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English Language and Linguistics

Dr Mark Sebba

Dr Mark Sebba

Reader

Lancaster University
Bailrigg
Lancaster
United Kingdom
LA1 4YD


Tel: +44 (0) 1524 510853
Location: County South

Affiliations

Lancaster Literacy Research Centre

My most recent interest is in written bilingual and multilingual texts - magazines, websites, signs and other texts which contain a mixture of languages. Another main interest of mine is in the Sociolinguistics of Orthography, a relatively unexplored field which examines the cultural and social aspects of spelling and writing systems. My other main interests are in pidgin and creole languages and in the analysis of conversational code switching in bilingual communities.

PhD Supervision Interests

I would be interested in supervising research on the following topics:

Bilingualism, code-switching (particularly written code-switching, multilingual literacies and multilingual texts and signs), pidgins and creoles, sociolinguistics of orthography

Research Interests

My most recent interest is in written bilingual and multilingual texts - magazines, websites, emails and other texts which contain a mixture of languages. I am now co-editing a book on the topic with Shahrzad Mahootian and Carla Jonsson. My approach includes what has traditionally been called code-switching (i.e. the use of two languages within one text) but goes beyond that, to explore multilingual texts as literacy practices which draw on different repertoires of languages, visual images, spatial arrangements etc. See my plenary lecture from the Third Conference on Language Contact in Times of Globalization (LCTG3), Unimagined Communities(July 2011).

Another main interest of mine is in the Sociolinguistics of Orthography, a relatively unexplored field which examines the cultural and social aspects of spelling and writing systems. My book Spelling and Society: The culture and politics of orthography around the world was published by Cambridge University Press in 2007. It should be appearing in paperback (printed on demand) by mid-2011, at a price of £17.99, orUS$30.99.One recent review is by Harriet Ottenheimer in Language Documentation and Conservation 3:2 (2009), free to download at http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/ldc/December2009/ . Her review begins with the kind words: 'Spelling and society is a very important book'. Other reviews have so far appeared in Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 31: 2, 217 — 218 (by Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin),The Journal of American Culture 31, 250-251 (2008), English in Education (Vol.42 No.2, 2008), Written Language and Literacy Vol 11, No 2 (2008), pp.235-236 , Functions of Language 16:1. 161-164 (2009) and California Linguistic Notes (Volume XXXIII, No. 1 Winter, 2008). At least one other person has read the book too, according to the THES.

My plenary lecture at the 2009 Language Policy and Language Learning conference in Limerick, Unregulated Spaces, gives an idea of my interests in and views on the two topics above.

I am on the editorial board of the journal Writing Systems Research and have written an article on "Sociolinguistic approaches to writing systems research" which appears in the first issue. You can view the first issue free online here.

My other main interests have been in pidgin and creole languages and in the analysis of conversational code switching in bilingual communities - interests which come together in my (1993) book, London Jamaican (Longman), which is about the use of English and Creole among Caribbeans in London.

From here you can link to my British Creole Resources page which has information and teaching materials relating to Creole in Britain.

I am also interested in corpus linguistics - especially problems of bilingual spoken corpora - and have set up a corpus of written British Creole. I am a member of the Steering Committee of the LIPPS group, which is developing standards for the transcription and encoding of multilingual data, and aims to set up an international database of code-switching data. Our publication, the LIDES Coding Manual: A Document for Preparing and Analysing Language Interaction Data contains advice, guidelines and recommended transcription standards for researchers with bilingual data.

Prior to coming to Lancaster I did research in the field of syntax, and wrote The Syntax of Serial Verbs (Benjamins, 1987), a book which deals with a construction type found in creole languages, West African languages and Chinese. I have previously done freelance film and video work. My book Contact Languages: pidgins and creoles was published by Macmillan in 1997.

Taking A-level English Language? Link to the Linguistics Department's English Language A-level Web Site

Current Teaching

Undergraduate: Introduction to Language in Society (LING153), Language and Identities: gender, ethnicity and class (LING307)

Postgraduate: Bilingualism, Qualitative research methods.

