International Society for the Linguistics of English

ISLE 2011 – June 17-21, 2011

At the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)

725 Commonwealth Avenue

Boston University, Boston Massachusetts


The International Society for the Linguistics of English, the New England Committee for ISLE 2, and the English Department and Humanities Foundation of Boston University together announce the society’s second triennial conference.

The theme of the conference is Methods Past and Current.

Recent studies in corpus linguistics, varieties and typologies, dialects and Standard English, as well as pragmatics prompt examination of methods found conducive to promising results. The choice of the conference’s theme stems from the widely shared view that methods of analysis involve at least the following related questions:

  • How do methods of investigation take into account the data under study?
  • In what ways do linguistic premises, perspectives, and models shape the methods to use?
  • Which methods and models, developed in such disciplines as anthropology, cultural and demographic history, economics, psychology, and textual editing enhance linguistic analysis?
    Do current methods depart in significant ways from those typical of research in the past.

More particular subthemes include:

  • For studies in corpus linguistics, diverse methods for investigating and analyzing regional, social, and cultural patterns in dialects, varieties, and Standard English.
  • Under the topic typology, analyses range from Old to Modern English on dialects and varieties, written and oral registers, and optimality theory as applied to sound change.
  • From the perspective of reception, methodological designs for perceptual dialectology.
  • For the topic pragmatics, discussion of current methods that are used to determine and explain patterns and changes in the linguistic features of spoken and written English.

The theme and topics presented here outline but by no means exhaust the scope of talks, poster sessions, and workshops that the New England Committee invites for ISLE 2011. The conference in Boston aims to provide an ample forum for members’ presentations and exchanges, formal and informal, on a wide range of topics.

Plenary speakers for the ISLE 2011 meeting include:

Lisa Green, University of Massachusetts: “Multiple Grammars and Dialectal Variation: A View from the Perspective of Language Development”

Stefan Gries, University of California, Santa Barbara: “The quantitative revolution in corpus linguistics: applications and their theoretical implications”

April McMahon, The University of Edinburgh: “Comparing [laɪk] with [lʌɪk]: Methods for Collecting and Comparing Data from Varieties of English”

Christian Mair, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg: “World Non-Standard Englishes: Reflections on the Global Spread of (Some) Vernacular Varieties of English”

Christopher Ricks, Boston University: “The very words, and not only those”

Sali Tagliamonte, University of Toronto: “System and society in the evolution of change: The case of Canada”

Presidential Address: David Denison, University of Manchester

Dinner Speaker: Laurence Horn, Yale: “Etymythology and Taboo”

Travel Bursaries

A small number of travel bursaries are available to doctoral students, postdoctoral students, and those who have graduated with a PhD in the past two years, who are presenting a paper or poster at this conference. Further information is available here.


We would like to remind you that all those giving a paper or poster at the conference must be members of the society. You can join the society here.