Conference: 1st HCLS Conference on Becoming a World Language

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Fri May 18 14:28:36 UTC 2007

1st HCLS Conference on Becoming a World Language
Short Title: HCLS-C1

Date: 05-Dec-2007 - 07-Dec-2007
Location: Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Contact: Joey Wong
Contact Email: hcls at
Meeting URL:

Meeting Description:

The Halliday Centre for Intelligent Applications of Language Studies of
the City University of Hong Kong will organize a Conference on 'Becoming a
World Language: the growth of Chinese, English and Spanish' - the first of
a series of annual conferences - to be held from 5 to 7 December 2007 in
Hong Kong.  The Conference will be preceded by a Pre-Conference Institute
on 3 and 4 December 2007. Officially launched in March 2006, The Halliday
Centre has the distinct honour of being named after the world-renowned
linguist, Professor M.A.K.  Halliday. The Halliday Centre aims to expand
opportunities for collaboration with global partners in China and the
Asia-Pacific Region, Europe, North America and elsewhere, concentrating on
research relating to corpus linguistics, computational linguistics, and
comparative language studies.

The Conference will provide an international forum for scholars,
researchers, and other professionals to discuss the phenomenon of becoming
a world language of Chinese, English and Spanish, and how an appliable
linguistics might contribute to an understanding of the short and long
term effects of the phenomenon both on speakers and on speech systems.
Keynote speakers include Professor Cecilia Colombi, Professor Fang Yan,
Professor M.A.K. Halliday, Professor Yamuna Kachru, Professor Christian
Matthiessen, and Professor Larry Smith.

Plenary Speakers:  Cecilia Colombi (University of California, Davis)
Fang Yan (Tsinghua University)  M.A.K. Halliday (University of Sydney)
Yamuna Kachru (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)  Christian
Matthiessen (Macquarie University)  Larry Smith (Christopher, Smith &
Associates LLC; and Japan-America Institute of Management Science,

The objective of the conference is to explore from a multiple perspective
the significance of a language becoming a world language. English is
already acknowledged as a world language, but both Chinese and Spanish
appear to be moving in the same direction. This raises some interesting
issues. For example:  is the pattern of emergence to this status the same
in all three cases, or do they have different trajectories? Does the
system of language change in this process, and if so, how? What kind of
resources, if any, does the language have to develop along the way, and
what are the consequences of its growth for those who speak it? What
relevance do modes of language education have to this process? What are
its effects on the formation of speaker identity, for both the native
speakers of the world language and the foreign learners?

The field is thus excitingly open to, and in need of, interpretation. We
invite you to participate in this venture by presenting your thoughts on
any aspect relevant to becoming a world language. There will be a
Pre-Conference Institute on 3 and 4 December 2007. The instructors and
titles of the courses are as follows:

M.A.K. Halliday: Theoretical Foundations of Systemic Functional
Ruqaiya Hasan: Analysing Text: Meaning in Context
Paul Thibault: Image and Language in Pedagogic Discourse: An Application
of  Systemic Functional Linguistics

Participants will be offered a certificate of attendance. For details of
course design and fee and online registration, please visit

Advance registration (with concession) for the Conference will be
available until 29 September 2007. We look forward to receiving your
abstracts and hope you will be able to join us in Hong Kong in December

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Jonathan Webster & Emeritus Professor Ruqaiya Hasan Convenors,
International Conference on ''Becoming a World Language: the growth of
Chinese, English and Spanish''

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