Web Links

My personal web page with information about my research interests and publications

http://www.ling.lancs.ac.uk/staff/mark/sebweb11

Additional Information

Publications

Mark Sebba - publications arranged by topic (most recent first)

Sociolinguistics of orthography

(to appear 2011) 'Introduction: Orthography as Social Action' In Alexandra Jaffe, Jannis Androutsopoulos, Mark Sebba, Sally Johnson (eds) Orthography as Social Action: Scripts, Spelling, Identity and Power. Mouton De Gruyter.

2009 "Sociolinguistic approaches to writing systems research". Writing Systems Research 1.1., 35-49. Read the article here.

2009 'Spelling as a social practice'. In Maybin, Janet and Joan Swann (eds) Routledge Companion to English Language Studies. London, Routledge.

2007 Spelling and Society: The Culture and Politics of orthography around the world. Cambridge U.P.

2006 'Ideology and Alphabets in the former USSR.' Language Problems and Language Planning 30:2 (2006), 99-125. [Working paper version downloadable here]

2003 'Spelling rebellion'. In Discourse Constructions of Youth Identities, ed. J. Androutsopoulos and A. Georgakopoulou, pp.151-172. Amsterdam, Benjamins

2000 Orthography as literacy: how Manx was 'reduced to writing'. In N. Ostler and B. Rudes, eds., Endangered Languages and Literacy: proceedings of the fourth FEL Conference, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, 21-24 September 2000, pp. 63-70. [Working paper version downloadable here]

2000 'Orthography and ideology: issues in Sranan spelling.' Linguistics 38-5, 925-948.

1998 Phonology meets ideology: the meaning of orthographic practices in British Creole. Language Problems and Language Planning 22:1, 19-47.

Written code-switching, mixed language texts and the linguistic landscape

(forthcoming) 'Researching and theorising mixed-language texts': To appear in Sebba, M, Mahootian, S and Jonsson, C (eds). "Language mixing and code-switching in writing: approaches to mixed-language written discourse". Routledge.

(in preparation) 'Multilingualism in written discourse: approaches to the analysis of multilingual texts'. (Please email me to request copy, July/August 2011)

(2010) A multimodal analytical framework for multilingual texts. (Draft no longer available).

(2010) 'Reading the multilingual textual space'. Paper presented at Sociolinguistics Symposium 18, Southampton, 4th September 2010.

(2010) Review of Peter Backhaus (2005) Linguistic Landscapes: A Comparative Study of Urban Multilingualism in Tokyo. Writing Systems Research 2. Download pdf version here. doi: 10.1093/wsr/wsp006

(2010) 'Discourses in transit'. In Semiotic Landscapes: Language, Image, Space edited by Adam Jaworski and Crispin Thurlow, pp. 59-76. Continuum.

(2009)'Unregulated Spaces', plenary lecture, Language Policy and Language Learning conference, University ofLimerick, Ireland.

(2008) Mixed-language texts and websites: a framework for analysis. (Unpublished conference paper, SS17, Amsterdam)

2006 'Written code-switching' to the 'semiotics of mixed-language texts': a new approach to plurilingual writings (Unpublished conference paper, SS16, Limerick)

2005 Towards a typology and analytical framework for mixed-language texts (Unpublished conference paper, ISB5, Barcelona)

2002 Regulated Spaces: language alternation in writing. (Unpublished conference paper for colloquium on Code-Switching, Class and Ideology 2nd International Symposium on Bilingualism, SIB2002, Vigo)

Code-switching and bilingual communities

(to appear 2011) Dray, Susan and Sebba, Mark. "Practices, ethnicity and authenticity: 'Creole' and youth language in a British inner-city community". In Variation in the Caribbean: From creole continua to individual agency edited by Lars Hinrichs and Joseph Farquharson. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Postprint here.

(2010) 'Societal Bilingualism' In: The SAGE Handbook of Sociolinguistics, edited by Ruth Wodak, Barbara Johnstone and Paul Kerswill. Los Angeles/London, Sage Publications. Preprint here .

2009 "On the notions of congruence and convergence in code-switching", in Barbara E. Bullock and Almeida Jacqueline Toribio (eds) The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Code-Switching, pp. 40-57. Cambridge University Press.

2007 Identity and language construction in an online community: the case of 'Ali G'. In Peter Auer (ed.) Social identity and communicative styles - An alternative approach to linguistic variability. Mouton/de Gruyter.

