Sociolinguistics Symposium 16

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sat Jun 3 15:18:39 UTC 2006

Forwarded from edling list:

Sociolinguistics Symposium 16 - Conference 2006 - Programme

_ (

Workshops Programme

Language Analysis in Refugee Status Determination

Convenors:  Peter L. Patrick, University of Essex, Maike Verrips, de
Taalstudio & 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, & lexicographical;
o         Include (data from) actual reports or  interviews;

o Consider the Guidelines & how they affect LADO in practice, including:
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 LADO,
e.g. regarding language attitudes, linguistic ideology, and linguistic
human rights;  the status of minority, unwritten and/or contact languages
etc;  and

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
federal des migrations, Confederation 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
recordings Maaike Verrips, de Taalstudio,

Discussants Peter L
Patrick & Diana Eades David Balosa

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