February 26 – 27, 2021
Online via Zoom

Theme: Minoritized Language in a Globalized World

Plenary speakers:

Dr. Enam Al-Wer (Professor, Language and Linguistics, University of Essex)

Title: Dialect contact, focusing and feature complexity: Data from Amman

View the recorded talk here.

Dr. Al-Wer  graduated from the University of Jordan with a BA in English and German, and went on to obtain a Diploma in German from the Goethe Institute, Munich. She subsequently obtained an MLing in Manchester, writing a dissertation on the syntax of negation in Jordanian Arabic. Her PhD at Essex (supervised by Prof. Peter Trudgill) was on phonological variation in the speech of women. She previously taught English Linguistics at Philadelphia University, Jordan, and has also taught sociolinguistics at Cambridge University and Birkbeck College.


Dr. Awad Ibrahim (Professor, Education, University of Ottawa)

Title: Race-ing Language, Language-ing Race After George Floyd: Hip-Hop and Black English as Symbolic Spaces of Investment

View the recorded talk here.

Awad Ibrahim is an award-winning author and a Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa. He is a Curriculum Theorist with special interest in economy of hospitality, cultural studies, Hip-Hop, youth and Black popular culture, philosophy and sociology of education, social justice and community service learning, diasporic and continental African identities, and applied linguistics. He has researched and published widely in these areas. Professor Ibrahim obtained his PhD from OISE, the University of Toronto, and has been with the Faculty of Education of the University of Ottawa since 2007. Before that, he taught at Bishop’s University (Québec) and Bowling Green State University in Ohio, USA. Internationally, he has ongoing projects in Morocco, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and the United States. His immediate projects include a policy analysis of the Ontario Ministry of Education equity policy. He has more than a 100 publications and among his books, Black Immigrants in North America: Essays on Race, Immigration, Identity, Language, Hip-Hop, Pedagogy, and the Politics of Becoming Black; Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy (with Kitossa, Smith & Wright); Provoking Curriculum Studies: Strong Poetry and the Arts of the Possible (with Ng-A-Fook & Reis); The Education of African Canadian Children: Critical Perspectives (with Abdi); In This Together: Blackness, Indigeneity, and Hip-Hop (with Hudson & Recollet); The Rhizome of Blackness: A Critical Ethnography of Hip-Hop Culture, Language, Identity, and the Politics of Becoming.


Dr. Acrisio Pires (Professor, Linguistics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Title: Bilingualism in Flux: Internal and External Factors in Language Change and Stability

View the recorded talk here.

Acrisio Pires is Professor of Linguistics. His research and teaching focus on linguistic theory and Minimalism syntax, comparative syntax, language change, language acquisition and bilingualism. Among some questions that have guided his work are: What constitutes an appropriate theory of human linguistic knowledge, considering syntax and areas with which it interfaces? How can cross-linguistic variation in syntax and morphosyntax be explained? What contributions can comparative syntax research make to the development of scientific models of language? How does language acquisition interact with language change? What factors can explain different effects of bilingualism, language contact and second language acquisition?

Some of his current projects include a book in preparation for Cambridge University Press, on syntactic theory from a comparative perspective, and various other joint research projects with PhD students.


Dr. Jorge Emilio Rosés Labrada (Assistant Professor, Indigenous Languages Sustainability, University of Alberta)

Title: Mobilizing Legacy Text Collections: Communities, Training, and Research

Jorge Emilio Rosés Labrada is an assistant professor at the University of Alberta in the Department of Linguistics, in the field of Indigenous Languages Sustainability. From 2015-2017, he was an Honorary Killam and Banting Postdoctoral Fellow and a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the First Nations and Endangered Languages Program. His research focuses primarily on the diachronic and synchronic morphosyntax of American Indigenous languages, especially those of the Amazon; and on language documentation and revitalization in Latin American contexts.

He has a PhD in French Studies (Linguistics) from The University of Western Ontario and a Doctorate in Language Sciences from the Université Lumière-Lyon 2. His doctoral project, funded by SSHRC with a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, focused on the documentation and description of Mako, a Sáliban language spoken in the Venezuelan Amazon by approximately 1200 people.


Conference proceedings:

Studies in the Linguistic Sciences: Illinois Working Papers (SLS) is the online, open-access working papers of the Linguistics Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. If you will give a talk or poster at ILLS13, please consider turning your presentation into a publication in Studies in the Linguistic Sciences! SLS is glad to be the continuing publication outlet for the proceedings of this dynamic student-run conference at Illinois. For more information, visit the SLS website.

2021 Sociolinguistics Symposium

Theme: Minoritized Language: Race, Identity and Society

Join the ILLS13 Facebook Page to keep up with news before and during the conference.

More information about the Sociolinguistics Symposium (to be held on February 26 – 27) can be found here.


Sponsored by the Department of Linguistics and the School of Literatures, Cultures & Linguistics