2006 Dray, Susan and Mark Sebba: Who are the 'authentic' speakers? Youth language practices in a once 'Creole-speaking community' and the notion of ethnicity. (Unpublished conference paper, SS16, Limerick)

2005 Dray, Susan and Mark Sebba: Language practices and identities of young 'Caribbeans' in Manchester (Unpublished conference paper, BAAL Annual Meeting 2005, Bristol)

2003 'Will the real impersonator please stand up? Language and identity in the Ali G websites'. Arbeiten aus Anglistik und Amerikanistik 28:2, 279-304.

2002 Sebba, Mark and Shirley Tate: '"Global" and "local" identities in the discourses of British born Caribbeans.' International Journal of Bilingualism 6:1, 75-89

2000 "What Is 'Mother Tongue'? Some Problems Posed by London Jamaican". In: T. Acton and M. Dalphinis, eds. Language Blacks and Gypsies, Languages without a written tradition and their role in education, pp.109-121. London, Whiting & Birch.

2000 "Writing Switching" in British Creole. In K. Jones and M. Martin-Jones (eds.) Multilingual Literacies: Reading and writing different worlds, pp. 171-187. Amsterdam, John Benjamins.

1998 Sebba, M. and A.J. Wootton: "We, They and Identity:Sequential vs. Identity-related Explanation in Code-switching". In P.Auer (ed.), Code-switching in conversation, pp.262-289. London, Routledge.

1998 A congruence approach to the syntax of codeswitching. International Journal of Bilingualism 2:1, 1-19.

Corpora and bilingual data-sharing

2007 Sebba, Mark and Dray, Susan 'Developing and using a corpus of written Creole.' In Karen Corrigan et al. (eds) Creating and Digitizing Language Corpora: Vol. 1, Synchronic Databases, pp. 181-204. London: Palgrave. (*)

2007 Penelope Gardner-Chloros, Melissa Moyer and Mark Sebba: 'Coding and Analyzing Multilingual Data: The LIDES Project'. Sebba, Mark and Dray, Susan 'Developing and using a corpus of written Creole.' In Karen Corrigan et al. (eds) Creating and Digitizing Language Corpora: Vol. 1, Synchronic Databases, pp. 91-120. London: Palgrave. (*)

2003 Sebba, Mark and Dray, Susan 'Is it Creole, is it English, is it valid? Developing and using a corpus of unstandardised written language'. In: Wilson A, Rayson P, McEnery AM (eds). Corpus Linguistics by the Lune: A Festschrift for Geoffrey Leech. Peter Lang, Frankfurt/Main. (Lodz Studies in Language series), 223-239.

2000 The LIPPS Group (Language Interaction in Plurilingual and Plurilectal Speakers): The LIDES Coding Manual. A Document for Preparing and Analysing Language Interaction Data. International Journal of Bilingualism 4:2, 131-270.

1999 Sebba, Mark, Sally Kedge and Susan Dray. The Corpus of Written British Creole: a user's guide. http://www.ling.lancs.ac.uk/staff/mark/cwbc/cwbcman.htm

1999 Penelope Gardner-Chloros, Roeland van Hout, Melissa Moyer and Mark Sebba: 'Sharing Bilingual Data with other Researchers: steps to an international database'. (10 000 word paper) International Journal of Bilingualism, Vol 3 No 4, 1999.

1991 The Adequacy of Corpora in Machine Translation. Applied Computer Translation 1:1, 15-27.

Pidgins and Creoles

(2009) Review of Ansaldo, Matthews and Lim (eds.) Deconstructing Creole. Language 85:2, 454-457.

(2009) 'Pidgin and Creole Englishes'. In Culpeper, J., Katamba, F., Kerswill, P., Wodak, R. and McEnery, T. (eds) English Language: Description, Variation and Contexts, pp. 388-404. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

1997 Contact Languages: Pidgins and Creoles. London: Macmillan.

1993 London Jamaican: language systems in interaction. London: Longman. (Real Language series). 192pp.

1987 The Syntax of Serial Verbs. Amsterdam, Benjamins. (Creole Language Library Vol.2) 227pp.

2013

Making it real: ‘Jamaican’, ‘Jafaican’ and authenticity in the language of British youth

Sebba, M. & Dray, S. 2013 In: Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik. 60, 3, p. 255-273 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Multilingualism in written discourse: An approach to the analysis of multilingual texts

