Vicky is a fourth year part-time PhD student looking into how population movement can affect language change, particularly in her home county of Somerset, in England.
Many linguists have theorised as to the influences of change on regional varieties of languages. Population movement as an influence over language change is not a stand-alone example. It works alongside language contact, bringing people from different regions together, be it on a daily, seasonal or permanent basis. Through language contact in these durations, and on a large scale, an accent can begin to adapt and adopt new linguistic features. By comparing data from the Survey of English Dialects collected during the mid-1950s with recordings made over the later part of the 20th century, and her own recordings, Vicky is hoping to see if a change has occurred, and to determine if sociological and economic changes within the county that have driven population movement are the cause. She hopes to use geographic software (GIS) to analyse and visualise her data.
Vicky has an undergraduate degree in Linguistics from the University of Lancaster, and after working for 10 years in Higher Education policy development, during which time she gained a Diploma in Public Relations, returned to academia to study Linguistics at MPhil level at Trinity College Dublin. Since completing her MPhil, Vicky has begun working in the field of Digital Humanities through EU projects such as DigCurV, Europeana Cloud, DARIAH, and PARTHENOS, but her love of Linguistics drove her to begin her PhD on a part-time basis in 2013. You can follow her work on her blog: https://somersetspeaks.wordpress.com