PAC (Phonologie de l'Anglais Contemporain) est un programme de recherche linguistique interdisciplinaire lancé en 2004 par les professeurs Jacques Durand (U. Toulouse, CLLE-ERSS UMR 5263) et Philip Carr (U. Montpellier, EMMA, EA 741). Il est aujourd'hui coordonné par Sophie Herment (U. Aix-Marseille, LPL, UMR 7309), Sylvain Navarro (U. Paris Diderot, CLILLAC-ARP, EA 3967), Anne Przewozny-Desriaux (U. Toulouse, CLLE-ERSS) et Cécile Viollain (U. Paris Nanterre, CREA EA 370).

Le programme PAC s’est développé grâce à des axes de recherche variés et complémentaires :

- LVTI (Langue, Ville, Travail, Identité, U. Toulouse), lancé en 2011, produit une description sociolinguistique de la langue en contexte urbain, notamment à Toulouse et à Manchester, deux centres urbains au rayonnement similaire en France et en Angleterre, respectivement. Marseille (FR) et Sydney (Aus) sont en cours de documentation et d’analyse.

- ICE-IPAC (InterPhonologie de l'Anglais Contemporain, U. Paris), lancé en 2013, s'intéresse à la variation au sein des corpus d'apprenants de l'anglais, à l'acquisition et à la didactique de l'anglais langue étrangère.

- PAC-Prosodie (Aix-Marseille), lancé en 2015, s'intéresse au rythme et à l'intonation des variétés de l'anglais, aux interfaces acoustique-prosodie et prosodie-syntaxe et travaille à l'élaboration d'outils d'annotation semi-automatique de la prosodie.

- PAC-Syntaxe (U. Toulouse, U. Perpignan), lancé en 2013, étudie la structure du discours oral et en particulier les phénomènes référentiels et à l'interface syntaxe-sémantique.

- PAC-Enseignement de l’anglais (U. Toulouse), lancé en 2011, fédère les activités scientifiques et pédagogiques d’exploitation du corpus PAC au service de l’enseignement et de l’apprentissage de l’anglais oral (ESL) (Anglais général et de spécialité, niveaux Licence et Master ; enseignement primaire et secondaire ; concours de l’enseignement).

- PAC-Recherche réfléchit aux liens entre les études phonético-acoustiques, les outils de traitement des données, les analyses sociolinguistiques et les cadres théoriques existants en phonologie.

Ses membres organisent chaque année depuis 2004 un colloque international qui accueille les chercheurs travaillant sur ces thèmes.

PAC "The Phonology of Contemporary English: usage, varieties and structure" is an interdisciplinary linguistic research program coordinated by Sophie Herment (U. Aix-Marseille, LPL, UMR 7309), Sylvain Navarro (U. Paris Diderot, CLILLAC-ARP, EA 3967), Anne Przewozny-Desriaux (U. Toulouse, CLLE-ERSS, UMR 5263)  and Cécile Viollain (U. Paris Nanterre, CREA, EA 370). It was launched in 2003 by Professor Jacques Durand and Professor Philip Carr.

The PAC programme has developed into a variety of thematic research groups with dedicated research interests:

- LVTI (Language, City, Work, Identity, U. Toulouse), launched in 2011, aims at the sociolinguistic description of language in urban contexts, notably in Toulouse and Manchester, two urban centers that have a similar aura/influence in France and England respectively. Marseille (FR) and Sydney (Aus) are under study.

- ICE-IPAC (InterPhonology of Contemporary English, U. Paris), launched in 2013, is devoted to the study of variation on the basis of learner corpora of English, and consequently concerned with the acquisition and teaching of English as a foreign language.

- PAC-Prosody (U. Aix-Marseille), launched in 2015, is dedicated to the study of the rhythm and intonation of the varieties of English, at the interface with acoustics and syntax, and is designing tools for the semi-automatic annotation of prosody.

- PAC-Syntax (U. Toulouse, U. Perpignan), launched in 2013, studies the structure of oral discourse and, specifically, referential phenomena and the interface with semantics.

- PAC-Teaching of English (PAC-ToE) (U. Toulouse), launched in 2011, aims at linking theoretical and methodological research interests with pedagogical commitments and didactic implementations in the field of oral English teaching and learning (English for General and Specific Purposes, BA and Master levels; Primary and secondary sectors of education; secondary education competitive examination training).

- PAC-research examines the connections between the phonetic-acoustic study of large corpora, annotation tools, sociolinguistic analyses and the contribution of theoretical frameworks in phonology.

The PAC members have organised annual international conferences since 2004 which welcome researchers working on these issues.


Forthcoming event:

PAC 2017 - Phonologie et interphonologie de l’anglais contemporain : des corpus de natifs aux corpus d’apprenants

PAC 2017 – Phonology and interphonology of contemporary English: from native corpora to learner corpora

Read the program / Lire le programme


Colloque International / International conference

Du jeudi 28 septembre au samedi 30 septembre 2017 / Thursday, September 28th to Saturday, September 30th 2017

@ Université Paris Nanterre / Paris Nanterre University

Conférenciers invités / Guest Speakers 

Jacques Durand, Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès

Dan Frost, Université de Grenoble

Patrick Honeybone, University of Edinburgh

All papers focusing on the main theme summarized by the title of the conference are welcome but, to contextualize this forthcoming event, participants should be aware that PAC 2017 is a logical extension of the conferences that the PAC project has organized annually since 2000, on an international level, at the universities of Toulouse II, Montpellier III and Aix- Marseille I, and reflects the developing activities of this project.

