Top 5 HaCKS for a Sociolinguistics Symposium

The Sociolinguistics Symposia are the world’s largest gatherings of researchers in the field of sociolinguistics and hub to the latest advances in sociolinguistic research. Started in 1976 as a meeting to address the scarcity of sociolinguistic research in the UK, the Sociolinguistics Symposia have now flourished into an international affair as one of the most important events on any sociolinguist’s calendar.

Having attended now my first Sociolinguistics Symposium (SS21) at the University of Murcia just recently, this blog post aims to give practical advice about how to get the most out of (or HaCK, if you excuse the pun) attending a Sociolinguistics Symposium as a young researcher or a newbie to the conference world.

Murcia University Library. Photo by Andrew Bradley.

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What is sociolinguistics?

Hello! Góðan dag! Merhaba! Xαίρετε!

Welcome to HaCKS, an academically-oriented blog about all things sociolinguistic!

But what exactly is sociolinguistics? This first blog post will introduce this concept to those who are unfamiliar with it and give a better insight into the overarching theme of this blog and indeed our seminar series!

Essentially, sociolinguistics is an academic discipline that studies language and society. 

Sociolinguists must ask themselves how language affects society and how society affects language. Research in sociolinguistics generally concerns how language changes according to social context and the roles language plays in different social processes.The study of sociolinguistics explains not only how and why languages change, but also the different factors that cause it. It unearths the complex and multiple interactions between social actors, the language(s) they speak and the society within which they exist. Since language is a fundamental part of our human society, the scope and application of sociolinguistics is astronomical, not to mention highly interdisciplinary. Continue reading