February 26 – 27, 2021
Online via Zoom

Theme: Minoritized Language in a Globalized World

Plenary speakers:

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

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

Abstract: In language documentation, the “Boasian trilogy”—which has come to be seen as the gold standard— refers to a grammar, a dictionary and a text collection. Grammars and dictionaries have received substantial attention in the literature over the last 30 years, with many discussions centering on best practices for their creation and on their role in language revitalization and maintenance efforts. Text collections, on the other hand, remain understudied. Yet for many communities, legacy texts—broadly understood here to include narratives, procedural texts, songs, etc. collected in the past—constitute invaluable sources of language and culture. In this talk, I focus on the role that legacy text collections can play in the cultural and linguistic strengthening of communities, in student and community training and capacity building, and in linguistic research. While drawing my experiences with several legacy text collections of South, Central, and North American Indigenous languages, the primary focus of the talk will be a case study on the mobilization of such a collection for Makah (Wakashan, Washington State, USA).


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

Title: Bilingualism in flux: Internal and external factors in language change and stability

Abstract: Bilinguals for the most part maintain strong separation in the knowledge of the grammars and use of their two languages. Maintenance, transfer or emergence of new properties can arise differently across linguistic domains of their grammars, affected either by internal/linguistic factors or by extralinguistic mechanisms (second and third factors, in Chomsky’s 2005 terms).  In this talk I will discuss a case of bilingualism between Catalan and Spanish, characterized by the overarching minoritized status of Catalan among different co-existing bilingual communities in Mallorca, Spain. I will focus in particular on the morphosyntax of the clitic pronominal system, to address the cross-linguistic influences (or lack thereof) between the two languages in this domain. I argue that overlaps and mismatches in the grammatical properties of the two languages can have direct effects on maintenance or change in bilingual grammars. In parallel, extra-linguistic factors such as age of exposure to the two languages, language attitudes and linguistic experience can contribute to inhibiting or accelerating trajectories of change, yielding dynamic conditions for community language variation.


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

Abstract coming soon!


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

Abstract coming soon!


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 European Union Center through support from the US Department of Education’s Title VI NRC Program.

Co-Sponsoring Departments: Center for Advanced Study; Beckman Institute; Department of English; Department of Psychology; Department of Communication; Russian, East European, & Eurasian Center; Department of Anthropology; European Union Center; Office of the Dean of LAS; Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures; Department of French & Italian; Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures, Department of Linguistics, Department of Second Language Acquisition & Teacher Education, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, and School of Literatures, Cultures & Linguistics