29.2996, Calls: Anthro Ling, Disc Analysis, Pragmatics, Socioling, Text/Corpus Ling/China

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LINGUIST List: Vol-29-2996. Tue Jul 24 2018. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 29.2996, Calls: Anthro Ling, Disc Analysis, Pragmatics, Socioling, Text/Corpus Ling/China

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Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2018 13:33:44
From: Britta Schneider [britta.schneider at fu-berlin.de]
Subject: Posthumanist Pragmatics: Linguistic Encounters in the Digital Uncanny Valley

Full Title: Posthumanist Pragmatics: Linguistic Encounters in the Digital Uncanny Valley 
Short Title: DigUncanny 

Date: 09-Jun-2019 - 14-Jun-2019
Location: Hong Kong, China 
Contact Person: Theresa Heyd
Meeting Email: theresa.heyd at uni-greifswald.de

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics 

Call Deadline: 15-Oct-2018 

Meeting Description:

In this panel, we treat pragmatic aspects of human-machine interaction in
everyday life, including:
- the reading and producing of algorithmic texts 
- discursive engagements with the Internet of Things, with software agents
such as Alexa or Siri, and with social media bots 
- or the consumption of AI-generated/enhanced media products

These various forms of language production are shaped by the interaction of
human and non-human agents. Embedded in the larger notion of posthumanist
applied linguistics (Pennycook 2018), they demonstrate the generally
precarious nature of an understanding of the human as essentially different
from non-human communicative agents.

>From a sociolinguistic and pragmatic point of view, one recurring theme in
human-machine interaction is striking: the language that is produced here is
often perceived as divergent. Sometimes, it may produce inadvertent humor and
double-entendre (e.g. autocorrect effects), surprising creativity and even
machine-generated beauty. In other cases, the linguistic effects may be more
unsettling: algorithms bring taboo discourse to the fore; social media sites
foster and create interactions that some users experience as transgressive or
even abusive; technological artefacts may become sexualized, anthropomorphized
or otherwise imbued with social meaning. 

Some of these pragmatic conditions may be linked to a linguistic uncanny
valley effect (see Mori et al. 2012 [1970]). It may be precisely their
semiotic semblance of humanness which makes their diverging qualities all the
more unsettling and transgressive - in brief, uncanny. Potential effects could
be that pragmatic conditions of sayability are changed; assumptions about
im/politeness and common ground may be altered; patterns of conversational
structure may be rearranged in talking to machines, and prosodic features of
computer-generated voices may trigger complex patterns of uptake. 

Call for Papers:

We invite theoretical and empirical studies that explore posthumanist
pragmatics in its diverse forms. We invite contributions that engage with the
sociolinguistics and pragmatics of encounters at the margins of human and
nonhuman language, including aspects such as: 

- The digital uncanny: discourses of transgression on social media 
- Pragmatic conditions of human-machine interaction 
- Changing conversational routines in transhuman encounters 
- The pragmatics of algorithmed discourse 
- Transnational effects in transhuman digital language production 
- Theoretical examinations of the distinction of human and non-human
- Aspects of gender, sexuality and age. 

Tentatively confirmed contributors: Ana Deumert (Cape Town); Alexandra
Georgakopoulou (London); Rodney Jones (Reading); Netaya Lotze (Münster);
Alastair Pennycook (Sydney).

Abstracts of 250 - 500 words (including references) can be submitted until
October 15 via the IPrA conference website https://ipra2019.exordo.com/.
Additional information regarding the abstract submission process can be found
at http://pragmatics.international/page/CfP. Please feel free to contact us
via email with any questions: theresa.heyd at uni-greifswald.de


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