The Linguistic Society of America has named North American Research Network in Historical Sociolinguistics (NARNiHS), as one of the "Sister Societies" that co-locates its meetings with those of LSA. This arrangement encourages more attendees at the LSA meetings, and helps the Sister Societies' members to take advantage of beneficial event arrangements secured by LSA.
PhD student, Kelly E. Wright, a member of the NARNiHS steering committee, was enthusiastic about being selected a Sister Society. “We are very new! The organization itself had its debut at the Linguistic Institute this summer in Lexington, Kentucky. Being a Sister Society is thrilling!” NARNiHS will have one full day of talks at the 2019 LSA Annual Meeting in New York City, and a call-for-papers announcement will be forthcoming.
Historical sociolinguistics is a largely unknown field in North America. If one takes as a baseline definition of historical sociolinguistics that it is the application of sociolinguistic theories and methods to the study of historical language variation and change over time, or more broadly, that it is the study of the interaction of language and society in historical periods, then all areas, subdisciplines, and methodologies easily find their place within the field. Historical sociolinguists in North America come to the field from diverse linguistic backgrounds and are not readily identifiable to each other or do not readily identify with the field. The development of historical sociolinguistics as a field would benefit from closer professional contact and active professional dialog between its practitioners, as well as with colleagues working in related areas across humanities and social science disciplines in North America, and NARNiHS as an organization is dedicated to creating digital and physical spaces which facilitate such contact and collaboration. Becoming an LSA Sister Society was the first step in realizing this goal.
To find out more about the North American Research Network in Historical Sociolinguistics, please contact the NARNiHS steering group at: NARNiHistSoc@gmail.com.