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LINGUIST List 23.4068

Mon Oct 01 2012

Calls: Pragmatics, Socioling, Anthropological Ling/India

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <alisonlinguistlist.org>

Date: 01-Oct-2012
From: Theresa Heyd <theresa.heydanglistik.uni-freiburg.de>
Subject: Digital Diasporas
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Full Title: Digital Diasporas

Date: 08-Sep-2013 - 13-Sep-2013
Location: New Delhi, India
Contact Person: Theresa Heyd
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics; Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics

Call Deadline: 01-Nov-2012

Meeting Description:

Panel Organizers:

Theresa Heyd
Christian Mair
English Department, Albert-Ludwigs-Universit├Ąt Freiburg

The Internet is not only an agent of homogenization and Englishization but has (selectively) promoted multilingualism and destandardization (Danet and Herring 2007). Nowhere is this more obvious than in the case of post-colonial diasporas (e.g. Africa, the Caribbean, India) where a history of colonization, contemporary currents of migration driven by globalization and advances in communication technology have conspired to unsettle traditional norms of linguistic propriety and conceptions of identity. In recent debates, this trajectory has been discussed in terms of an emerging super-diversity. As Blommaert and Rampton (2011: 3) note, 'migration movements from the 1990s onwards have coincided with the development of the Internet and mobile phones, and these have affected the cultural life of diaspora communities of all kinds.'

The diasporic situation, and the relative freedom of online language use, foster a climate of linguistic and cultural hyper-awareness which adds to the metalinguistic awareness that is characteristic of many CMC genres quite in general. These digital diasporas, then, are a rich and multi-faceted site to study a broad range of linguistic practices that are relevant to both sociolinguistic and pragmatic inquiry: crossing, code-switching and grassroots literacy; linguistic gatekeeping and language policing; group-specific norms of politeness, appropriateness, and appropriations of digital genres. Often these linguistic practices draw on both local and global resources; as Bhatt remarks, '(t)he post-colonial contexts present us with a vibrant site where local linguistic forms - inflected by the nexus of activities taking place elsewhere in time and space - are constantly transforming in response to asymmetric exchanges, pluralized histories, power plays, and battles over polysemous signs. The transformation makes available a semiotic space where a repertoire of identities evolves in the inter-animation of the colonial-global and of the indigenous local.' (Bhatt 2010: 520)

Bhatt, Rakesh. 2010. 'Unraveling post-colonial identity through language.' In Nikolas Coupland, ed. Handbook of Language and Globalization. Malden MA: Blackwell. 520-539.
Blommaert, Jan and Ben Rampton. 2011. 'Language and super-diversity.' Diversities 13(2): 1-22.
Danet, Brenda, and Susan Herring, eds. 2007. The Multilingual Internet: Language, Culture, and Communication Online. Oxford: OUP.

Call for Papers:

This panel is intended as a dialogue between the sociolinguistics of globalization and the pragmatics of CMC. It aims to investigate the ways in which deterritorialized vernaculars have come to serve as style resources which help participants to fashion their online identities and to create web-based communities of practice which do not simply reflect diasporic communities on the ground but extend them in complex ways.

We invite contributions situated in both sub-fields. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches are welcome; the organizers will take an effort to include ex-colonial languages other than English in the panel to explore universal and language-specific aspects of the globalization of vernaculars through CMC.

Possible focal points include but are not limited to:

- Ethnographic studies of digital communities of practice
- Narratives of belonging and their analysis
- Corpus approaches to the sociolinguistics of CMC
- Multilingual practices and social media
- The pragmatics of super-diversity

Abstracts (500 words max.) should be sent directly to Theresa Heyd (theresa.heydanglistik.uni-freiburg.de). Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need more information.

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