PhD Student

Merryn Davies-Deacon

Queen’s University Belfast

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As a member of strand 3 of the MEITS project, Merryn is working on regional minority languages of France, with a particular focus on Breton. This PhD research considers questions relating to ‘new speaker’ identity, national and regional language policy, and in particular the relationship between use of standard/non-standard lexemes and new speaker status, drawing on a corpus of Breton taken from media sources as well as interviews with speakers and policymakers. This work aims to assess critically both the ‘new speaker’ category found in academic discourse and the effectiveness of French regional language policy in catering for ‘new speakers’ of various kinds. Merryn’s current work is centred on data collection and annotation in preparation for quantitative analysis of the corpus of Breton, to be carried out later this year. Prior to joining MEITS, Merryn studied at Oxford and York, at the latter undertaking an MA by research which focused on ideological issues in orthography development in the Cornish language revival and the acceptance of standard orthographies in Cornish and Breton.

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