[lg policy] calls: Pluricentric Languages: Linguistic Variation and Sociocognitive Dimensions

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 18 15:42:30 UTC 2010

Pluricentric Languages: Linguistic Variation and Sociocognitive Dimensions

Full Title: Pluricentric Languages: Linguistic Variation and Sociocognitive
Short Title: Plurilang

Date: 15-Sep-2010 - 17-Sep-2010
Location: Braga, Portugal
Contact Person: Augusto Soares da Silva
Meeting Email: plurilang2010gmail.com
Web Site: http://www.plurilang2010.org

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; General Linguistics; Semantics;
Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Call Deadline: 30-Apr-2010

Meeting Description:

International Conference on Pluricentric Languages:
Linguistic Variation and Sociocognitive Dimensions

The conference aims to explore the sociocultural, conceptual and structural
dimensions of variation and change within pluricentric languages, with specific
emphasis on the relationship between national varieties. It brings together the
Cognitive Linguistics paradigm, Sociolinguistics tradition and other
usage-based, cognitively and socially oriented approaches to language variation
and change.

Call for Papers

Plenary Speakers
Peter Auer (University of Freiburg)
Enrique Bernardez (Complutense University of Madrid)
Ataliba Teixeira de Castilho (University of Sao Paulo)
Dirk Geeraerts (University of Leuven)
Gitte Kristiansen (Complutense University of Madrid)
Georges Ludi (University of Basel)
Edgar W. Schneider (University of Regensburg)

Aim and Scope
The "one-nation-one-language" assumption is as unrealistic as the well-known
Chomskyan ideal of a homogeneous speech community. Linguistic
pluricentricity is
a common and widespread phenomenon. For example, English, German,
Dutch, French,
Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Swahili, Chinese, etc. are all pluricentric
languages in the sense that they have different national varieties, each with
its own cultivated, standard register. However, language pluricentricity and
monocentricity are gradient rather than separate categories: there are
that are more pluricentric than others. Moreover, some forms of pluricentricity
are approximately symmetric while others (the majority) are asymmetrical.
Indeed, all languages are "pluricentric" to some degree, to the extent
that they
exhibit internal dialectal variation and differing local norms. Pluricentricity
is therefore a special case of language-internal variation, marked by questions
of national identity and power.

Almost two decades ago, Michael Clyne edited the seminal collective volume
Pluricentric Languages (1992), gathering comparative data concerning a
representative selection of pluricentric languages throughout the world. Since
then, the basis for the discussion of national varieties has shifted from a
"deviation from the center" model to a "several interacting centers", or
pluricentric, one and the relationship between national varieties has been
studied in terms of a dynamic and interactive process. Recently a new
and highly
stimulating opportunity has been offered by Cognitive Sociolinguistics, an
emerging extension of Cognitive Linguistics as a usage-based and
recontextualizing approach to language and cognition, institutionalized in the
collective volume Cognitive Sociolinguistics (2008), edited by Gitte
and Rene Dirven.

Cognitive Sociolinguistics examines the social, cultural and conceptual
meaningfulness of language-internal variation, including the internal structure
of (and interaction between) whole varieties and styles, and explores the
relationship between lectal variation and cognition. Methodologically, it uses
advanced corpus-based quantitative methods, while benefiting theoretically from
key concepts from Cognitive Linguistics (such as prototypicality, metaphor,
metonymy, embodiment, framing, perspectivization, profiling, reference point
construction, subjectification, cultural cognitive models etc.) in dealing with
lectal varieties as socio-cognitive entities.

This conference aims to explore the sociocultural, conceptual and structural
dimensions of variation and change within pluricentric languages, with specific
emphasis on the relationship between national varieties. It brings together the
Cognitive Linguistics paradigm, Sociolinguistics tradition and other
usage-based, cognitively and socially oriented approaches to language variation
and change.

Within this socio-cognitive and interdisciplinary context of research into
linguistic pluricentricity and other expressions of language-internal
papers are invited on the following themes and topics.

