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Dr Merryn Davies-Deacon

School of Arts, English and Languages (AEL)

Research Interests

  • French sociolinguistics
  • Language standardisation
  • Language and identity
  • Language revitalisation and new speakers
  • Lexicon and lexicography
  • Orthography

My current interests are in the sociolinguistics of minoritised languages, and particularly in new speakers of these languages: why speakers decide to become a member of minoritised linguistic communities; how they use the language in ways that balance concerns around communication and the expression of individual and group identity; and what forms the language can take as a result of being used in new ways and new domains. I have mostly worked on the “southern Brythonic” members of the Celtic family of languages, Breton and Cornish.

My digital interests are in:

  • Language in new media

I am especially interested in how language is used differently across different media contexts, and in how the internet is harnessed for the purposes of language standardisation and change, both in its function as a vehicle for communicating top-down corpus planning decisions and in its use by speakers who may be geographically diffuse and motivated by diverse backgrounds and aims. I am interested in, and concerned by, the important role social media contexts play in the development of marginalised linguistic communities, and the fragility of this system when it relies on the continued goodwill of global corporations whose primary motivation is financial gain.

Digital tools/platforms/software: 

  • Python
  • XML
  • Git
  • wget
  • LaTeX