Carnegie Mellon University
January 04, 2011

Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon Linguists To Present At National Linguistic Conference in "Dahntahn" Pittsburgh

Barbara Johnstone's Keynote Presentation is on "Speaking Pittsburghese" 'n'@

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Contact: Shilo Raube / 412-268-6094 /

Event: This week, when top linguistic scholars from around the world gather in "dahntahn" Pittsburgh for their annual meeting, they will experience what makes the city's speech distinctive from any other when two Carnegie Mellon University linguistics experts, Barbara Johnstone and Mandy Simons, take the podium at the Linguistic Society of America's (LSA) 85th Annual Meeting.

Johnstone, an English professor who works at the intersection of rhetoric, linguistics and critical theory, will give a keynote presentation on "Speaking Pittsburghese: The Social History of Pittsburgh Speech." In her talk, she will examine the many special characteristics of Pittsburgh speech and how in the second half of the 20th century, "Pittsburghese" became identified as a highly visible dialect. She will link the speech to local identity and will discuss how this happened in Pittsburgh and not in every American city.

Along with a team of collaborators, Simons, an associate professor of philosophy who launched Carnegie Mellon's growing linguistics major, will present "Towards a Taxonomy of Projective Content." This talk will share some results of an NSF sponsored research project aimed at better understanding different types of linguistically conveyed meaning, using data from a variety of languages.

In addition to the LSA program, the meeting will feature sessions sponsored by the American Dialect Society, American Name Society, North American Association for the History of Language Sciences, Society for Pidgin and Creole Languages, and the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas.  For complete program details, visit

When:  Thursday - Sunday, Jan. 6-9

Where: Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown Hotel, 600 Commonwealth Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Media:  To obtain a press badge, please contact Alyson Reed, LSA executive director, at