Chartered Institute
of Linguists

What our language says about us: an introduction to sociolinguistics

Event report

On 11 June the BPG division held their first face to face event since January 2020.  They heard a lively presentation from Dr Rebecca Mitchell, a Cambridge University academic, followed by an animated discussion and Q&A session.  Dr Mitchell introduced everyone to Sociolinguistics – the interaction between language and culture based primarily on English and the British.  Amongst many other things, they learnt about how we subconsciously react to different accents, hypercorrectness, elderspeak and code-sharing; this latter probably best known to linguists who pepper their L2 conversations with L1 words.  The event took place at the Victory Services Club – a stone’s throw from London’s Marble Arch. Everyone agreed that it was thoroughly enjoyable to meet up in person, listen to a fascinating talk and network afterwards.

Join the BPG division for an interesting talk on sociolinguistics.

What are RP, MLE and UBE? Why might someone start a sentence in one language y terminarla en otra? Do women really talk more than men? Which is considered the most 'attractive' British accent? And why are the world's languages dying out so quickly? Dr Rebecca Mitchell, affiliated lecturer in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages at the University of Cambridge and teacher at the Perse School, Cambridge, will answer all these questions and many more. Sociolinguistics is the intersection of language and society, covering social identity, perceptions and stereotypes, language planning, and language contact and change. This talk draws on data from languages around the world to introduce the audience to an exciting and diverse area of linguistics.

Dr Rebecca Mitchell read Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge, and then worked as an assistant lecturer in phonetics at the University of Vigo, Spain. She received an MA in translation and interpreting from the University of Kent, and subsequently returned to Cambridge where she was awarded a PhD on syntactic variation in the French of Gabon. She is regularly invited to give talks on linguistics in schools and colleges, and at national events. She has reviewed for System and French Studies, and is on the scientific committee for Schools and National Identities in French-speaking Africa (Routledge, forthcoming).


10.30am: Tea, coffee and pastries upon arrival

10.45am - 11.45am: Talk

11.45am - 12pm: Q&A session

12pm - 12.30pm: Networking over tea and coffee


Please book your place here

June 11th, 2022 10:30 AM
VSC London
63-79 Seymour Street
London, W2 2HF
United Kingdom
Events +
Category Business, Professions & Government Division
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CIOL BPG Division