Category Archives: Society Updates

General updates about the society.

Fresher’s Week 2017 Events

Come and see our events this Freshers’ Week!


Exploring Accents

All new linguists and language enthusiasts joining the University of Edinburgh are warmly welcomed to our Exploring Accents event as we traverse the UK and beyond by way of accents. Come along, discover a plethora of pronunciations from all around the world, and maybe even join us on stage to represent your own!


Film Screening: The Linguists

The Linguists is an acclaimed documentary film which explores the daily lives of professional field linguists as they document previously un-researched and undocumented languages. Linguists and non-linguists alike are invited to share both these fascinating discoveries and free popcorn!


LangSoc Meet and Greet

Our informal meet and greet evening is a great chance for you to meet other students from your course in both your year and those above. Get to know LangSoc, who we are, and what we do.

This year’s AGM

We’ve had a fantastic year with this committee, but now it’s time to regroup, maybe say goodbye to some old friends… and hopefully welcome some new ones!

Are you interested in being on the LangSoc committee? At the AGM on 15 March, all committee positions will be up for re-election. Any member of the society can nominate themselves or someone else, or be nominated, for any position.

So don’t be afraid to come along! If you’re thinking about running for a position, please send us an email at just so we know how approximately many people will be standing in the elections.


 Facebook Link

EGM Results


The people have spoken!

Another year, another EGM. Here are the results:


Firstly, we welcome three new members to the committee: our new first-year representative, Brandon Papineau; and our two new ordinary members, Alex Hersey and Griffith Tai.

We also passed one constitutional amendment: Clause 3(k) of the constitution no longer applies to ordinary members.

LangSoc EGM


Are you interested in being on the LangSoc committee? Come along to our EGM and run for one of our three available positions! We’re electing a First Year Rep, a Postgrad Rep, and an Ordinary Member, or, failing the presence of a willing postgrad, two Ordinary Members.

You don’t need any experience to join the committee, all you need is enthusiasm! First Year and Postgrad Reps are responsible for communicating about LangSoc to their respective groups, such as advertising our events and, in the case of the First Year Rep, our peer support program FamiLing. Ordinary Members have no specific role, but instead help out wherever needed.

If you want to run for any of these positions, you can email us here, or just show up on the day and nominate yourself!

This EGM will also vote on a change to the constitution.

BYOP – bring your own pen


Tell us you’re coming on Facebook!

What did LangSoc get up to this year?

Now that the academic year is coming to an end, it’s time to look back on everything we did this year. We’ve had a great year — we hope you did too!

This year, we had a lot of great lectures from Edinburgh and from further afield. In case you missed them, here’s a quick recap:

23/09/15: Gaelic in Scotland: Current Issues and Controversies, by Wilson MacLeod and Rob Dunbar

07/10/15: Baby-Talk Words: Why we have words like ‘tummy’ and ‘choo-choo’, by Mits Ota

21/10/15: Near-relative linguistic contact – contrastive evidence from the history of English, by Robert McColl Millar (University of Aberdeen)

04/11/15: Secondary Linguistic Personality and associative effects in vocabulary mapping of L3, by Ekaterina Matveeva

18/11/15: Postgrad Mini Lecture Night, by Maki Kubota, Laura Arnold, James Reid, and Xin Chen

20/11/15: Reasoning with numbers in language, by Chris Cummins

02/12/15: The range of the possible in tone, by Bert Remijsen

13/01/16: Language and ideology in the sixteenth century: religion, politics, and spelling reform, by Jeremy Smith (University of Glasgow)

27/01/16: Pragmatic and linguistic effects on plural reference: a visual world study, by Eytan Zweig (University of York)

10/02/16: Re-inventing spelling in Middle English (Rhona Alcorn)

24/02/16: Simplicity versus evidence in phonological  change (Josef Fruehwald)

23/03/16: Tartan, haggis, and accents: the value of Scottish English to Scotland’s tourism economy (Lauren Hall-Lew)

We hope you enjoyed these lectures and learned something along the way!

