LINGUIST List 10.556

Sun Apr 18 1999

Calls: Michigan Ling Society, "Us and Them" - Budapest

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <>

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  1. Linguistic Student Organization, Michigan Linguistic Society
  2. Anna Duszak, US and THEM: 'in-group' and 'out-group' meanings in lang - Budapest

Message 1: Michigan Linguistic Society

Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 17:26:10 -0400
From: Linguistic Student Organization <>
Subject: Michigan Linguistic Society


Annual Meeting of the Michigan Linguistic Society

 Saturday, October 30, 1999
 Michigan State University
 East Lansing, Michigan

 Keynote Speaker: Walt Wolfram, North Carolina State University

Abstracts are invited in all areas of linguistics for the Annual Meeting of
the Michigan Linguistic Society. Presentations will be fifteen minutes in
length plus five minutes for discussion.

 Abstract submission guidelines:

* Abstracts should be one page in length.

* The title of the abstract should appear at the top of the abstract and the
author's name, abstract title, affiliations and email address should appear
on a separate page.

* Abstracts should be submitted by email to as a Word
file or Postscript attachment.

* Abstracts can also be submitted in hard copy form by faxing three
copies to the attention of "LSO Abstract Review Committee" at 517-432-2736
or mailing three copies to Linguistics Student Organization, Michigan State
University, A-614 Wells Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824-1027.

* Deadline for receipt of abstracts is August 15, 1999.

Abstracts will be reviewed anonymously.

Notification of acceptance will be sent by September 15, 1999.

Registration: Registration and conference information will appear on the
Michigan State University Linguistics Student Organization website at

Linguistic Student Organization, Michigan State University
A614 Wells Hall, East Lansing MI 48824
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Message 2: US and THEM: 'in-group' and 'out-group' meanings in lang - Budapest

Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1999 09:18:48 +0200
From: Anna Duszak <>
Subject: US and THEM: 'in-group' and 'out-group' meanings in lang - Budapest

(Budapest, July 10-15, 2000)

Dear Colleagues

I would like to invite contributions to a PANEL on the topic:

US and THEM: 'in-group' and 'out-group' meanings in language and
communication (a cross-cultural view)

The us and them perspective is an inherent part of human social life. People
form groups that are based on nationality, family relationships, political
party affiliations, race or hobby. Group membership fulfils the human desire
for solidarity, consensus and co-operation. However, the unity of some
entails the exclusion of others. Non-members are seen as outsiders.
Alienation often gives rise to confrontational positions or conflict.
The us and them perspective is ingrained in language and communication. By
means of language we express our social identities and our attitudes to
others. We create the sense of 'togetherness' and that of 'otherness'. We
strengthen alignments and make divisions.

Questions arise: How, in particular, do we as individuals and as groups
linguistically project ourselves and our identities? What means do we have
for incorporating others in our linguistic and cultural spaces? How in our
languages do we embed devices and strategies with which we create distance
and confrontation? Can some linguistic or cultural realities ease the
solidarity perspective? What is the role of cross-cultural contacts in how
the speaker's sense of identity, attitude, and affiliation is reinforced or
redefined? How relevant is the awareness of the us and them perspective in
socialisation and enculturation processes?

I am interested in contributions that address a wide spectrum of problems
relevant to the US and THEM distinction: cognitive, social and cultural
aspects of the phenomenon, global and language (discourse) specific
accounts, descriptive and critical approaches. Below I supply a sample list
of topics:

- phonological, morphological and syntactic devices that mark the we/they
(self/other) distinction - cross-cultural variation;
- devices and strategies specific to the discourse level to achieve the
self-other effect;
- variation in the nature of and the use of such devices/strategies across
discourse types and genres;
- genre specific illustrations of how the us/them distinction is managed or
- cultural variation and globalisation tendencies in the light of such
devices and strategies;
- creation of stereotypes through manipulation of self/other devices;
- use of expressions such as substandard, error, deviation as devices
excluding others;
- systemic diachronic evidence for changes in the inventories of devices and
strategies serving the task of discriminating between us and them;
- what evidence is available regarding the acquisition of the concept of
self and other;
- what is the role of translation and language teaching in the understanding
of how such devices and strategies are used;
- the us and them perspective in multicultural work environments;
- gender and 'othering' devices in language;
- evidence from immigrant assimilation processes.

Those who are interested in the topic, but may not come to Budapest, are
also encouraged to contact me. Plans are being made to publish a volume
addressing the linguistic, cognitive, social and cultural aspects of the US
and THEM distinction in language and communication.

Anna Duszak
Institute of Applied Linguistics
Warsaw University
PL- 00-311 WARSAW
Browarna 8/10

e-mail address:

In case of problems with delivery of your response e-mail at the above
address, please try sending it at

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