The PAC project (Phonologie de l’Anglais Contemporain: usages, variétés et structure - The Phonology of Contemporary English: usage, varieties and structure) is coordinated by Sophie Herment (Aix-Marseille University), Sylvain Navarro (Paris Diderot University), Anne Przewozny-Desriaux (Toulouse Jean Jaurès University) and Cécile Viollain (Paris Nanterre University). The main aims of the project can be summarized as follows: to give a better picture of spoken English in its unity and diversity (geographical, social and stylistic); to test existing theoretical models in phonology, phonetics and sociolinguistics from a synchronic and diachronic point of view, making room for the systematic study of variation; to favour communication between specialists in speech and in phonological theory; to provide corpus-based data and analyses which will help improve the teaching of English as a foreign language.

To achieve these goals, the cornerstone of the PAC project is the creation of a large database on contemporary oral English, coming from a wide variety of linguistic areas in the English-speaking world (such as Great Britain: Received Pronunciation, Lancashire, York, Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Glasgow, West Midlands: Birmingham, Black Country ; Republic of Ireland: Limerick, Cork ; Canada: Alberta, Ontario ; Australia: New South Wales ; New Zealand: Christchurch, Dunedin ; India: Delhi English, Mumbai ; USA: California, West Texas, Saint Louis, Boston, North Carolina). The protocol used is shared by all researchers in every survey location and was inspired by the classical methodology of William Labov. Although significant corpora of oral English already exist, many of them have been conceived along exclusively sociolinguistic rather than explicitly phonological lines. In other cases, hardly any information is available on speakers beyond gender and regional affiliation. Furthermore, few corpora are based upon a single methodology permitting a fully comparative analysis of the data. The approach chosen by the PAC program is modelled on the French PFC program (La Phonologie du Français Contemporain, coordinated by M.-H. Côté (Ottawa University), J. Durand (Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès), B. Laks (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense) and C. Lyche (Oslo/Tromsø). This parent program has demonstrated how a corpus which was originally conceived for phonology can lend itself to many other types of linguistic exploitation: the lexicon, morpho-syntax, prosody, pragmatics, dialectology, sociolinguistics and interaction.

All contributions on the phonology and phonetics of contemporary English as well as on the interphonology of English are welcome.

The general PAC session will be dedicated to the following theme: “Usage-based accounts and phonological models: how to articulate phonetic-acoustic studies and phonological theory?” In recent years, usage-based accounts, especially within the framework of Exemplar Theory (Pierrehumbert 2001, 2006), have been put forward as relevant explanations for various phenomena observed, on the basis of oral corpora, in the different varieties of oral English. By relying on frequency effects, such accounts have shed light on the emergence and evolution of New Zealand and Australian English (Trudgill 2004, Gordon et al. 2004) or on the dynamics of rhoticity and r-sandhi phenomena in contemporary non-rhotic varieties (Cox et al. 2014) for example. However, such accounts are often criticised for lacking phonological abstraction and for not being able to fully account for the phenomena in question as they do not model their underlying mechanisms at the phonological level. That is why many phonologists have rejected these accounts. However, other phonologists have shown how the results provided by phonetic-acoustic studies and usage-based accounts of corpora can lend themselves to theoretical analyses and help model the emergence and evolution of phenomena at the phonological level (see Patrick Honeybone’s work on T-to-R in Liverpool English (to appear) for an example of such an approach).

The interphonology session will be dedicated to the following theme: “Variation, correctness and correction”. We encourage participants to investigate the phonetic and phonological systems developed by non-native speakers/learners of English who have command of English either as a foreign language (EFL) or a second language (ESL) in various parts of the world and in different contexts of communication. Interphonology will be discussed both as a theoretical, linguistic construct and empirically by looking into aspects of the learners’ new phonological system, while in the process of establishing itself or when it has already been stabilised and/or regularised. Inter-speaker and intra-speaker variation will also be central to our study of interphonology to understand, for instance, how segmental variability is integrated in the newly developed phonological system and how the phonologies of two (or more) languages at work mutually influence each other. “Correction” can be envisaged as a didactic tool for improving students’ oral performances. It can also be rejected on theoretical grounds. It can be tackled as the adaptation process, or modification process, put in place by students when trying to reach specific phonological or phonetic targets. “Correctness” can constitute a goal as far as communication and interaction in English are concerned for learners. It can also be questioned as a pedagogical goal, for instance with the prevalence of RP as a target accent in the French academic context. The problem of conciliating variation and correction in the study / teaching of English as a foreign or second language can lend itself to relevant reflections here.


Submission of papers

Abstracts should be no longer than one side of A4, with 2.5 cm margins, single-spaced, with a font size no smaller than 12, and with normal character spacing. All examples and references in the abstract should be included on the one single page, but it is enough, when referring to previous work, to cite "Author (Date)" in the body of the abstract - you do not need to include the full reference. Please send two copies of your abstract - one of these should be anonymous and one should include your name, affiliation and email at the top of the page, directly below the title. All abstracts will be reviewed anonymously by members of the scientific committee or other experts in the field. The named file should be camera-ready, as it will be used in the abstracts booklet if the proposal is accepted.

Abstracts should be submitted in the same form, in a PDF file, by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with copy to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Time for papers: 30 minutes, plus 15 minutes for questions.


Dates and deadlines

Conference: September 28th / September 30th 2017 

Final deadline for submissions: March 31st 2017 

Results of refereeing of abstracts: Friday June 30th 2017  


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