Alex D’Arcy’s quick links         

home        publications        research        teaching        cv [.pdf]        UVic linguistics




the UVic sociolinguistics research lab: SLRL






Established January 2010.


Director: Dr. Alexandra D’Arcy


The SocioLinguistics Research Lab (SLRL) is located in Clearihue D228c. It currently hosts 3 iMac workstations, networked via a dedicated server. It also has free workspace for students with portable laptops. The SLRL hosts LaBB-CAT, a browser-based, digitally interactive database and search engine that enables researchers to search across (and interact with) sound files. The SLRL is also home to iSLR Field Recorder™, a custom iPod/iPad App for sociolinguistic fieldwork that was designed in consultation with us by the department’s resident programmer/consultant.










iSLR Field Recorder is now available at the iTunes store, free. iSLR features automatic randomization of word lists, font size adjustment, interval adjustment, and remote upload of sound and .txt file copies of presented lists. Download it and try it now. Getting word list data has never been easier, or more fun.


How to cite iSLR:

D’Arcy, Alexandra and Chris Coey. 2013. iSLR Field Recorder, version 1.1. Department of Linguistics, University of Victoria.




The SLRL currently houses (and holds site licenses for) the following corpora, all of which are available for use by students and faculty in the Department:


Private corpora:

Canterbury Regional Corpus, New Zealand (compiled 2006)

St. John’s Youth English Corpus (compiled 2000)

Survey of Vancouver English (compiled 1978–1981)

Spoken English in Victoria Corpus (compiled 2010– )

Diachronic Corpus of Victoria English, DCVE (under construction)

Synchronic Corpus of Victoria English, SCVE (under construction)


Public corpora:

Buckeye Speech Corpus

Penn-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Middle English, 2nd edition

Penn-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Early Modern English

Penn Parsed Corpus of Modern British English

International Corpus of English: Canada

International Corpus of English: Hong Kong

International Corpus of English: India

International Corpus of English: Jamaica

International Corpus of English: Philippines

International Corpus of English: Singapore

International Corpus of English: South Africa



Ongoing research and current RAs in SLRL:

Although just established in January 2010, the lab has a number of projects already underway. Our big project is the Victoria English Project, funded by SSHRC. For more information, see Alex’s research page.


1. The Victoria English Project (SSHRC-funded)

DATA: (1) Diachronic Corpus of Victoria English [DCVE] (UVic Archives, BC Archives (spoken; written)) and (2) Synchronic Corpus of Victoria English [SCVE] (spoken)…


UPDATE: We are very excited to report that the SCVE is now complete. It features 162 Victorians, ages 14–98, born in the years 1913 to 1996. Thank you Victoria for your generous participation in this project!


Currently in the lab: Wyatt Galloway (Lab Manager), Caitlin Croteau, Emily Crowder, Nicole Edgar, Melissa So, Eva Ellis, & Alesia Malec


Some preliminary points from this project were presented at NWAV 40 in October 2011; read the Times Colonist story here. A paper was also presented at ICEHL 17 in August 2012, along with papers at SHEL 8 (September 2013) and NWAV 42 (October 2013). Alex D’Arcy also made a public presentation as part of the 50th Anniversary Deans’ Lecture Series on December 5 2012, in Victoria, at the Legacy Arts Gallery.


2. Intensification in longitudinal perspective

RAs: Michael Wynne, spring 2010; Stefan Virtue, spring and summer 2010; Taylor Marie Young, fall 2010–spring 2011; Jennifer Lancaster, fall 2011–spring 2012; Rachelle Funk, summer 2012.

DATA: the ONZE Archive


So far this work has been presented at CVC IV, June 2010, NWAV 39, November 2010, and LVC-A 1, July 2013.


3. A variationist perspective on grammaticalization and its consequences for linguistic theory

RA: Luke Maynard, fall 2010–

DATA: the Penn Parsed Corpora of Historical English


Some of the preliminary points from this project were presented at LSA 85 in January 2011.


4. Between the stall walls*

RAs: Alesia Malec and Nick Picard, fall 2010–spring 2011

DATA: Victoria graffiti

* This was the title of one of my student’s papers in LING395 (spring 2010), the inspiration for this project


5. Variable, more variable, variablest? 100 years of adjective comparison

RA: Alesia Malec, fall 2010–spring 2011

DATA: the ONZE Archive


This work was presented at Methods XIV in August 2011.


6. Explorations in local Indigenous Englishes

RA: Sheena Gering

DATA: in development


7. Internet language: part 1, Chatspeak; part 2, Emoticons

RAs: Rachelle Funk, Pamela Lehmann, Melissa Yue (fall 2011–spring 2012)

DATA: two online surveys



Visitors to SLRL:


* Prof. Dr. Brigitte Halford, Associate Professor: Englisches Seminar, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, August 2010

* David Lorenz, PhD student: Frequenzeffekte in der Sprache, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, September–November 2011

* Dr. Rob Podesva, Assistant Professor, Linguistics, Stanford, March 2012

* Dr. Malcah Yaeger-Dror, Researcher, Cognitive Science, University of Arizona, May 2012

* Prof. Dr. Miriam Locher, Chair of English Linguistics, University of Basel, November 2012

* Dr. Anita Szakay, PhD Alumna, Linguistics, University of British Columbia, December 2012

* Dr. Celeste Rodriguez Louro, Assistant Professor, Linguistics, University of Western Australia, January 2013



NEWS: Sociolinguistics in the news


Alex D’Arcy appeared on Shaw TV news (The Daily) in March 2011 to discuss chatspeak. Watch the story.


In November 2011, The Times Columnist ran a piece by Peigi McGillivray about the Victoria English Project. Access it here. Access the rest of the press on the Project (a UVic Top Story of 2011) via Alex’s research page.



NEWS: SLRL-sponsored Workshops


In May 2011, SLRL sponsored CVC V, a student-led workshop that brings together researchers working within the variationist framework on Canadian language varieties or at Canadian institutions. Visit the website for more information.


In March 2014, UVic is hosting the inaugural CWSL workshop, also a student-led event. It will bring together students (undergraduate and graduate) who are working on sociolinguistics topics on the Cascadia region or at institutions within the region. Visit the webpage for more information.





Standard Research Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada: “Victoria English: Its development and current state” (2011–2014)


The lab has received funding from the following sources at the University of Victoria:

Š   a SSHRC Internal Research Grant, Faculty of Humanities (2010–2011)

Š   a SSHRC Internal Research Grant Top-Up Award, Office of Research Services (2011–2012)

Š   a 4A Internal Research Grant, Office of Research Services (2010–2011)

Š   the Work Study Program, Students Awards and Financial Aid (2010, 2010–2011, 2011–2012, 2012–2013, 2013–2014)


The lab has also received generous start-up support from the Faculty of Humanities at UVic and from the UVic Scholars’ Fund.