LINGUIST List 21.3100|
Wed Jul 28 2010
Calls: Pragmatics, Socioling/United Kingdom
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Constructing Collectivity: 'We' in interaction
Message 1: Constructing Collectivity: 'We' in interaction
From: Theodossia-Soula Pavlidou <pavlidoulit.auth.gr>
Subject: Constructing Collectivity: 'We' in interaction
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Full Title: Constructing Collectivity: 'We' in interaction
Date: 03-Jul-2011 - 08-Jul-2011
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Contact Person: Theodossia-Soula Pavlidou
Meeting Email: pavlidoulit.auth.gr
Web Site: http://ipra.ua.ac.be/main.aspx?c=.CONFERENCE12&n=1403
Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics
Call Deadline: 10-Sep-2010
The first person plural, represented here for convenience through the
pronoun 'we' -the prototypical marker of group indexicality (cf. Mühlhäusler
& Harré 1990)-, offers itself to various strands of linguistic/pragmatic inquiry,
including the study of subjectivity, speaker deixis, personal pronouns,
person reference/formulation, etc. However, the topic has been given
equally little attention in all these areas, especially with respect to
languages other than English. Only recently, research on 'we' seems to
have gained some impetus (cf. e.g. Assouline 2010, Bazzanella 2009,
Borthen 2010, Duszak 2002, Lerner & Kitzinger 2007, Pavlidou 2008,
Stewart 2001, Temmerman 2008); no coherent picture, though, is yet
The aim of the panel is to bring together scholars who will explore the
workings of 'we' in interaction, in particular, how speakers present
themselves as members/part of a group or collectivity by exploiting the
means that different languages have to offer. At the intersection of
pragmatics with grammar, the panel will focus on the following issues: (a)
What can speakers do referentially with the first person plural 'we' (cf. e.g.
the so-called impersonal, royal, directive uses of 'we') in different
languages? (b) What is the role of the free-standing subject pronoun 'we' in
null-subject languages? Does this pronoun preserve the referential uses of
'we'? Is there something specific to 'we' as compared to other free-standing
subject pronouns? (c) What is the contribution of the plural number to the
construction of the 'we'-collectivity as opposed to 'they' or 'you-PLURAL'?
How does 'we' as a minimal recognitional form relate to other phrases that
allow collective reference (e.g. 'we, Europeans,' or 'Mary, Ann and I')? (d)
How do speakers manage self-representation as individual vs. collective
subjects (of varying degrees of abstraction, e.g. subset of participants vs.
general social categories)? How is inclusion/exclusion of others achieved?
What does self- or other-repair (from e.g. 'we' to 'I') tell us about e.g.
claiming collective agency, dispersing personal responsibility, maintaining
What is ultimately of interest is the dynamic process of delineating and (re-
)constructing collective subjects that arises, among other things, from the
inherent fluidity and vagueness of 'we' (as opposed to 'I', within the same
stretch of discourse), and how this process gets accomplished across
different interactional contexts and languages.
Call For Papers
Presentations addressing (some of) the above or similar issues, especially
with respect to non-Indo-European languages, are invited. Given the
panel's orientation to interaction, contributions based on naturalistic data,
adopting a Conversation Analysis perspective, are most welcome, although
other theoretical approaches are not excluded either.
Abstracts (not exceeding 500 words) should be sent as an email attachment
to Theodossia-Soula Pavlidou (pavlidoulit.auth.gr) before September 10,
2010. Notifications of acceptance/rejection will be sent out by the beginning
of October 2010.
Please note that:
- abstracts should not be programmatic and, if accepted by the organizer of
the panel, they will also have to be submitted individually via the IPrA
conference site before October 29, 2010 (http://ipra.ua.ac.be/main.aspx?
- IPrA membership is presupposed both for submitting an abstract to the
organizers of the IPrA conference and for participating in the conference,
- multiple contributions by the same person as first or single author are not
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