In addition to lectures, we’ve also organised regular biweekly socials as well as the odd book sale this year. Here’s what you missed if we didn’t see you there:

30/09/15: Wug Crawl

14/10/15: Games Night

28/10/15: Halloween Craft Night

11/11/15: Karaoke

25/11/15: Quiz Night

02/12/15: Book Sale

20/01/16: ConLang Screening

03/02/16: Karaoke

04/02/16: Language Teaching Taster: Mystery and Methodology

02/03/16: Bowling

04/03/16: Book Sale

16/03/16: Wug Crawl

Thanks to everyone who came to our events, and we hope to see all of you next year! If you’re still craving more LangSoc, don’t worry — we’ve still got a few tricks up our sleeves:

30/03/16: Murder Mystery

21/04/16: Language Teaching Taster 2.0

27/04-29/04: Revision Sessions

11/05/16: DAVID CRYSTAL Guest Lecture

Hope to see you there, and if not, we’ll see you next year!

LangSoc AGM



Do you want to get more involved in LangSoc? Would you like the opportunity to be on the committee? Do you have bright ideas for how to take the society forwards in the next academic year? Come to our AGM!

All committee positions are up for re-election. Any member of the society can nominate someone or be nominated for any and all positions.

Wednesday 9 March — 16:30 — Appleton Tower LT4

LangSoc at Freshers Week 2015

Be sure to come say hi to LangSoc during and around Freshers Week this year! This is where you can find us:

  • Monday 07 September: University of Edinburgh Open Day — come visit our stand in George Square!
  • Sunday 13 September: Dialect Taster Session, 14:00-15:00, Teviot Underground.
  • Monday 14 September: Film Screening: The Linguists, 14:00-16:00, Teviot Study.
  • Tuesday 15 September: PPLS Societies Meet&Greet,15:00-16:30,  Venue TBC.
  • Wednesday 16 September: Societies Fair, 11:00-16:00, The Pleasance.
  • Thursday 17 September: Societies Fair, 11:00-16:00, The Pleasance.
    Meet&Greet, 19:00-21:00, Teviot Middle Reading Room. 
  • Friday 18 September: PPLS International and Visiting Student Welcome Brunch, 10:30-12:30, 7 George Square Basement Concourse.
  • Saturday 26 September: University of Edinburgh Open Day — come see us in George Square again!

Don’t be afraid to come up to us when you see us!

The New Committee for the Academic Year 2012/13

After yesterday’s AGM we proudly announce the new committee:

  • President: Alasdair MacLeod
  • Vice-President: Aara Cleghorn
  • Treasurer: Shyla Hossain
  • Secretaries: Ryan Hamilton and Signe Jorgensen
  • Social Secretary: Jamie Sutherland
  • Talk Organisers: Lauren Tormey and Jennifer Heyward
  • Academic Families Organiser: Peter Owen
  • Web Masters: Gina Bruckner, Richard Littauer
  • Librarian: Pippa Shoemark
  • Ordinary Members: Samantha Goodrick, Amie Fairs, David Arnold, Christopher Lewin
  • Foreign Correspondents: Gina Bruckner, Richard Littauer, Amy Goodwin-Davies, Kajsa

LangSoc AGM 2011 (and Post-AGM Reception)

Monday 28 February | Appleton Tower lecture theatre 2 | 19:30

LangSoc: Edinburgh University Linguistics & English Language Society invite you to their 2011 Annual General Meeting.

We have much to celebrate this year and hope that many of our members can attend our AGM as we need to thank everyone for helping to contribute to our most successful year ever.

It is also the time when the current committee relinquish their positions and a new committee is voted in. Short presentations from the executive committee will be followed by the nomination and voting process.

Anyone is welcome but only paid members can stand for committee positions or vote on who fills these positions and other decisions

. Please bring your membership card on the day to ease the voting process. There are still a number to be collected if you find you do not yet have yours. The event will be free but membership will also be available on the door at the reduced rate of £2 for anyone wanting to participate.

Being on the committee of a busy society like LangSoc is a great way to learn new skills such as event organisation, public speaking and administration and looks great on a CV as well as being a valuable contribution to the LEL department.

