calls: Variation, Social Cognition and Pluricentric Languages

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Fri Dec 5 16:51:25 UTC 2008

Variation, Social Cognition and Pluricentric Languages

Date: 09-Sep-2009 - 12-Sep-2009
Location: University of Lisbon, Portugal
Contact Person: Augusto Soares da Silva
Meeting Email:

Call Deadline: 12-Dec-2008

Variation, Social Cognition and Pluricentric Languages

Within the framework of the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica
Europaea to be held at the Universidade de Lisboa, 9-12 September
2009, we would
like to propose a workshop on internal variation and sociolinguistic diversity
of pluricentric languages (i.e. languages with different national varieties).
This workshop aims at bringing together researchers who are interested in the
social and cognitive aspects of variation and change within pluricentric
languages, with specific emphasis on the relationship between national
varieties. In particular, it raises the question to what extent (and how)
language-internal variation, culture and cognition combine and intertwine.

Call for Papers

Workshop at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea
University of Lisbon, 9-12 September 2009

We especially welcome papers that take into consideration one or more of the
following topics and questions:

- language variation, culture and cognition: do local and national linguistic
differences reflect cultural differences? To what extent do the former
with conceptual differences?
- perception and evaluation of national varieties: how do language users
perceive national varieties and how do they evaluate them attitudinally? Which
cultural and cognitive models are used in order to categorize and
evaluate local
and national linguistic differences? How are purist or pro-independence
attitudes manifested and what are the consequences for the development of
national varieties?
- objective and subjective linguistic distances: is there a correlation between
objective linguistic distances, perceived distances, and language
attitudes? How
can we measure and parameterize diachronic and synchronic convergence or
divergence between national varieties?
- mutual intelligibility between national varieties: to what extent do
linguistic distances and language attitudes influence intelligibility?
- correlations between variables: to what extent do lexical, grammatical and
phonological variables correlate when it comes to the stratification
of national

Auer, Peter (2005). Europe's sociolinguistic unity, or: A typology of European
dialect/standard constellations. In: N. Delbecque, J. van der Auwera and D.
Geeraerts (eds.). Perspectives on Variation: Sociolinguistic, Historical,
Comparative. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 7-41.
Bernárdez, Enrique (2008). El Lenguaje como Cultura. Una crítica del discurso
sobre el lenguaje. Madrid: Alianza Editorial.
Clyne, Michael (ed.) (1992). Pluricentric Languages. Differing Norms in
Different Nations. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Geeraerts, Dirk (2003). Cultural models of linguistic standardization. In: R.
Dirven, R. Frank and M. Pütz (eds.), Cognitive Models in Language and Thought.
Ideology, Metaphors and Meanings. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 25-68.
Kristiansen, Gitte and René Dirven (eds.) (2008). Cognitive Sociolinguistics:
Language Variation, Cultural Models, Social Systems. Berlin/New York: Mouton de
Speelman, Dirk, Stefan Grondelaers and Dirk Geeraerts (2003). Profile-based
linguistic uniformity as a generic method for comparing language varieties.
Computers and the Humanities 37, 317-337.

Papers should be in English or in French. Presentations should be adjusted to a
30-minute slot (20 min. + 10 min. for discussion). Interested colleagues are
invited to send an e-mail to Augusto Soares da Silva ( with
their name, affiliation and a provisional abstract before 12 December.

Augusto Soares da Silva (Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Braga)
Gitte Kristiansen (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

Important Dates:
- Submission of provisional abstract (500 words): 12 December 2008
- Notification of acceptance for Workshop proposals: the week following 15
December 2008
- Submission of final abstract: 31 January 2009
- Notification of acceptance: 31 March 2009
- Registration: from April 1 onwards
- Conference: 9-12 September 2009
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