cohesion and stability; and finally whether or not the community is small vs. large. Andersen and Trudgill both cite past linguistic changes, referring to individual studies from across the world. 

In operationalising these ideas, I first present a number of existing British studies in the light of these two author’s theories. I use these to motivate a proposal to research a little-investigated and relatively isolated region of England: the county of Cumbria. Cumbria is famed for the Lake District, composed of traditional hill farming communities where traditional dialect was spoken until recently, existing side-by-side with a large tourist industry and wealthy retirees. There are two large towns/cities, Carlisle in the north (well connected, relatively prosperous) and Barrow-in-Furness in the south (poor communications and dependent on a single, declining industry, that of shipbuilding). Along the coast, there are a number of small towns, including Maryport (small, relatively isolated). I will attempt to outline the parameters for a comparison of these four localities along parameters derived from Andersen and Trudgill: small vs. large community; high vs low contact; stable vs. unstable community; inward vs. outward looking. This will, it is hoped, form the basis of a research proposal.