Nominations will be taken for each position and must be seconded, and members are allowed (and encouraged!) to nominate themselves. Nominations can be put forward on the night or emailed in advance (this is essential if you would like to stand but can not make the AGM). Voting will occur when the nominees are out of the room.

We will also be having a post AGM reception to celebrate this year and welcome the new committee in Teviot Committee Room at 21:00.

Below are details of each committee role with key responsibilities; in parentheses is the maximum number of members who can fulfil that role. The committee needs a minimum of president, secretary and treasurer to continue next year.

The Committee Positions:

President (1)
-Be responsible for Society business, projects, events and image;
-Maintain an overview of Society happenings in close consultation with other Committee members;
-Represent the Society and Committee to members and third parties;
-Write letters on behalf of the Society;
-Delegate tasks and ensure the smooth running of the Society and Committee.

Secretary (2)
-Manage and delegate tasks and make sure tasks get done;
-Facilitate and take minutes of Committee meeting/ distribute the minutes;
-Manage the inboxes and write emails to the Society;
-Keep up to date with ongoing Society business, projects and events;
-Liaise with third parties and other organisations.

Treasurer (1)
-Manage and record Society funds and bank account;
-Develop fund-raising initiatives and apply for EUSA grants;-Be responsible for small expenditures, present large expenditures to Committee and distribute funds to other Committee members as necessary;
-Collect membership money, issue membership cards and maintain membership list;
-Arrange floats for events;
-Respond to finance emails.

Social Secretary (2)
-Suggest and collate ideas for social events;
-Research various venues for social events;
-Liaise with other societies to collaborate on social events;
-Liaise the with Academic Families Coordinator to arrange events that specifically lubricate the dynamics of academic families;
-Make venue bookings;
-Publicize upcoming events and encourage members to attend.

Talk Organizer (2)
-Cooperate closely with the Treasurer;
-Suggest ideas for lecture topics of interest;
-Respond to requests for lecture topics;
-Invite speakers to lectures and following pub meal, including being responsible for making financial arrangements known;
-Ensure a varied lecture programme and avoid timetable clashes.

Web Master (1)
-Maintain the LangSoc website, email account and online presence;
-Update website schedule and Facebook events;
-Contribute to the blog;
-Record Soap Vox lectures as allowed by speakers.

Librarian (1)
-Help with ordering and acquiring stock;
-Open the library on a weekly basis;
-Keep a record of resources and maintain the library space;
-Meet with the treasurer to agree on a budget.

Academic Families Coordinator (1)
-Ensure members are aware of Family opportunities;
-Maintain records on spreadsheets and databases;-Organise (at least) one event per semester in conjunction with the Social Secretary;
-Serve as a contact point for information about Academic Families.

Foreign Correspondent (no limit)
-Represent LangSoc abroad;
-Encourage cooperation between Edinburgh’s LangSoc and other academic institutions;
-Write blog posts about your overseas linguistics experiences on the LangSoc blog;
-Liaise with ULAB & IALS

Ordinary Member (no limit)
-Attend regular meetings, events and activities;
-Be involved with the organisation and running of LangSoc;
-Help with admin and other tasks.

We will also be voting to pass a motion to introduce the new role of Postgraduate Officer (key task: to represent the postgraduate p

erspective with an aim of increasing postgraduate participation within LangSoc); this would be a great way to really incorporate LangSoc into the department and increase dialogue with all department constituents, an initiative we have been working on this year with our Academic Families.

There is also the option to create the position of Vice President.

See the FB event page.


Our AGM is intended to be accessible by all; please feel free to contact us beforehand if you require assistance or further information.

A message from the LangSoc library

Hello there!

It’s Laura here, posting as LangSoc librarian.  Wait, LangSoc has a library?  Well, we’re working on it.  I thought I’d post up some info on how the LangSoc library is progressing, how you can help out, and some information on finding resources.

The LangSoc Library

As of just before the end of last semester, LangSoc now has some library space in the DSB along with the PhilSoc library (located in the resource room on the 6th floor)  The next step is to find some material to put on the shelves we have.  At the minute, we’re in the process of approaching various sources, and we’re waiting on replies.  Being low on funding, we’re on the lookout for donations of books that would be useful in an LEL library, and we’re also working towards getting orders out in time for the start of next year.

