LINGUIST List 10.414

Thu Mar 18 1999

Calls: Discourses & Learning, Persistent Conversation

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

As a matter of policy, LINGUIST discourages the use of abbreviations or acronyms in conference announcements unless they are explained in the text.


  1. LDTAP99, Discourses and Learning: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives (update)
  2. Susan Herring, Persistent Conversation

Message 1: Discourses and Learning: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives (update)

Date: Thu, 18 Mar 1999 17:40:00 -0000
From: LDTAP99 <>
Subject: Discourses and Learning: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives (update)




The Department of Linguistics and Modern English Language, Lancaster
University, is holding a two-day Applied Linguistics Conference on the
10th and 11th July 1999 at Lancaster University.

The plenary speakers for the conference are:

Michael Breen (Stirling University) - The Discourse of Assessment: the
Case of Young ESL Students in Australia

Carmen Caldas-Coulthard (Birmingham University) - Toys as the
Representation of Gendered Social Actors

There will also be special presentations by Dick Allwright, David
Barton, Roz Ivanic and Greg Myers.

The theme of the conference is Discourses and Learning: Theoretical and
Applied Perspectives and we welcome proposals for papers or workshops
that reflect this theme. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and
preference will be given to proposals that draw on the theme of the

The deadline for proposals is 31 March 1999.

Please address all enquiries and requests for registration forms to Ms
Elaine Heron (Conference Secretary) at the conference e-mail address: or at the following address:

Discourses and Learning: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives,
Lancaster University Applied Linguistics Conference 1999,
Department of Linguistics.
Lancaster University,
Bailrigg, Lancaster,
LA1 4YT.
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Message 2: Persistent Conversation

Date: Thu, 18 Mar 1999 15:00:37 -0600
From: Susan Herring <>
Subject: Persistent Conversation

- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Part of the Digital Documents Track of the Thirty-third Annual Hawai'i
International Conference on Systems Sciences (HICSS), Maui, Hawai'i,
January 4-7, 2000.

===== AT A GLANCE =====

WHAT: Minitrack and Workshop on 'Persistent Conversation' (e.g. email,
MUDs, IRC, etc.)
WHO: Designers and researchers from CMC, HCI, the social sciences, the
humanities, etc.
DATES: Abstract submission - April 1; Paper submission - June 1; CHAIRS:
Thomas Erickson and Susan Herring

===== DETAILS =====

This minitrack and workshop will explore persistent conversation, the
transposition of ordinarily ephemeral conversation into the potentially
persistent digital medium. The phenomena of interest include conversations
carried out using email, mailing lists, news groups, bulletin board
systems, textual and graphic MUDs, chat clients, structured conversation
systems, document annotation systems, etc. The persistence of such
conversations as computerized records, although variable in duration and
ease of user access, gives them the potential to be searched, browsed,
replayed, annotated, visualized, restructured, and recontextualized, thus
opening the door to a variety of new uses and practices.

The aim of the minitrack is to bring together researchers who analyze
existing computer-mediated conversational practices and sites, with
designers who propose, implement, or deploy new types of conversational
systems. By bringing together participants from such diverse areas as
anthropology, computer-mediated communication, HCI, interaction design,
linguistics, psychology, rhetoric, sociology, and the like, we hope that
the work of each may inform the others, suggesting new questions, methods,
perspectives, and design approaches relating to the theme of persistent

The minitrack will begin with a half day workshop on Tuesday afternoon. The
goal of the workshop is to provide a background for the sessions and to set
the stage for a dialog between researchers and designers that will continue
during the minitrack. The minitrack co-chairs will contribute the bulk of
the workshop content, one presenting a design example and the other
presenting a research approach to computer-mediated conversation, with
these two cases providing a common ground and starting point for the
research-design dialog.

We are seeking papers that address issues such as the following:

* Understanding Practice. The burgeoning popularity of the internet (and
intranets) provides an opportunity to study and characterize new forms of
conversational practice. Questions of interest range from how various
features of conversations (e.g., turn-taking, topic organization,
expression of paralinguistic information) have adapted in response to the
digital medium, to new roles played by persistent conversation in domains
such as education, business, and entertainment.

* Analytical Tools. The effort to understand practice can benefit from an
array of analytical tools and methods. One goal of this mini-track is to
bring together researchers from a variety of disciplines, so as to gain a
fuller understanding of the kinds of insights different approaches can
reveal to analyzing persistent conversation.

* Design. Digital systems do not support conversation well: it is difficult
to converse with grace, clarity, depth and coherence over computer
networks. But this need not remain the case. To this end, we welcome
analyses of existing systems as well as designs for new systems which
better support conversation. Of equal interest are inquiries into how
participants design their own conversations within the digital medium --
that is, how they make use of system features to create, structure, and
regulate their discourse.

* Social Implications. In addition to suggesting intriguing new
applications, the persistence of digital conversation has beneficial social
effects ranging from making a community's discourse more accessible to
non-native speakers, to laying the foundations for mutual support and
community in distributed groups. At the same time, it also raises troubling
issues of privacy, authenticity, and authority. Authors are encouraged to
reflect on the social implications of their observations, analyses, and

* Historical Parallels. From the constructed dialogs of Plato to the
epistolary exchanges of the eighteenth century literati, persistent
conversation is not without precedent. How might earlier practices help us
understand the new practices evolving in the digital medium? How might they
help us design new systems? What perspectives do they offer on the social
impacts (present and future) of persistent conversation?


Thomas Erickson
IBM T. J. Watson Research Center
3136 Irving Ave. S.
Minneapolis MN 55409-2515 USA
tel: 612-823-3663
fax: 612-823-1576

Susan C. Herring
Program in Linguistics
University of Texas at Arlington
Arlington, TX 76019 USA
tel: (817) 272-5234
fax: (817) 272-2731


April 1, 1999: Authors submit abstracts via email to Minitrack Chairs for
guidance and indication of appropriate content.

June 1, 1999: Authors submit full papers to Minitrack Chairs.

August 31, 1999: Minitrack Chair sends notice of accepted papers to Authors.

Oct. 1, 1999: Accepted manuscripts, camera-ready, sent to minitrack chair;
one author MUST register by this time.

November 1, 1999
All other conference registrations must be received. Acceptance of
registrations after this date is subject to space limitations.


1. For the Persistent Conversation minitrack you must submit six (6) paper
copies of the full paper to

Tom Erickson
3136 Irving Ave. S.
Minneapolis MN 55408-2515

2. Do not submit the manuscript to more than one Minitrack Chair. Papers
should contain original material and not be previously published, or
currently submitted for consideration elsewhere.

3. Each paper must have a title page to include title of the paper, full
name of all authors, and complete addresses including affiliation(s),
telephone number(s), and e-mail address(es). Papers should be 22-26
double-spaced pages, including diagrams.

4. The first page of the manuscript should include the title and a 300-word
abstract of the paper.


HICSS-33 consists of eight tracks:

Collaboration Systems and Technology Track
Digital Documents Track
Emerging Technologies Track
Information Technology in Health Care Track
Internet and the Digital Economy
Modeling Technologies and Intelligent Systems
Organizational Systems and Technology Track
Software Technology Track

For more information about these tracks and a list of minitracks each
consist of, please check the HICSS web page for full listing of the

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