PAC 2017 – Phonology and interphonology of contemporary English: from native corpora to learner corpora


International conference
Thursday, September 28th to Saturday, September 30th 2017
@ Université Paris Nanterre / Paris Nanterre University

Guest Speakers
Jacques Durand, Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès
Dan Frost, Université de Grenoble
Patrick Honeybone, University of Edinburgh

All papers focusing on the main theme summarized by the title of the
conference are welcome but, to contextualize this forthcoming event,
participants should be aware that PAC 2017 is a logical extension of
the conferences that the PAC project has organized annually since
2000, on a European level, at the universities of Toulouse II,
Montpellier III and Aix-Marseille I, and reflects the developing
activities of this project.
All contributions on the phonology and phonetics of contemporary
English as well as on the interphonology of English are welcome.


The general PAC session will be dedicated to the following theme:
?Usage-based accounts and phonological models: how to articulate
phonetic-acoustic studies and phonological theory??.

In recent years, usage-based accounts, especially within the framework
of Exemplar Theory (Pierrehumbert 2001, 2006), have been put forward
as relevant explanations for various phenomena observed, on the basis
of oral corpora, in the different varieties of oral English. By
relying on frequency effects, such accounts have shed light on the
emergence and evolution of New Zealand and Australian English
(Trudgill 2004, Gordon et al. 2004) or on the dynamics of rhoticity
and r-sandhi phenomena in contemporary non-rhotic varieties (Cox et
al. 2014) for example. However, such accounts are often criticised for
lacking phonological abstraction and for not being able to fully
account for the phenomena in question as they do not model their
underlying mechanisms at the phonological level. That is why many
phonologists have rejected these accounts. However, other phonologists
have shown how the results provided by phonetic-acoustic studies and
usage-based accounts of corpora can lend themselves to theoretical
analyses and help model the emergence and evolution of phenomena at
the phonological level (see Patrick Honeybone?s work on T-to-R in
Liverpool English (to appear) for an example of such an approach).


The interphonology session will be dedicated to the following theme:
?Variation, correctness and correction?. We encourage participants to
investigate the phonetic and phonological systems developed by
non-native speakers/learners of English who have command of English
either as a foreign language (EFL) or a second language (ESL) in
various parts of the world and in different contexts of communication.
Interphonology will be discussed both as a theoretical, linguistic
construct and empirically by looking into aspects of the learners? new
phonological system, while in the process of establishing itself or
when it has already been stabilised and/or regularised. Inter-speaker
and intra-speaker variation will also be central to our study of
interphonology to understand, for instance, how segmental variability
is integrated in the newly developed phonological system and how the
phonologies of two (or more) languages at work mutually influence each
other. ?Correction? can be envisaged as a didactic tool for improving
students? oral performances. It can also be rejected on theoretical
grounds. It can be tackled as the adaptation process, or modification
process, put in place by students when trying to reach specific
phonological or phonetic targets. ?Correctness? can constitute a goal
as far as communication and interaction in English are concerned for
learners. It can also be questioned as a pedagogical goal, for
instance with the prevalence of RP as a target accent in the French
academic context. The problem of conciliating variation and correction
in the study / teaching of English as a foreign or second language can
lend itself to relevant reflections here.

Submission of papers

Abstracts should be no longer than one side of A4, with 2.5 cm
margins, single-spaced, with a font size no smaller than 12, and with
normal character spacing. All examples and references in the abstract
should be included on the one single page, but it is enough, when
referring to previous work, to cite “Author (Date)” in the body of the
abstract – you do not need to include the full reference. Please send
two copies of your abstract – one of these should be anonymous and one
should include your name, affiliation and email at the top of the
page, directly below the title. All abstracts will be reviewed
anonymously by members of the scientific committee or other experts in
the field. The named file should be camera-ready, as it will be used
in the abstracts booklet if the proposal is accepted.

Abstracts should be submitted in the same form, in a PDF file, by
email to with copy to and

Time for papers: 30 minutes, plus 15 minutes for questions.

Dates and deadlines
Conference: September 28th / September 30th 2017 ?
Final deadline for submissions: March 31st 2017 ?
Results of refereeing of abstracts: Friday June 30th 2017

The PAC project (Phonologie de l?Anglais Contemporain: usages,
variétés et structure – The Phonology of Contemporary English: usage,
varieties and structure) is coordinated by Anne Przewozny-Desriaux
(Toulouse Jean Jaurès University), Sophie Herment (University of
Aix-Marseille), Sylvain Navarro (Paris Diderot University) and Cécile
Viollain (Paris Nanterre University).

The main aims of the project can be summarized as follows: to give a
better picture of spoken English in its unity and diversity
(geographical, social and stylistic); to test existing theoretical
models in phonology, phonetics and sociolinguistics from a synchronic
and diachronic point of view, making room for the systematic study of
variation; to favour communication between specialists in speech and
in phonological theory; to provide corpus-based data and analyses
which will help improve the teaching of English as a foreign language.

To achieve these goals, the cornerstone of the PAC project is the
creation of a large database on contemporary oral English, coming from
a wide variety of linguistic areas in the English-speaking world (such
as Great Britain: Received Pronunciation, Lancashire, York, Ayrshire,
Edinburgh, Glasgow, West Midlands: Birmingham, Black Country ;
Republic of Ireland: Limerick, Cork ; Canada: Alberta, Ontario ;
Australia: New South Wales ; New Zealand: Christchurch, Dunedin ;
India: Delhi English, Mumbai ; USA: California, West Texas, Saint
Louis, Boston, North Carolina). The protocol used is shared by all
researchers in every survey location and was inspired by the classical
methodology of William Labov.

Although significant corpora of oral English already exist, many of
them have been conceived along exclusively sociolinguistic rather than
explicitly phonological lines. In other cases, hardly any information
is available on speakers beyond gender and regional affiliation.
Furthermore, few corpora are based upon a single methodology
permitting a fully comparative analysis of the data.

The approach chosen by the PAC program is modelled on the French PFC
program (La Phonologie du Français Contemporain, coordinated by M.-H.
Côté (Ottawa University), J. Durand (Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès),
B. Laks (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense) and C. Lyche
(Oslo/Tromsø). This parent program has demonstrated how a corpus which
was originally conceived for phonology can lend itself to many other
types of linguistic exploitation: the lexicon, morpho-syntax, prosody,
pragmatics, dialectology, sociolinguistics and interaction.

Anne Przewozny-Desriaux
Dpt des Etudes du Monde Anglophone
Université Toulouse 2 Jean Jaurès
5 allées Antonio Machado
31058 TOULOUSE Cedex 9 France
+ 33 5 61 50 36 04

PAC 2017 and PAC programme available at
LVTI project at