If anybody out there has any books or other materials that they’re thinking of getting rid of, please get in touch with LangSoc!  There might be a home for them in the library.  Perhaps you have books from previous years that you no longer refer to, but think would be useful to other students?  Or perhaps you’ve acquired too many books during your time at uni and will need a good clear-out before the end of the semester?  If you have anything that you could offer the LangSoc library, please do get in touch.

Obviously, we realise that not everyone can donate books, but you can still help.  Is there a book you’d love to get your hands on?  Maybe something that isn’t in the library?  Or a book that you found invaluable, and that you want other students to benefit from too?  Let us know about it, and we’ll look to putting an order in for next semester.  You can comment on this blog post, email us, or just mention it to a committee member at the next LangSoc event.

But next year is a fair way off – where do I go until then?

Well, the obvious answer would be the main library, but if it was that easy, I wouldn’t be writing a whole blogpost on it.  So here goes: “The LangSoc Guide to Finding Resources”…

Ask around

– Ask your classmates if they’ve managed to find anything useful or interesting.  If you’re both on the same course, then combine your resource knowledge.  If a group of you get together, you’ll have a great pool of material.  Classmates may be able to lend you books, let you photocopy bits and pieces, or send you links that you might not have found yourself.

– Ask LangSoc.  Next time you’re at the pub on a Wednesday, why not ask some LangSoc members if they have any recommendations?  There’s a fair chance you’ll find someone who’s taken the same class and can guide you to some great material.  (You don’t need to restrict this to Wednesday night pub time…)

– Ask tutors or lecturers.  If you’re really struggling to find things, get in touch with a tutor or lecturer.  Whilst you can’t guarantee that they’ll lend things out, they will certainly be able to point you in the right direction.  If you know which book you want but can’t get a hold of it, course organisers might be able to ensure a copy gets put on reserve in the library, or else might be able to suggest alternative sources.

Search around

– Search the library shelves.  This might seem obvious, but it’s something I didn’t think to do until third year.  If you’ve found a book on the library shelves that seems ideal, look at surrounding titles to see what else there is to offer.  It might not be on your reading list, but you could find a real gem.

– Search the library catalogues and databases.  Something else I didn’t discover until third year was the library database system.  You can access it through the Library tab in WebCT (click ‘More Library Resources’ on the right of the page > select ‘Databases’ from the list > ‘Sort databases by subject’ > scroll down to find ‘Linguistics and English Language’).  This is a fantastic way of searching through the journals available for a suitable article.  Some can be accessed as electronic journals, others are available for reference use in the library basement.

– Search other libraries.  Don’t forget that the main library is not the only one available.  The Philosophy and Psychology library deserves a special mention, hidden away as it is in the maze of 7 George Square.  At the end of this post is a link with more detailed information on library locations and access.  As for non-university libraries, the National Library of Scotland is a copyright library, with a copy of everything ever published. It’s only a reference library, and you may have to reserve things in advance, but it’s definitely worth trying if you can’t find material elsewhere.

– Search online.  Depending on how much material you need, online searches can be variably useful.  Google Books will rarely have entire books, but if you’re lucky will provide a chapter or so.  Google Scholar is very much like the library database system, and can help you find articles within books.  If all you need is a citation, this method can be great, but it isn’t ideal when you’re looking for primary sources.  In that case, try searching for the author of the work you’re after.  If he/she has a personal webpage, there might be some links available there.  There is no guarantee, but it can prove worthwhile.

– Search in bibliographies.  This is more a method of finding wider reading.  If you’ve read a paper or a chapter that you’ve found useful, check in its bibliography to see what else you can find.  This can be a great way of building up a wider reading list that can really develop your understanding of a topic.  Once you get enthusiastic about a topic, you start reading for your own enjoyment rather than just for work, and that’s surely the best kind of reading there is, right?

Well I hope this has been somewhat helpful.  Unfortunately, WebCT is playing up, and some of the links I would have liked to give you are not behaving.  If you’d like any more information on any of this, feel free to ask questions in the comments section, send an email, or get in touch with one of the committee.

Finally, here is the libraries link:

Taraa for now!