[lg policy] call: Folk Linguistics and Society

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 24 15:42:21 UTC 2012

Folk Linguistics and Society

Date: 22-Aug-2012 - 24-Aug-2012
Location: Berlin, Germany
Contact Person: Martin Stegu
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

Call Deadline: 31-Jan-2012

Meeting Description:

SS19 Thematic Session 'Folk Linguistics and Society: People's Ideas
about the Relationship between Language Use and Social Identity'
Proposed by: Martin Stegu, Antje Wilton

In this thematic session, the focus lies on the investigation of
beliefs and evaluations that non-linguists have with respect to
different varieties of language(s) and speech styles - be they ethnic,
regional, social, or professional.

The beliefs and attitudes of the non-linguist about language-related
issues are becoming increasingly important and relevant for linguists
and other researchers of various fields. The growing trend of bringing
one's private opinion to public attention forces researchers to take
more notice of such opinions and their relevance for people's decision
making processes. Chats, internet fora, social networks and blogs are
prime examples of settings in which lay people volunteer their
opinions and theories. In addition, scientific investigation methods
of people's beliefs, attitudes and notions about language-related
issues have been developed, extended and refined, and include
questionnaires and interviews, discourse and conversation analysis,
matched guise test and others. With a detailed and thorough
investigation of folk beliefs the linguist can gain insight into the
formation processes, the manifestation in various forms of discourse
and the relevance of such beliefs for people's decisions and actions.
Using language(s) is part of human life with which people shape,
constitute and sustain social life and social and individual identity.
It is only natural that every person, being a speaker of a language or
several languages within a social environment, has views, opinions,
attitudes and theories about his own and other languages, language
varieties and speech styles, including those that are second or
foreign languages for their speakers or are used as a lingua franca.
However, unlike the researcher, the non-linguist is free to evaluate
those languages, varieties and speech styles and he/she often does so
- preferably in binary categories such as 'good' vs 'bad', 'correct'
vs. 'wrong', or 'beautiful' vs. 'ugly'. Such evaluations, in turn,
have an impact on how people categorize, judge, and ultimately treat
the speakers of such varieties. Furthermore, non-linguists' criteria
for the categorization of language varieties and speech styles need
not be and often are not the same criteria that are employed by

Call for Papers:

This thematic session invites contributions that report on research
discussing questions, among others, such as:

How do non-linguists identify other speakers as belonging to a
particular ethnic, regional, social or professional group?
How do non-linguists perceive the relationship between characteristics
of language and social identity?
How do different social groups view each other's language(s) and
speech styles and what criteria do they employ for their

We welcome abstract submissions to this thematic panel at the
Sociolinguistic Symposium 19 at Freie Universität Berlin from August
22 to 24, 2012. Please use SS19 submission tools at:


Abstract submission due date: January 31, 2012


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