The LVTI or Langue, Ville, Travail, Identité / Language, Urban life, Work, Identity programme was initiated by the CLLE-ERSS Phonology group in Toulouse II in 2011. It is coordinated by Anne Przewozny, Hélène Giraudo, Jacques Durand and Jean-Michel Tarrier.
The LVTI programme follows the methodological requirements of the PAC and PFC programmes as it is built on two parallel corpora in France and Britain with common research grounds and a comparability of data and results.

LVTI was set up as a cumulative project which aims at an interdisciplinary sociolinguistic survey of Toulouse and Greater Manchester. Our project is to constitute large oral corpora in urban centres in France and other countries, starting with Toulouse and Greater Manchester (and then Lyon, Orléans and Paris). Toulouse and Greater Manchester are two big regional metropolitan areas with comparable socio-economic, cultural and historical centres.

Although there are British and American traditions of empirical sociolinguistics, linguistic usages have almost not been studied in French great urban centres (ecept for ESLO in Orléans). To our knowledge nothing equals the major work by William Labov on the English language in New York City nor on French in Canada and Quebec. The LVTI programme is meant to fill the gap with an interdisciplinary and comparative methodology to describe urban linguistic usages, representations of speakers about their own language, connections between social structures and linguistic usages, and change in contemporary (oral) French and English languages (the possibilities of levelling and counter-levelling are currently a major topic of research for LVTI).

Both PFC and PAC protocols are being applied to cohorts of speakers (60 informants as an average survey for each location) each time with specific sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic, sociological and pedagogical concerns, with specific extensions to both corpora (primary and secondary schools …). As far as possible, corpora will include ecological audiovisual recordings (in the sociolinguistic sense), but one has to remain careful about the comparability of the data. “Urban life” and “work” as major topics in this programme are meant to bridge the gap between cognitive psychology, sociology and language studies in a contemporary urban context.

The five original PAC/PFC goals remain as key areas of research :

1. to give a better picture of spoken English in its unity and diversity (geographical, social and stylistic);
2. to test phonological and phonetic models from a synchronic, diachronic and variationist point of view;
3. to favour communication between phonological studies and speech specialists;
4. to provide data and analyses which will help improve the teaching of linguistics and French and English as foreign languages;
5. to allow for the preservation of spoken varieties of French and English (what the French call “conservation du patrimoine”, e.g. for Basque).

But the LVTI protocol is enlarged to fit specific issues of interest as summarized below:

(1) Collaboration with sociologists specializing in urban centres and work issues. We will take advantage of the formal interviews to put a small number of questions to informants relating to urban life, work and language. It is hoped that our interviews will be complemented by other interviews and possibly questionnaires devised by sociologists which will constitute a large database shared by researchers from different disciplines.


(2) Collaboration with interactionists, specialized in the study of language interaction and in filming informants. One of our objectives is to video a number of informants from the most formal situation in the PAC and PFC protocols (the reading aloud of lists of words) to more “natural” or “ecological” situations (home interactions, work environment etc.).


(3) Collaboration with sociolinguists. Our informants will be selected with as much social diversity as possible and, if achievable, from clearly differentiated districts within Greater Manchester (Manchester and Salford). In addition to the PAC protocol, it is intended that recordings will be made of informants for whom the reading aloud task is difficult or arguably inappropriate. Other methods of observation and linguistic study of urban centres are also being explored (e.g. recordings in public places such as railway stations, airports, shops, etc.).


(4) Collaboration with psycholinguists working in language development. We intend to apply the protocol to children in primary and secondary schools and complement these with other recordings or psycholinguistic tasks.


(5) Collaboration with specialists in teaching English (or French) as a native or foreign language. Teachers of English (or French) have great experience in observing and studying different language situations and recordings made in Manchester or Toulouse for this purpose would supplement the data obtained in (1) to (4).


Our ambition therefore is to create a large interdisciplinary database which will be shared across disciplines and will offer comparative data on urban centres in the United Kingdom and France to start with. Within PFC and PAC, our policy has been to make the data available to other researchers (subject to ethical considerations). The same policy is applied to LVTI.



LVTI-Greater Manchester (in the field of phonology)


LVTI-Toulouse (in the field of phonology)


French scientific and institutional partnerships

CLLE-ERSS Toulouse 2
MoDyCo Paris 10 Nanterre
EMMA Montpellier 3
LPL Aix-Marseille 1
PFC Phonologie du Français Contemporain: Usages, Variétés, Structure, dirs. Marie-Hélène Côté (University of Ottawa), Jacques Durand (CLLE-ERSS, University of Toulouse 2), Bernard Laks (MoDyCo, University of Paris 10) and Chantal Lyche (Universities of Oslo and Tromsø)
FLORAL : a French consortium of research projects in the field of phonology and other disciplines related to linguistics

Main partners in Greater Manchester