Uralic Sociolinguistic Society

Johanna Laakso johanna.laakso at univie.ac.at
Thu Sep 25 16:52:01 UTC 2008

Dear Colleagues,
as announced on the website http://u-sos.nytud.hu/ , there are plans for a
Uralic Sociolinguistic Society (U-SOS). On 25th September (the eve of the
European Day of Languages), a planning group convened by Marianne Bakró-Nagy
and moderated by Riho Grünthal, met at the University of Vienna.
The following text is the summary of the discussions and a call to all
linguists interested in sociolinguistic aspects of Uralic language studies.
Please feel free to distribute this text to everybody potentially interested
in these aspects, and please forgive the inevitable cross-postings ­ we felt
that it is absolutely vital to reach as many people as possible, researchers
of minor Uralic languages as well as linguists who work with sociolinguistic
questions pertaining to Hungarian, Finnish and Estonian multilingualism and
The task of the U-SOS will be to promote sociolinguistic research,
communication and networking between scholars ­ also between Finno-Ugric and
³other² sociolinguists ­, to encourage exchange of information and ideas.
The most important activities will probably include setting up a website
which offers annotated bibliographies, links and up-to-date information
about the current state of research and the state of Uralic speaker
communities from a sociolinguistic point of view. Discussion on other
possible activities is welcome.
Although sociolinguistic studies by nature have political relevance and
individual researchers may have their political opinions or pursue political
activities, U-SOS as a learned society of professional linguists is
independent of the policies of any political organization, party or
government. U-SOS will pay special attention to ethical questions of
sociolinguistic research ­ in particular, involving speaker communities and
the perspective of the speakers of endangered languages. U-SOS will
cooperate with existing institutions and organizations of research and avoid
overlapping and competitive activities.
U-SOS will be led by an executive council elected by the members. The first
election will have to be organized by a work-group, which should cover as
many relevant countries and nations as possible. We now call all interested
(socio)linguists ­ in particular, representatives of the younger
generations! ­ to participate in the planning work. Any comments, ideas and
wishes are welcome.
If you are interested in sociolinguistic research on one or more Uralic
languages, please subscribe to the u-sos at nytud.hu mailing list. (You can do
this by sending majordomo at nytud.hu a message with the first line: subscribe
u-sos. For more information see the U-SOS website or contact László Fejes:
fejes at nytud.hu .) Once subscribed, you can join the discussion about the
future planning, tasks and perspectives of the U-SOS. Please write a few
lines about yourself, your research interests and your wishes or ideas
concerning the U-SOS. And, in particular, let us know whether you would be
willing to participate in the constituting work group which will organize
the election of the U-SOS executive council.

On behalf of the Vienna planning group
Johanna Laakso
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Johanna Laakso
Institut für Europäische und Vergleichende Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft
Abteilung für Finno-Ugristik
Universitätscampus AAKH, Spitalgasse 2-4 Hof 7, A-1090 Wien
Tel. +43 1 4277 43019, (VoIP) +43 599664 43019 | Fax +43 1 4277 9430
johanna.laakso at univie.ac.at | http://homepage.univie.ac.at/Johanna.Laakso/

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