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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Conference Information

Full Title: Metalinguistic Reflection and Discontinuity: Turning Points and Times of Crisis and Upheaval

Location: Potsdam, Germany
Start Date: 22-Aug-2013 - 24-Aug-2013
Contact: Gerda Hassler
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL: http://elverdissen.dyndns.org/~nodus/sgds.htm
Meeting Description: Metalinguistic Reflection and Discontinuity: Turning Points and Times of Crisis and Upheaval

The 24th International Colloquium of the Studienkreis ‘Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft’ (SGdS) will take place at the University of Potsdam from August 22 to August 24, 2013, under the theme: Metalinguistic Reflection and Discontinuity: Turning Points and Times of Crisis and Upheaval.

In recent years, the history of linguistics was primarily viewed and discussed in terms of the continuity of theoretical positions, mechanisms of action and personal constellations. This colloquium shall direct attention to the changes taking place in various forms of reflection on language. These include the change in theoretical patterns of interpretation which no longer seem adequate as well as institutional, personal and programmatic adaptations of linguistics to crises and social upheaval.

When the explanatory potential of a scientific method has reached its limits, researchers often turn to the history of their science. Does this also apply to linguistics? When and under what conditions can the preoccupation with the history of a science lead to a turning point and to potential innovations?

Humanities scholars, noting profound changes in times of crisis, tend to view their respective discipline as endangered. Is it really true that social crises have led to a change in linguistic thought? Or do these crises, on the contrary, foster inertia among researchers, inhibiting innovation with regard to scientific development?

Times of crisis and upheaval also lead to changes in discourse strategies and designation patterns, which are also perceived and debated by people who have not studied linguistics. Epilinguistic awareness is attained more quickly in response to such changes than metalinguistic reflection. This colloquium shall provide a forum for papers on the process of awareness of linguistic changes in the wake of upheavals as well as for papers on the transition from such forms of awareness to the formation of linguistic theories.

The conference fee is 70 EUR. Information on travelling and accommodation will be given in due time.
Linguistic Subfield: History of Linguistics
LL Issue: 23.4294

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