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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Conference Information



Full Title: 14th International Conference on Minority Languages

      
Short Title: ICML XIV
Location: Graz, Austria
Start Date: 11-Sep-2013 - 14-Sep-2013
Contact: Barbara Schrammel-Leber
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL: http://icml14.uni-graz.at/
Meeting Description: Conference theme: Dominated Languages in the 21st Century

Although linguistic plurality and its socio-political stratification or outline in dominant and dominated languages is subject to constant and accelerating change due to global migration, the general perception of minorities - at least in Europe - is still based on strangely romantic folkloristic notions of the 19th century, namely as rural, conservative, immobile relics of another (archaic) culture with another language. This admittedly pointed definition, which implicitly also reflects the European nation state ideology, negates all socio-political and socio-cultural developments of the last decades. At least some aspects of this definition - first and foremost the ‘otherness’, but when it comes to so-called indigenous minority languages also all other aspects of the definition - still dominate the public discourse on minorities and minority languages. This discourse of otherness in contrast to the established and postulated normality of the majority always insinuates a sense of inferiority of minority groups and languages.

Two facts probably do not need to be stressed: Firstly, academic research on dominated languages is not independent and unaffected by general, stereotypical notions and current public discourse. Secondly, differences in status between languages and the thus resulting differentiation between majority and minority languages, or rather dominant and dominated languages, in the 21st century cannot be treated according to specifications of the 19th century. While European minority rights still remain rooted in the tradition outlined above, it is and was the duty of minority language research based on social sciences to primarily follow current developments. The upcoming conference aims to bring the latter aspect, which is also reflected in the history of the ICML, to the foreground and to address some relevant aspects against the background of the ideal of a pluralistic society:

- Changes in the linguistic landscape of Europe as a consequence of migration
- The relationship between indigenous and migrant minority languages
- Role and status of minority languages in pluralistic societies
- Dominated languages and the relevance of ICT (Information Communication Technology)
- Majority languages in a minority position
Linguistic Subfield: Anthropological Linguistics; Applied Linguistics; Language Documentation; Sociolinguistics
LL Issue: 23.4072


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