PROJECT

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Developing
social meaning
of English 

not much time?

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fan of detail?

people's person?

 

OMG IN NUMBERS


Belgian Dutch preadolescents
(6-13 y/o)

26

114


hours of conversational data - collected during  the pandemic

7


different data types: individual and group data sessions

90


data sessions,    52 of which were conducted online 

2


researchers:
1 PhD student
1 supervisor

8


months of data collection and preparation (April - November 2021)

3


research fields: sociolinguistics
developmental linguistics
contact linguistics

25


kg of research equipment:
2 cameras and stands + 6 lavelier mics


green km (1.988 miles) traveled during data collection 
 

3.200

research focuses
opportunities
encounters
enjoyment

Curious to read more? 

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OMG IN WORDS

WHAT?

speaker . context . nature of English

In the OMG project, we investigate how the social meaning of English lexical resources in Belgian Dutch preadolescents develops and how that depends on:

WHY?

While we do know that English insertions are nearly absent in the speech of Belgian Dutch preschoolers and abundantly present in their later produced youth language, we have no understanding of what happens in the transition from childhood to adolescence.

Aiming to uncover parts of the sociolinguistic acquisition process of contact-induced variation

Theoretically: 

  • combining the as of yet unconnected fields of developmental sociolinguistics and contact linguistics 

  • foregrounding the preadolescent age group

+

HOW?

Fieldwork with 26 Belgian Dutch preadolescent members (7- to 13-year-olds) of a local sports club.

  • 12 boys - 14 girls

  • monolingual speakers Belgian-Dutch

  • high SES

  • no formal instruction of English

7 different data types, both individual and group sessions.

sociolinguistic

interviews

spontaneous

speech

sociolinguistic
interviews

  • individual interviews

  • online (MS Teams)

  • April 2021

  • 26 1-hour data sessions
     

metalinguistic

interviews

Questionnaires

stylization tasks

(elicited roleplay)

stylization tasks
(elicited roleplay)

  • individual online session

  • face-to-face group session 

  • May-June 2021

  • 26 1-hour  data sessions

  • 12 90-min group sessions
     

metalinguistic
interview

  • individual session

  • face-to-face 

  • November 2021

  • 26 2-hour data sessions

spontaneous speech

  • group sessions

  • face-to-face 

  • May 2021

  • no researcher present

topically controlled speech

  • group sessions

  • talking with topic cards steering /not steering towards English 

  • face-to-face 

  • May 2021

  • no researcher present

topically controlled speech

Questionnaires

  • (1) Questionnaire investigating perceptions and attitudes about contact-induced variation (English- and Dutch-prone societal roles, targeting adults)

  • (2) Questionnaire on English media exposure

Picture Vocabulary

Size Test

  • reduced 48-item PVST

  • conducted on a laptop

  • researcher present

Picture Vocabulary Size Test

 

CORPUS

DATA 

TRANSCRIPTION

114 hours of conversational data

7 hours of data per respondent

78 hours of individual data

12 hours of group data

52 hours of online data

34 hours of face-to-face data

Estimated number of 120.000 utterances

Transcribed via the CHAT-conventions of the CHILDES project (MacWinney 2000)

Data collection

Transcription progress

114 / 114 hours (100%)

55.000 / 120.000 utterances (46%)

RESULTS

check it out

Meet The Team

Eline Zenner is assistant professor of Dutch proficiency at the research unit Linguistics. She teaches Dutch proficiency and professional communication at the Brussels campus of KU Leuven within the BA programme Applied Linguistics and the MA programmes Journalism and Multilingual Communication. She is further involved in the honours programme Transdisciplinary Insights.

Melissa Schuring is a PhD student in the research group Quantitative Lexicology and Variational Linguistics (QLVL), at KU Leuven (Belgium). She is currently working as a junior researcher on the OMG-project you can read about above. Melissa developed a keen interest in linguistics after participating in a four-month AFS exchange program with Athénée Royal de Waterloo in 2014. She graduated from the University of Antwerp, where she obtained her BA (2019) and MA degree (2020) in French and Dutch Linguistics and Literature. 

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