Second Call for Abstracts: Language Change in Bilingual Communities. Focus on the Post-Soviet Countries and their Immigrant Communities Elsewhere

Amiridze, Nino Nino.Amiridze at
Sun Jun 1 14:50:03 UTC 2008

[Apologies for multiple posting]


Language Change in Bilingual Communities. Focus on the Post-Soviet
Countries and Their Immigrant Communities Elsewhere.

   Workshop at  The 23rd Scandinavian Conference of Linguistics
                October 3, 2008, Uppsala, Sweden



Call for Abstracts
The workshop aims at giving a perspective on post-Soviet bilingualism while concentrating on the typology of linguistic changes under language contact.

During the Soviet era, languages of the former Soviet republics have been influenced by Russian, the Soviet lingua franca. The collapse and the disintegration of the former Soviet Union has caused reshaping of the relations between various ethnic groups within individual States, on the one hand, and between Russia and the rest of the States, on the other hand. Language situation and linguistic hierarchy within the newly independent countries have considerably changed, depending on the relations with Russia, and the growing influence of wider globalization.

The fall of the Soviet Union has caused unprecedented waves of immigrants from the former Soviet republics to various parts of the world. Immigrant communities from the former Soviet Union do not always have institutional support for their native languages in the host countries. Keeping mother languages exclusively as a means of communication in the family and within the community, the speakers used to preserve some features of the languages that eventually got changed in the varieties spoken back at home by their compatriots. On the other hand, under the influence of the language(s) of the host countries, changes have occurred in the immigrant languages.

Globalisation has influenced the area into a more open attitude with respect to sign language and bimodal bilingualism. The former Soviet Union maintained the medical model of disability, treating the deaf as a disabled group. However, in some of these States there are attempts to change the medical model with the social one, and view the deaf as a cultural and linguistic minority. One of the positive consequences of changing the approach is the promotion of bilingual education in the schools for deaf, rather than pursuing exclusively oralist educational policy. As a result of the changing attitudes towards sign language and Deaf culture, deaf people in the Post-Soviet States will become bilingual in a sign and a spoken language (a case of bimodal bilinguality).

The following three topics will be addressed during the workshop:

*  contact-induced changes that have occurred in the languages of the Post-Soviet States under   the declining role of Russian as a dominant language and the growing influence of other regionally and globally dominant languages;

*  contact-induced changes and contact-induced preservation in the language varieties spoken by communities that have immigrated from the Post-Soviet countries since 1991 to various parts of the world.

*  bimodal bilingualism and language situation in deaf communities of the Post-Soviet States. How changing of attitudes towards deafness affects sociolinguistic situation of users of sign languages across the former Soviet Union. Influences of the structure of one of their languages over that of the other language.

Invited Speakers
*  Anna Komarova (hearing) (Moscow Centre for Deaf Studies and Bilingual Education), Development of Bilingual Education of the Deaf in Post-Soviet Countries.

*  Tatiana Davidenko (Deaf) (Moscow Centre for Deaf Studies and Bilingual Education), Sign Language Diversity in Post-Soviet Countries (translation from the RSL into English by Anna Komarova).

*  Kristina Svartholm (hearing) (Stockholm University), Bilingual Education for the Deaf. A Swedish Experience.

Important Dates
Abstract submission:                  June 16, 2008
Notification:                         July 7, 2008
Workshop:                             October 3, 2008

*  Nino Amiridze, Utrecht University (The Netherlands)
*  Anne Tamm, University of Florence (Italy) and Institute for the Estonian Language
*  Manana Topadze, University of Pavia (Italy)
*  Inge Zwitserlood, Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands)

If after the workshop there will be interest in publishing either a proceedings or a special journal issue, then the organizers will take responsibility of finding a suitable forum and will act as editors.

Abstracts (in English, maximum 3 pages, including data and references) have to be submitted electronically as portable document format (.pdf) or Microsoft Word (.doc) files via the EasyChair conference management system:

If you do not have an EasyChair account, click on the button "I have no EasyChair Account" on that page and follow the instructions. When you receive a password, you can enter the site and upload your abstract.

Workshop Web Page

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