February 25 – 26, 2022
Online via Zoom

Theme: Language Variation and Change in the 21st Century 

Plenary speakers: 

Kirby Conrod (Swarthmore College)

Dr. Kirby Conrod received their BA in Linguistics and Literature at UC Santa Cruz, and their MA and PhD in Linguistics at the University of Washington. Their dissertation, Pronouns Raising and Emerging, is a sociosyntactic analysis of a change in progress around the specific use of singular they. Their recent work focuses on trans linguistics, nonbinary pronouns and other sociolinguistic approaches to morphosyntax. They are a visiting assistant professor at Swarthmore College.

Gillian Lord (University of Florida)

Dr. Lord’s work in the field of applied linguistics centers around the area of instructed language acquisition, with a specific focus on issues related to context in language learning and teaching, including study abroad and technology-enhanced settings, most often with a focus on the acquisition of the sound system of Spanish by English-speaking learners. Her work has appeared in journals such as CALICO, System, Hispania and Foreign Language Annals. She published the monograph Language Program Direction: Theory and Practice in 2013 (Pearson) and recently co-authored a native-digital beginning Spanish text (Contraseña, LingroLearning, 2019), which is currently in use at over 80 colleges and universities in the U.S.

deandre miles-hercules (University of California Santa Barbara)

deandre miles-hercules (they/them/their), M.A., studies how language use organizes culture, power, and identity, particularly with regards to race, gender, and sexuality. Their research weaves through anthropology, linguistics, Black studies, literature, feminist studies, and education. Originally from Prince George’s County, Maryland, deandre is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They obtained a B.A. with specializations in linguistics, anthropology, and African American studies from Emory University, where they were conferred the Award for Excellence in the Study of Linguistics and the Modupe Dayo Civic Engagement Award. deandre is also an alumnx of the Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program, National Science Foundation REU program, and Smithsonian Science Education Center internship. Presently, their research is supported by a graduate research fellowship from the NSF and they occasionally serve as an expert consultant for various media outlets, including VoxYahoo!, and VICE Newsdeandre believes that education is freedomwork and they strive to examine, expand, and sharpen our tools for living freely and combatting inequality.

Maria Polinsky (University of Maryland)

Dr. Polinsky’s primary research is centered on syntactic theory. Her work is situated at the intersection of cognitive science and cross-linguistic studies. Equally interested in language structure and linguistic diversity, she combines both facets in her own work. Using ‘hands-on’ research, Dr. Polinsky conducts primary fieldwork and full-scale experiments, working with a number of understudied languages. She is specifically drawn to phenomena such as ergativity, the interaction of word order and prosody, and gender categorization. Dr. Polinsky is also an advocate for teamwork and collaboration, believing that working with a diverse range of colleagues and students is the best method for informing central issues of linguistic theory.

2022 Sociolinguistics Symposium:

Theme: Sociolinguistics of the Global South

More information about the Sociolinguistics Symposium (to be held on February 24) can be found here.

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 ILLS14, 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.

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