“A comparative study of ethnic variation and change in Australian English ”
Gan completed his MA in 2019 at Xi’an Jiaotong University where he mainly focused on structural priming and interactive alignment in L2 English. Now he is doing his PhD on the Sydney Speaks project, examining ethnolectal variation in morphosyntactic features in Australian English used by Anglo-, Greek-, Italian- and Chinese-Australians, with a particular focus on Chinese-Australians. He uses quantitative methods to examine change in apparent and real time, comparing patterns observed in contemporary speech across age groups and with speakers recorded at an earlier time, both in Australia and in Hong Kong. This allows him to investigate where ethnolectal variation comes from and how ethnolects change across time.
“Language and social change over the lifespan: Speakers of Australian English forty years on”
Elena completed Honours in 2017 at the University of Sydney, focusing on linguistic variation and language ideologies in young adults from Western and Northern Sydney (an article from which appeared in the Australian Journal of Linguistics in 2019). She is now doing her PhD with the Sydney Speaks project, conducting a lifespan study, examining the speech of a group of Greek- and Italian-Australians who were recorded as teenagers (in the 1970s) and again as adults (in the 2010s). The project uses quantitative methods to investigate the role of the individual in language change and the relationship(s) between different variables (phonological, morphological and discourse) over time on the level of the community and individual.
"Automated Topic Segmentation of Transcribed Spontaneous Interviews for Enhanced Linguistic Analysis”
Amy is an undergraduate student studying computer science, currently completing Honours with the Sydney Speaks project. Her thesis focusses on using computational methods to segment the sociolinguistic interviews into coherent topic-based segments, trialling existing algorithms and developing new ones, and evaluating their effectiveness. Amy is working with the full set of data currently available, totalling around 2.5 million words from 236 interviews, including the Bicentennial Oral History Collection, the Sydney Social Dialect Survey and the Sydney Speaks 2010s data. The ability to break down interviews into topics automatically will facilitate exploration of the ways in which patterns of variation might be impacted or constrained by different topics.
“Quotatives over time: A study in ethnic variation”
Esther is an undergraduate student in the PhB program (a program incorporating advanced research into the undergraduate degree), with a major in Linguistics and minors in French and Maths. She is currently completing Honours with the Sydney Speaks project, examining quotatives over time with a particular focus on ethnic variation. She employs the variationist method to conduct apparent and real time comparisons of the quotative system of Anglo-, Greek- and Italian-Australian Adults and Teenagers recorded the 1970s, and Anglo-, Italian- and Chinese-Australian Adults and Young Adults recorded in the 2010s.
Renate is an undergraduate student at Monash University in Melbourne, majoring in Linguistics and French Studies, with electives in IT and computer science. She was a Summer Scholar in 2018-2019 and again in 2019-2020 (funded by the ASD-ANU Co-Lab). Her 2018-2019 project looked at the modal verbs of obligation in Australian English, which she completed with another Summer Scholar, Caroline Cheng from UNSW. Her 2019-2020 project uses a combination of variationist and computational methods to investigate changes in intensifiers modifying adjectives over time, with a particular focus on understanding the role of the intensifier-adjective collocations in this process.