From: Gunther De Vogelaer <gunther.devogelaerugent.be>
Subject: The Formation of Regiolects in the Low Countries
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Full Title: The Formation of Regiolects in the Low Countries
Date: 20-Nov-2009 - 20-Nov-2009
Location: Ghent, Belgium
Contact Person: Gunther De Vogelaer
Meeting Email: gunther.devogelaerugent.be
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
Call Deadline: 30-Jun-2009
As in many parts of Europe, traditional dialects in the Low Countries are
shifting towards regiolects, i.e. non-standard vernacular varieties
characterizing a region rather than a specific locality. For Dutch, the relevant
developments have been described in the 1990s (e.g., by Hoppenbrouwers 1990 and
Hinskens 1996 for the Netherlands, and by Vandekerckhove 2000 for Flanders; see
also Hinskens, Hoppenbrouwers & Taeldeman, eds. 1993). The main factors in
regiolectisation include both sociological and linguistic ones, such as an
increased social and geographical mobility on the language users's part,
changing attitudes towards dialects and standard languages, intelligibility
differences between dialects and standard languages, and tendencies towards
simplification in situations of dialect contact (where 'koineization' is
observed). In this workshop we hope to provide an overview of the more recent
developments in the field.
Call for Papers
More specifically, we hope to address the interaction between linguistic and
extra-linguistic factors, thereby focusing on the following three issues:
1. Methodological innovations: since the 1990s, new, mainly quantitative methods
have been introduced to measure the effect of the relevant factors (see, e.g.,
Britain 2002 for geographical mobility; Gooskens 2007 for intelligibility,
Heeringa and Nerbonne 2000 and Heeringa et al. 2000 for measuring
convergence/divergence at the pronunciation level), yielding more precise
estimates on the weight of each of the alleged factors.
2. Theoretical innovations: the fact that regiolectization phenomena have been
described for a large number of European languages (e.g., Auer 2005; Auer,
Hinskens & Kerswill eds. 2005) allows for cross-linguistic comparison, which
should, in turn, facilitate language-independent theorizing on the nature of the
factors in regiolectization. In addition, we welcome contributions establishing
a connection between the study of regiolectization and second dialect
acquisition (cf. Rys 2007) and sociolinguistic typology (cf. Trudgill 2002).
3. Broader empirical coverage: the past decade has witnessed the emergence of a
wealth of empirical data, such as new dialect atlasses for Dutch phonology,
morphology and syntax, and the Corpus of Spoken Dutch. These new data allow a
considerable refinement of the current theories, as well as a proper desciption
of the developments that have occurred the past 10-20 years, including the rise
of new, regionally flavoured varieties of Standard Duch (e.g. 'Poldernederlands'
in the Netherlands, 'tussentaal' in Flanders).
While the workshop centers on the Dutch language area (including the regions
where Frisian, French or a regional/minority language such as Low Saxon are
used), we also welcome contributions targetting other areas.
The following invited speakers have confirmed their participation:
Peter Auer (Freiburg)
David Britain (Essex)
Frans Hinskens (Vrije Universiteit / Meertens Institute)
Jürgen-Erich Schmidt and Roland Kehrein (Marburg)
A selection of papers will appear as a thematic issue of 'Taal en Tongval.
Tijdschrift voor taalvariatie.'
The Organizing Comittee:
Sjef Barbiers (Meertens Institute - University of Utrecht)
Luk Draye (University of Leuven)
Gunther De Vogelaer (FWO-Flanders - Ghent University)
Magda Devos (Ghent University)
Wilbert Heeringa (Meertens Institute)
Roeland van Hout (Radboud University Nijmegen)
The workshop will take place in Ghent, in the 'Royal Academy for Dutch
Linguistics and Literature' (or 'Koninklijke Academie voor Nederlandse Taal- en
Letterkunde' (KANTL)), Koningstraat 18 (i.e. in the historical centre of the
city). Anyone in need of accommodation for the night may contact the organizers
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