University of Pittsburgh
March 14, 2002

Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University to Host Workshop on "Pittsburghese" March 22-24

Contact:  412-624-4147

EDITORS: The three-day workshop is open to media coverage. Contact Trish White at the number below for more information.

March 15, 2002

PITTSBURGH—Scott F. Kiesling, assistant professor in the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Linguistics, and Barbara Johnstone, professor of rhetoric and linguistics in the Department of English at Carnegie Mellon University, will host a three-day, by-invitation-only workshop from March 22 to 24 titled "Pittsburgh Speech and Society."

A free public wrap-up session, which will systematize what participants have learned at the workshop, will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 24 in Carnegie Mellon's Baker Hall, A53, lower level, new wing.

Kiesling and Johnstone are sociolinguists who are investigating the interaction of language and society. The workshop is the beginning of a linguistics research project on "Pittsburghese" that the pair will conduct. Experts on American dialects and Pittsburgh history and society will help the researchers frame the questions to be answered in their research.

Participants from Pitt include Susan Berk-Seligson, associate professor in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures with a joint appointment in the Department of Linguistics; Sabina Deitrick, assistant professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs; Maeve Eberhardt, a graduate student and teaching assistant in the Department of Linguistics; and Larry Glasco, professor in the Department of History. From Carnegie Mellon are Neeta Bhasin and Dave Demarest, English, and David Miller and Peter Gilmore, history. Representatives from other universities and organizations include Doris Dyen, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, Homestead; Anne Madarasz, Pittsburgh Regional History Center; Joan Guerin, Guerin Design; Sherry Ash and Daniel Johnson, University of Pennsylvania; Beverly Flanigan, Ohio University; Kirk Hazen, West Virginia University; Paul Laxton, University of Liverpool, UK; Bonnie McElhinny, University of Toronto; Michael Montgomery, University of South Carolina; Beth Lee Simon, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne; and Walt Wolfram, North Carolina State University.

For more information, contact Scott F. Kiesling (412/624-5916 or or Barbara Johnstone (412/269-6447 or