Browse/search for people

Dr Damien Mooney

Dr Damien Mooney's published research focuses on contact induced transfer in bilingual speech, language death theory, and on the role of language and dialect contact in the loss or retention of pronunciation and grammatical features in regional varieties of French and the regional languages of France.

Dr Mooney's D.Phil thesis (Oxford, 2014) entitled 'Linguistic transfer and dialect levelling: a sociophonetic analysis of contact in the regional French of Béarn' investigates the genesis and evolution of the regional variety of French spoken in Béarn, southwestern France. This research appeared in 2016 as a monograph entitled Southern Regional French: A Linguistic Analysis of Language and Dialect Contact (Oxford: Legenda).

His current research project, funded by the British Academy (2016-18) examines linguistic variation and change in Béarnais, a localised variety of langue d'oc spoken in southwestern France, focusing on the interplay between the linguistic and social processes that lead to language and dialect death as Béarnais contracts under pressure from the national language, French, and the standardised langue d'oc variety, Occitan. The project analyses phonetic and phonological change in the speech of older native Béarnais speakers and younger Occitan-educated néo-locuteurs; this comparative approach aims to shed light on the differential linguistic mechanisms active during both language and dialect obsolescence and to set these findings against the wider theoretical processes of language and dialect change. 

Dr Mooney has recently started a new research project entitled 'Queer speech in Europe and Canada' which investigates the participation of sexual minorities in mainstream language change by examining linguistic variation in the speech of gay men, lesbians, and heterosexual men and women in Paris, London, Montréal and Toronto. The project's primary aim is to provide a hollistic analysis of the relationship between self-identified homosexual speech, the perception of sexual orientation in speech, and the participation of sexual minorities in mainstream phonetic/phonological changes in progress.