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LINGUIST List 23.2944

Thu Jul 05 2012

Calls: Anthropological Ling, Cognitive Science, Historical Ling/ Journal of Language Contact (Jrnl)

Editor for this issue: Brent Miller <brentlinguistlist.org>

Date: 03-Jul-2012
From: Robert Nicolaï <nicolaiunice.fr>
Subject: Journal of Language Contact
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Full Title: Journal of Language Contact

Call Deadline: 01-Oct-2012

Thematic issue of Journal of Language Contact (JLC)

Limits of contact, contact at its limits. Questioning language contact as
'phenomenon', 'concept' and 'construction'.

Abstracts of approximately 300 words should be submitted by 1st October

Please send your proposals (in English or French) to: nicolaiunice.fr.

First drafts due October 1st 2013 for a thematic issue (Spring 2014).

Full instructions for submission can be found on http://brill.nl/jlc

The study of language contact has become a popular topic in present
linguistic research and is thus considered today as a worthwhile scientific
interest. But how to continue for those who have been studying this topic for
long and how to avoid the negative consequences of mainstreamed
research? The purpose here shall be to critically review the development of
this issue at distance by focusing on the following points:

1. What can we learn in general from the study of language contact for our
knowledge of languages, their dynamics and their functions (systemic
elaborations, language practices, semiotic developments)?
2. How should linguistic theory incorporate the empirical findings of language
contact studies and the underlying postulates of existing models be altered
(in our analysis's choices and epistemic frameworks),
3. Is the metaphorical concept of 'contact' including all its potential readings
and extensions sustainable and operational (in the same way as 'border',
'frontier', 'disruption, 'divide' ...),
4. Which role does language contact play or has it played for the history of
linguistic research and academic life, in which way has this idea been
influential to individual researches and their approaches.

What we expect: papers that critically expose problems in present language
contact analysis and make progress in the above mentioned issues on the
basis of empirical findings.

Additional comments:

a) Limits of 'contact'. As an empirical phenomenon as such, language
contact has opened a field of linguistic research in which the dynamics and
circumstantial conditions of language are under scrutiny, including the
dynamics of social meaning and anthropology. This reflexive consideration
has led to new perspectives and concepts in linguistic theory; not only with
regard to the inventory of descriptive categories (such as code- switching,
convergence, language mixing), but also concerning theoretical and analytical
frameworks. Still, whatever may be the role of contact, not anything that is
attributed to contact must figure under this heading as there is a risk of
misinterpreting other phenomenon as outcome of contact. Thus, we need to
reflect on the limits and test the explanatory value of 'contact' in empirical
studies. The issue will be how our understanding of 'language contact' might
be revisited, by comparing it with related but alternative approaches.
b) 'Contact' at its limits. Contact should not be perceived either exclusively
as a given phenomenon or an object to describe, but moreover as a
constructed concept. This is why it is not intended to be a catch-all
explanation. It shall be designed as a conceptual tool that can be used for the
categorization of dichotomies such as homogeneity/heterogeneity and
c) The construction of the 'Contact' issue. Figuring as actors in practices of
scientific communication, theory building and description, it seems finally
necessary to reflect on our roles in the epistemological process; as we, at the
same time, produce and judge our own interpretations.

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