1. Language-internal and cross-national variation, culture and cognition
- Formation of national varieties: When is a national variety codified and why?
What conditions can promote a more or less symmetrical pluricentricity?
- Cooperation, competition and conflict between national varieties:
What are the
interconnections between national identity, power relationships and national
varieties? Can pluricentric languages be both unifiers and dividers of people
and to what extent? How symmetrical can pluricentricity be in an unequally
distributed world?
- Collective pluricentric language planning and policy: bi- or multilateral
language planning and policies, spelling reforms, educational programmes, the
influence of television, etc.
- Pluricentricity and globalization: What are the effects of current processes
of globalization on the relationships between national varieties? What is the
impact of the global pressure of English on pluricentricity?
- National variation, culture and cognition: Do national linguistic differences
reflect cultural differences? To what extent do the former correlate with
conceptual differences? How does national variation affect linguistic meaning
and linguistic categorization? How does language-internal and cross-national
variation reveal the situated and social nature of cognition?

2. Structural patterns of national variation and corpus-based approaches
- Indicators of (sub)standardization and pluricentricity: Convergence and
divergence between national varieties and internal stratification of national
- Correlations between variables: To what extent do lexical, grammatical and
phonological variables correlate when it comes to the
convergence/divergence and
stratification of national varieties? Do social identities (national, regional,
local) operate as independent variables? To what extent do socio-stylistic
factors correlate with semantic, grammatical and discursive factors?
- National and local varieties, styles and registers as prototype-based and
radial categories of meaning: How do national/local variation and semantic
variation correlate? How do prototypicality, stereotypicality and semantic
normativity combine and intertwine between and within national varieties?
- National varieties, linguistic system and linguistic change: What are the
linguistic consequences of contact between national varieties? What is the
impact of pluricentricity on language change?
- Corpus-based multivariate and quantitative models of language-internal
variation: What methods, tools and techniques (analytical and descriptive) are
needed to arrive at an adequate description of national variation? How can we
measure diachronic convergence and divergence between national varieties and
synchronic internal stratification of national varieties?

3. Cognitive cultural models of national language variation
- Perception and evaluation of national varieties: How do language users
perceive national varieties and how do they evaluate them attitudinally? What
cultural and cognitive models are at work in the categorization and evaluation
of local and national linguistic differences? What is the role of ideology in
cognitive representations of national variations?
- National variation and language attitudes: How are purist or pro-independence
attitudes manifested and what are the consequences for the development of
national varieties? How do language attitudes differ in the various
centers of a
pluricentric language, particularly of the dominating and
non-dominating varieties?
- Objective and subjective linguistic distances: Is there a correlation between
objective linguistic distances, perceived distances, and language attitudes? To
what extent do language attitudes as they can be objectively measured correlate
with actual language behavior as observed in corpora?
- Mutual intelligibility between national varieties: to what extent do
linguistic distances and language attitudes influence intelligibility?
- National cultural models and national language variation: How do these
interact? Does language variation follow from cultural models, merely reflect
them or actually determine them?
- Cultural models of national variation and their consequences for language
planning and language policy.

Submission of Abstracts
Submissions are solicited for presentations which should last for 20 minutes
with 10 minutes for questions (maximum 30 minutes total). All submissions for
presentations should follow the following abstract guidelines:

- Conference languages are English (preferably), Portuguese, Spanish
and French.
- The deadline for abstracts is April 30, 2010.
- The abstract, edited in Word or RTF (or PDF, in case it contains special
symbols), should be sent to the following address:
- Abstracts should not exceed 500 words (exclusive of references) and should
state research questions, approach, method, data and (expected) results.
Abstracts will be reviewed anonymously.
- Please do not mention the author's name, institution or address in
the abstract.
- The subject header of your email should include: Abstract
Plurilang2010- name/s.
- Please include the following information in the main body of your email: (1)
name of author/s, (2) affiliation, (3) paper title, (4) email address, (5)
postal address.

Notification of acceptance/rejection will be given by May 31, 2010.

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