Mirjam Schmalz is a senior assistant in English Linguistics. She studied English Literature and Linguistics and General History at the University of Zurich. She wrote her MA thesis on A Perceptual Dialectology Study on the Dialect Continuum from Newcastle upon Tyne to London.
In June 2021, she defended her doctoral dissertation, supervised by Prof. Dr. Andreas H. Jucker and Prof. Dr. Daniel Schreier. In her PhD research she focused on language attitudes and perceptions in St. Kitts in the Eastern Caribbean, titled Language Attitudes in St. Kitts: Changing Norms of English and Creole in a Caribbean Community. Employing different methodologies (ranging from map drawing tasks to semi-structured interviews), she looked at language attitudes of different demographic groups towards various exonormative and endonormative varieties of English. These groups included a general adult respondent group, as well as a group of children, and a group working in the educational sector.
Currently, she sets up her post-doctoral research project which will focus on the rural north-east of England. Watch this space for more information to follow.
By arrangement (both in person at the English Seminar or via zoom is possible)
Current Courses in the Autumn Semester
B.A. Research Seminar: Structural Outcomes of Language Contact (Thursday 10-12 am)
B.A. Research Seminar: Language Use in the Caribbean (Friday 12-2 pm)
For the time being, the current courses are taught in person at the English Seminar.
B.A. thesis colloquium
B.A. Research Seminars: Dialectology and England’s North East: From General Theory to Hands-on Application; Mental Maps and Perceptions around the Globe, Language Use in the British Isles, Perceptions and Attitudes in World Englishes
Introduction to English Linguistics I + II
Introduction to English Linguistics lecture on the topics of Linguistic Research I, Sociophonetics, Sociolinguistics I + II, Cognitive Linguistics, Multilingualism, and SLA
BA/MA thesis supervision
I'm happy to supervise topics in the fields of sociolinguistics, dialectology, language attitudes, perceptual dialectology, creole linguistics, language acquisition, and/or language policies.
Do contact me should you have questions.
In preparation/In press
In preparation. [As an associate editor]. The Caribbean. In The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of World Englishes. Hoboken: Wiley Blackwell.
In preparation. [with Danae Perez]. "Creole and English in the smaller locations of the Lesser Antilles". In Kingsley Bolton, ed. In The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of World Englishes. Hoboken: Wiley Blackwell.
In preparation. [with Danae Perez]. "English in the Leeward Islands". In Stephanie Hackert, ed. Oxford Handbook of Caribbean English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Fc 2023. [with Philipp Meer]. "Englishes in the Caribbean. Special Issue in World Englishes.
Fc 2023. “Children’s language attitudes in a World Englishes community: A focus on St. Kitts”. In Mirjam Schmalz, Manuela Vida-Mannl, Sarah Buschfeld, and Thorsten Brato, eds. Acquisition and Variation in World Englishes Bridging Paradigms and Rethinking Approaches. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
Fc 2023. [with Manuela Vida-Mannl, Sarah Buschfeld, and Thorsten Brato]. Acquisition and Variation in World Englishes Bridging Paradigms and Rethinking Approaches. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
Fc 2023. “Mapping Perceptions in New Englishes: A Case Study from St. Kitts”. In Guyanne Wilson and Michael Westphal, eds. New Englishes New Methods. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
2022. [with Christoph Purschke]. "Mapping Perceptions and Knowledge of Language: Societal Multilingualism and its Socio-pragmatic Grounding." In Heiko Hausendorf and Andreas H. Jucker, eds. Pragmatics and Space (Handbook of Pragmatics 14). Berlin: De Gruyter, 679-714.
2021. [with Danae Perez] "Complex patterns of variety perception in the Eastern Caribbean: New insights from St. Kitts". In Danae Perez and Eeva Sippola, eds. Postcolonial Language Varieties in the Americas. Berlin: De Gruyter, 269-290.
