Language News: Ignite Pittsburgh

Dr. Scott Kiesling is a sociolinguist at the University of Pittsburgh.  Recently, he ignited the stage as part of a speaker series called Ignite Pittsburgh, a TED like program designed to spark ideas among its audience members through short, but powerful talks.  

His talk featured Pittsburghese, the unique pattern celebrated by Pittsburgh locals (or yinzers).  You can see a short blurb about the talk here:

Ignite Pittsburgh.

Dr. Kiesling and Dr. Barbara Johnstone (Carnegie Mellon) have been studying this speech for a while.  Unique vocabulary words, include:  yinz and yinzers, gumbands, nebby, slippy, and redd up.  There are many, many more, and these days they are all over the web.  It’s worth a few web searches to check some of them out.  


About LingEducator

Dr. Jaclyn Ocumpaugh received a PhD for her dissertation on regional variation in the acoustics of Mexican American English (Michigan State University, East Lansing). Before that, she received an MA in English/Linguistics from North Carolina State University for her work on the acoustics of /r/--a sound which is highly variable in the English language. Her passion, however, has always been to understand the social implications of language variation. In addition to her work in acoustic sociophonetics, she has worked with rape trial analysis, developed cognitive methods for understanding discourse level variation between men and women, and created sophisticated tools for teaching future educators about the kinds of dialect variation they will find in the classroom. She has taught classes in English, Linguistics, and Education at Old Dominion University, William & Mary, the University of Mary Washington, and Virginia Wesleyan College. She is currently a Post Doctoral Fellow of Learning Sciences and Technologies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she is helping to develop models of student engagement in the classroom. She also consults in the private sector.
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