Sebba, M. 02/2013 In: International Journal of Bilingualism. 17, 1, p. 97–118 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

The visual construction of language hierarchy: the case of banknotes, coins and stamps

Sebba, M. 01/2013 In: Journal of Language and Politics. 12, 1, p. 101-125 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2012

Orthography as Social Action: Scripts, Spelling, Identity and Power

Sebba, M. (ed.), Jaffe, A. (ed.), Androutsopoulos, J. (ed.) & Johnson, S. (ed.) 06/2012 Berlin: De Gruyter. 392 p. (Language and Social Processes )

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Introduction - Part IV: Visual and semiotic perspectives on multilingualism

Sebba, M. 2012 Multilingualism, discourse and ethnography. Martin-Jones, M. & Gardner, S. (eds.). London: Routledge, p. 145-148 4 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsOther chapter contribution

Orthography as literacy: how Manx was “reduced to writing”

Sebba, M. 06/2012 Orthography as Social Action: Scripts, Spelling, Identity and Power. Jaffe, A., Androutsopoulos, J., Sebba, M. & Johnson, S. (eds.). Berlin: De Gruyter, p. 161-176 16 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Orthography as social action: Scripts, spelling, identity and power

Sebba, M. 06/2012 Orthography as Social Action: Scripts, spelling, identity and power. Jaffe, A., Androutsopoulos, J., Sebba, M. & Johnson, S. (eds.). Berlin: De Gruyter, p. 1-20 20 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Writing switching in British Creole

Sebba, M. 2012 Language Mixing and Code-Switching in Writing: Approaches to Mixed-Language Written Discourse. Sebba, M., Mahootian, S. & Jonsson, C. (eds.). New York and London: Routledge, p. 89-105 17 p. (Routledge Critical Studies in Multilingualism)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Language mixing and code-switching in writing: approaches to mixed-language written discourse.

Sebba, M. (ed.), Mahootian, S. (ed.) & Jonsson, C. (ed.) 1/01/2012 New York and London: Routledge. 275 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Researching and theorising multilingual texts.

Sebba, M. 1/01/2012 Language mixing and code-switching in writing: approaches to mixed-language written discourse.. Sebba, M., Mahootian, S. & Jonsson, C. (eds.). New York and London: Routledge, p. 1-26 26 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

2010

Societal bilingualism.

Sebba, M. 09/2010 The SAGE Handbook of Sociolinguistics. Wodak, R., Johnstone, B. & Kerswill, P. (eds.). Los Angeles, London: Sage, 15 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Discourses in transit.

Sebba, M. 04/2010 Semiotic Landscapes: Language, Image, Space.. Jaworski, A. & Thurlow, C. (eds.). London: Continuum, 298 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2009

Spelling as a social practice

Sebba, M. 2009 Routledge Companion to English Language Studies. Maybin, J. & Swann, J. (eds.). London: Routledge, p. 243-257 15 p. (Routledge Companions)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

On the notions of congruence and convergence in code-switching

Sebba, M. 2009 The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Code-Switching. Bullock, B. E. & Toribio, A. J. (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 40-57 18 p. (Cambridge Handbooks in Language and Linguistics)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Sociolinguistic approaches to writing systems research.

Sebba, M. 2009 In: Writing Systems Research. 1, 1, p. 35-49 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2007

British Black English.

Dray, S. & Sebba, M. 2007 Oxford Companion to Black British History. Dabydeen, D. & Gilmore, J. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Caribbean Creoles and British Black English.

Sebba, M. 2007 Language in the British Isles. Britain, D. (ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 276-292 17 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

'Coding and Analyzing Multilingual Data: The LIDES Project'.

Gardner-Chloros, P., Moyer, M. & Sebba, M. 2007 Creating and Digitizing Language Corpora. Corrigan, K. (ed.). London: Palgrave Macmillan, Vol. Vol. 1

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Developing and using a corpus of written Creole.

Sebba, M. & Dray, S. 2007 Creating and Digitizing Language Corpora:. Corrigan, K. (ed.). London: Palgrave Macmillan, Vol. Vol. 1

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Identity and language construction in an online community: the case of 'Ali G'.

Sebba, M. 2007 Social identity and communicative styles - An alternative approach to linguistic variability.. Auer, P. (ed.). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, p. 361-392 32 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Spelling and Society: The Culture and Politics of orthography around the world.

