Conference on Mobility

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Thu Jan 9 14:06:29 UTC 2003

Roskilde University
Department of Language and Culture
Research group on Sociolinguistics, Language Pedagogy and Sociocultural

The Consequences of Mobility:
Linguistic and Sociocultural Contact Zones

23-24 May 2003

We are delighted to announce that our invited speakers will be:

Professor Peter Auer, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Professor Lesley Milroy, University of Michigan

The Conference will be held from 9am Friday 23 May to 5pm Saturday 24 May,

Conference Aims:

The aim of the conference is to investigate the different kinds of
linguistic and sociocultural contacts brought about by transnational
migrations in the contemporary world. The theoretical and methodological
focus is on various forms of integration between on the one hand
sociolinguistic studies and studies in the sociology of language and on
the other hand the general area of cultural studies: studies of cultural
and social identities, of multiculturality, cultural hybridity and
identity politics in complex societies.

The conference wants to address a number of topics related to this general
interdisciplinary objective, such as:

    * Language use in social networks, with special reference to language
contact in interpersonal relations and interactions, such as codeswitching
in conversation
    * Language contact in society and in the world, and social hierarchies
between languages: consequences of (mobility driven) language spread, and
the ensuing processes of redefining linguistic differences and identities:
language competition, language promotion and language discrimination
    * The complex relationship between language and culture: how can we
envisage mobility and language spread across cultural areas without
conceptualizing language as culturally neutral? (as is often done for
    * Language contact in the individual/ “subject': multiple language
competencies and the idea of plurilingualism - in Europe and in the world
    * Language and sociocultural identity: how can we address this issue
thinking both of first languages and of languages functioning as second
and foreign languages?
    * The concepts of first language (mother tongue), second language,
foreign language, and lingua franca: how can we develop and refine these
analytical concepts taking into consideration the complexities of language
contacts and plurilingual competencies?

Apart from the plenary papers held by our invited speakers, the conference
will be organized in workshops. We suggest the following themed workshops,
and invite participants to offer papers for them and perhaps propose
others as well:

1. Construction of sociocultural identities in face-to-face interaction
(Susanne Kjærbeck)

2. Accents and dialects in contact: linguistic and attitudinal
consequences (Anne Fabricius)

3. Second and foreign language learning and teaching: how can we envisage
transnational approaches aiming not only at the development of familarity
with ‘national cultures', but also at the development of world citizens in
a multilingual and multicultural world (Karen Risager)

4. Youth language and Anglo-American subcultures in EFL Countries (Bent

5. International exchange and national language policy in higher education
(Bent Preisler, Karen Sonne Jakobsen)

Language policy: The main working language of the conference will be
English. We acknowledge the paradox in conducting the conference in a
specific language, in contrast to the conference focus on issues of
multilingualism, language contact and power.

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