UA Language Symposium Receives Grant for Work that Bridges Sciences and Humanities

  • September 20th, 2004

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded $100,000 to fund the post-conference phase of Language Variety in the South, a symposium organized and directed by University of Alabama linguists Dr. Michael D. Picone, professor of French and linguistics, and Dr. Catherine Evans Davies, associate professor of linguistics.

The NEH designated LAVIS a “We the People” project – an initiative to encourage and strengthen the teaching, study and understanding of American history and culture. The initiative supports projects that explore significant events and themes in the nation’s history and culture, as well as advance knowledge of America’s defining principles.

In April 2004 a three-day symposium was held on the UA campus, which included more than 100 different presentations on languages and dialects of the South. Presenters looked at both historical and contemporary aspects of English dialects, indigenous languages, French dialects, Spanish dialects, creole languages and more.

The post-conference phase includes the publication of papers from the LAVIS symposium and the creation of a permanent Web site that will serve as a public resource on the topic of Language Variety in the South.

Linguistics bridges the social sciences and the humanities. While funding for the post-conference phase is coming from NEH, funding for the LAVIS conference itself came from the National Science Foundation, as well as regional humanities centers and the UA College of Arts and Sciences.

The College of Arts and Sciences is the University’s largest division and the largest public liberal arts college in the state with 6,600 students and 360 faculty. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.


Michael Picone, 205/348-8473
Catherine Davies, 205/348-9522


Elizabeth Smith, UA Media Relations, 205/348-3782,

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.