Sebba, M. 2007 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 189 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

2006

Ideology and Alphabets in the former USSR.

Sebba, M. 2006 In: Language Problems and Language Planning. 30, 2, p. 99-125 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2004

British Creole: morphology and syntax.

Sebba, M. 2004 A handbook of varieties of English: a multimedia reference tool. Kortmann, B. & Schneider, E. W. (eds.). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, p. 196-208 13 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2003

Will the real impersonator please stand up? Language and identity in the Ali G websites.

Sebba, M. 2003 In: Arbeiten aus Anglistik und Amerikanistik (AAA). 28, 2, p. 279-304 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Is it Creole, is it English, is it valid? Developing and using a corpus of unstandardised written language.

Sebba, M. & Dray, S. 2003 Corpus linguistics by the Lune: a festschrift for Geoffrey Leech. Wilson, A., Rayson, P. & McEnery, A. M. (eds.). 8 ed. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, p. 223-239 17 p. (Łódź studies in language;)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Spelling rebellion.

Sebba, M. 2003 Discourse constructions of youth identities. Androutsopoulos, J. & Georgakopoulou, A. (eds.). 110 ed. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, p. 151-172 22 p. (Pragmatics & beyond;)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Ideology and alphabets in the former USSR.

Sebba, M. 2003

Research output: Working paper

2002

‘Global’ and ‘local’ identities in the discourses of British born Caribbeans

Sebba, M. & Tate, S. 03/2002 In: International Journal of Bilingualism. 6, 1, p. 75-89 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2001

Spelling.

Sebba, M. 2001 International encyclopedia of the social and behavioural sciences. Elsevier Science Publishing

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Serial verbs.

Sebba, M. 2001 International encyclopedia of the social and behavioural sciences. Elsevier Science Publishing

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Review of Gunther Kress, ‘Early spelling: between convention and creativity’.

Sebba, M. 2001 In: Written Language and Literacy. 4, 2, p. 261-264 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Orthography.

Sebba, M. 2001 Concise encyclopedia of sociolinguistics. Elsevier Science Publishing

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2000

Orthography as literacy: how Manx was ‘reduced to writing’.

Sebba, M., Ostler, N. (ed.) & Rudes, B. (ed.) 09/2000 p. 63-70 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper

Building a corpus of spoken sylheti.

Baker, J. P., Lie, M., McEnery, A. M. & Sebba, M. 12/2000 In: Literary and Linguistic Computing. 15, 4, p. 421-432 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

What is 'Mother Tongue'?: some problems posed by London Jamaican

Sebba, M. 2000 Language Blacks and Gypsies, Languages without a written tradition and their role in education. Acton, T. & Dalphinis, M. (eds.). London: Whiting and Birch, p. 109-121 13 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

The LIPPS group (language interaction in plurilingual and plurilectal speakers): the LIDES coding manual: a document for preparing and analysing language interaction data.

Sebba, M., Barnett, R., Codo, E., Eppler, E., Forcadell, M., Gardner-Chloros, P., Van Hout, R., Moyer, M., Torras, M. C., Turell, M. T., Starren, M. & Wensing, S. 06/2000

Research output: Working paper

Writing switching in British Creole.

Sebba, M. 2000 Multilingual literacies: reading and writing different worlds. Jones, K. & Martin-Jones, M. (eds.). Amsterdam: John Benjamins, p. 171-187 17 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Orthography and ideology: issues in Sranan spelling.

Sebba, M. 2000 In: Linguistics. 38, 5, p. 925-948 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

1999

Building a corpus of spoken sylheti.

Lie, M., Baker, P., McEnery, A. M. & Sebba, M. 1999 Proceedings of the 3rd conference of the foundation for endangered languages. Ostler, N. (ed.). Bath: Foundation for Endangered Languages, p. 67-75 9 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

The corpus of written British Creole: a user’s guide.

Sebba, M., Kedge, S. & Dray, S. 1999

Research output: Working paper

Sharing bilingual data with other researchers: steps to an international database.

Gardner-Chloros, P., Van Hout, R., Moyer, M. & Sebba, M. 12/1999 In: International Journal of Bilingualism. 3, 4, p. 395-424 30 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

 

 

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