Recent and Upcoming Conference Papers and Talks
2022. [with Christoph Purschke]. Visuelle Repräsentationen gesellschaftlicher Mehrsprachigkeit im Vergleich: die Schweiz und Luxemburg. Colloque vun der Luxemburgistik, Luxemburg, 2. Mai.
2021. Children and Attitudinal Change in St. Kitts. Sixth conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE), Joensuu, June 2-5.
2021. Non-standard solidarity or linguistic insecurity: The cases of St. Kitts and Northern England. Conference of the Swiss Association of University Teachers of English (SAUTE), Zurich, May 14-15.
2020. Changing Language Attitudes and Identity in St. Kitts. 23rd Biennial Conference of the Society of Caribbean Linguistics (SCL). St Augustine, [cancelled due to Covid-19].
2020. [with Philipp Meer] Between exo- and endonormativity? A comparison of teachers' perceptions of standards of English in St. Kitts and Trinidad. 23rd Biennial Conference of the Society of Caribbean Linguistics (SCL). St Augustine, [cancelled due to Covid-19].
2020. Children and Attitudinal Change in St. Kitts. Sixth conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE), Joensuu, [postponed due to Covid-19].
2020. [with Sandra Jansen] What's goose doing in Northumberland? Ninth Northern Englishes Workshop, Salfor, [postponed due to Covid-19].
2019. Mapping Perceptions in New Englishes. 8th Biennial International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English (BICLCE), Bamberg, September 26-28.
2019. Mapping Attitudes and Perceptions towards Language Variation in St. Kitts. The 10th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE10), Leeuwarden / Ljouwert, June 26-29.
2019. The Interplay of Language Perceptions and Education in St. Kitts. International Association for World Englishes (IAWE), Limerick, June 20-22.
2019. Colonial Standards or Local Norms - Perceptions in St. Kitts. Swiss Work of English Language and Linguistics (SWELL), Lausanne, March 29.
2018. Perceptions and Attitudes in St. Kitts. Workshop: Language Attitude Research in the Caribbean, Münster, December 14.
2018. Perceptual Dialectology and Politeness in St. Kitts: A New Methodological Approach. Ninth Congress of the International Society for Dialectology and Geolinguistics, Vilnius, July 23-27.
2018. [with Danae Perez] The perception of local varieties in St. Kitts. Fifth conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE), London, July 17-20.
2018. Changing attitudes in the Caribbean: A Case Study in St. Kitts. Zurich Conference on Postcolonial Language Studies – Changes and Challenges, Zurich, June 4-6.
2018. Attitudes Along the Dialect Continuum from Newcastle to London [Poster]. Eighth Northern Englishes Workshop, Newcastle, March 27-28.
2017. Perceptual Politeness in St. Kitts: A New Methodological Approach. Language and Perception/Sprache und Wahrnehmung, Bern, September 7-9.
2019. Perceptions of Language Structures in the Caribbean. Guest lecture in New Englishes (B.A. Seminar), University of Zurich, November 21.
2019. Guest lecturer at Aarhus University for Perceptual Dialectology, Attitudes in World Englishes and Data Processing in Studies on Perceptions and Attitudes. Aarhus University, Aarhus, June 10-14.
2018. History of Kittitian English. Guest lecture in A History of Word Englishes (B.A. Seminar), University of Zurich, Zurich, October 18.
2018. Perceptual Dialectology in the Caribbean with a focus on St. Kitts. Guest lecture in Varieties of English (M.A. Seminar), University of Konstanz, Konstanz, July 5.
2020. From Scotland to South Africa, and St. Lucia – How English Differs Across the Globe I + II. Workshop offered at the English Department. University of Zurich, Zurich, October.
2020. Stigmatised: Dialects, Standard Varieties, and Language Attitudes. ES Alumni Colloquium 2020, University of Zurich, Zurich, August 25.
2019. [with Barbara Straumann] Einführung zum Theaterstück Pygmalion. Theater Winterthur, Winterthur, March 19.