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Conference Information

Full Title: Taal & Tongval Colloquium 2014: (De)standardisation in Europe

Location: Gent, Belgium
Start Date: 28-Nov-2014 - 28-Nov-2014
Contact: Steven Delarue
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: For a couple of decades, societal factors such as immigration, globalisation, democratisation and informalisation have led to a changing, perhaps weakened position of European standard languages (cfr. Deumert & Vandenbussche 2003). In some speech communities, standard languages are said to be increasingly affected by demotisation (Coupland & Kristiansen 2011, Davies 2012), implying that “the ‘standard ideology’ as such stays intact, while the valorization of ways of speaking changes” (Coupland & Kristiansen 2011:28). In other communities, destandardisation seems to be at work, i.e. the process whereby “the established standard language loses its position as the one and only ‘best language’” (Coupland & Kristiansen 2011:28). These changes challenge the present mainly production focused research methodologies and the contexts in which language variation is traditionally studied. New, more experimental methods have recently been introduced (cfr. Kristiansen & Coupland 2011, Kristiansen & Grondelaers 2013) to document the European standard language situations, along with new contexts (e.g. the media) in which language use, attitudes and ideologies can be studied (Soukup 2012, 2013).

In the Dutch language area the standard language is at present also undergoing change. In the Netherlands Poldernederlands is for instance said to be an important competitor for the existing standard language (Stroop 1998, Van Bezooijen 2001). In Flanders, the traditional position of the standard language is mainly challenged by the functional elaboration of tussentaal (‘in-between-language’), i.e. the intermediate registers in between standard language and dialect. For both Poldernederlands and tussentaal, discussion remains on the question whether the elaboration of these language forms constitutes an instance of destandardisation or of demotisation (Plevoets 2008, Grondelaers & Van Hout 2011, Van Hoof & Jaspers 2012). Experimental and mediacentred approaches are increasingly used to shed light on this issue (Grondelaers & Van Hout 2011, Impe et al. 2009, Geeraerts & Van de Velde 2013, Speelman et al. 2013), while innovative lectometric methods allow insight into the stratigraphy of Dutch language varieties (Geeraerts et al. 1999, Speelman et al. 2003).

The 2014 edition of the Taal & Tongval colloquium aims at bringing together researchers to debate about standard language ideologies and the ways in which these are best studied. More specifically the following questions will be at the centre of discussion:

(1) Which methods can be implemented to gain insight into standard language use and standard language ideologies? Do new, experimental methods yield results comparable to those of traditional methods?
(2) What can the different methods tell us about the standard language situation, both in the Dutch language area and beyond? To what degree do we find traces of destandardisation and demotisation?
(3) What are interesting contexts to study standard language ideologies in?

Plenary Speakers:

Winifred Davies (Aberystwyth University, Wales, United Kingdom)
Stefan Grondelaers (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
Tore Kristiansen (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Barbara Soukup (University of Vienna, Austria)
Linguistic Subfield: Sociolinguistics
LL Issue: 25.1809

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