[EDLING:1643] Sociolinguistics Symposium 16 - Conference 2006 - Programme

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Workshops Programme 

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Workshop  06 / Ceardlann 06 
Language Analysis in Refugee Status  Determination 
Convenors:  Peter L. Patrick, University of Essex, Maike Verrips, de  
&  Diana Eades, University of New England 
Workshop  abstract and  format  
Since  the mid-1990s, language analysis has been used in  a growing number of 
countries to help determine  the status of refugees (primarily the national  
origin of those seeking asylum). Recently,  linguists have started to 
critically evaluate the  issues involved. In June 2004 the Language and  National 
Origin Group, an international group of  linguists, formulated the Guidelines for 
the  Use of Language Analysis in Relation to Questions  of National Origin in 
Refugee Cases.   
Yet  there is very little comparative research on how  Language Analysis for 
the Determination of Origin  (LADO) is carried out, and its outcomes. This  
workshop will bring together linguists and  administrators with experience in 
relevant  government and independent agencies, who  collectively will:  
Analyse asylum claimants' language from  various  perspectives: 
Iinteractional  discourse, dialectological, variationist,  language-choice, & 

o         Include (data from) actual reports or  interviews;  
o         Consider the Guidelines & how they  affect LADO in practice, 
·          questions  addressed by LADO,  data required for LADO,  and  
background  required for experts who carry out LADO;   
o         Present rationales, standards or processes  of LADO in refugee 
status determination,  including:  
·          Syntheses and  overviews of bureaucratic, organizational and  
legal contexts of LADO;   
·          Standards of evidence and expertise  across governments.   
o         Compare research into methods of analysis,  including:  
·         the direct and  indirect methods,   
·          the  combination (or not) of linguistic evidence and  knowledge of 
the country and its culture, and   
·          the gathering of reliable  information about the linguistic 
situation in the  relevant country;   
o         Consider the relevance of sociolinguistic  theory and findings to 
·          e.g. regarding  language attitudes, linguistic ideology, and  
linguistic human rights;   
·          the status of minority, unwritten  and/or contact languages etc;  
o         Discuss the role linguists can play in  informing those who use 
linguistic evidence in the  process of evaluating claims to asylum.    
Dedication:  By organising this workshop,  the convenors wish to commemorate 
our colleague  Jacques Arends, who died suddenly in August 2005.  Jacques 
played an important role in attracting  sociolinguists’ attention to this field, 
and we  miss him sorely.  
Format: The 3-hour session includes five  30-minute presentation slots and a  
concluding  discussion. The five papers by  researchers and practitioners 
from four different  countries will address specific concerns with  current LADO 
practices.  In the  discussion, Diana Eades will briefly update on the  
Australian situation, thematising the general role  of politics in linguistic 
advocacy, while Peter  Patrick will serve as discussant. Organization of  discussion 
will not aim primarily at questioning  individuals, but rather at developing 
issues  speakers have collectively raised. We encourage  participation efforts 
that do not stress technical  linguistic analysis alongside those that do. 
The  workshop will be conducted primarily in  English.   
Toward  reliable language analysis in an asylum  setting  
John Victor Singler,  New  York University   
Language  analysis interviews: What  are the possibilities within this  
delicate  frame of work?  
Priska  Hubbuch and Liliane Meyer, LINGUA (Office fédéral des  migrations, 
Confédération Suisse)   
The  language analysis interview as mediated,  intercultural discourse   
Jan D.  ten Thije, University of Utrecht   
Multilingualism in the Belgian asylum  procedure  
Katrijn Maryns, University of  Ghent   
Eliciting home-grown speech for language analysis:  Evidence from paired 
Maaike  Verrips, de  Taalstudio,  
Peter  L Patrick & Diana Eades  David Balosa
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