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"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: Interdisciplinary View on Normativity in Language

      
Location: Split, Croatia
Start Date: 18-Sep-2013 - 21-Sep-2013
Contact: Marko Simonovic
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: The goal of this workshop is to connect linguists with researchers from related fields who are interested in normativity, and to encourage cross-fertilisation between fields. Multi-disciplinary and transversal analyses are welcome.

Topics include, but are not restricted to, the following types/conceptualisations of language norms:

1. Norms as inherent in all human activity that is under some form of cognitive control (behaviour as commonly understood, including language)
2. Norms as emergent from behaviour (usage, experience: active use and passive exposure): internal norms
3. Norms as imposed or coerced by authorities (from peer pressure to laws): external norms
4. Linguistic norms (internal ones) as reflection of, or usage-based equivalence of, linguistic competence in the generative sense
5. Clustering of individual’s internal norms into group norms, because of sociolinguistic accommodation and the need to find common ground
6. Tension between internal and external norms
7. Polycentricity of external norms: the elite and the state are not the only sources
8. How external norms (of whatever source) are evaluated: affection and resistance
9. ‘Good norms’: when speakers want to accommodate
10. ‘Bad norms’: when speakers resist
11. ‘Unreachable norms’: when speakers have limited access (elite closure)
12. Norms in contact: conflicting and reinforcing norms

Possible questions we would like to see addressed include the following (but many more can be envisioned):

a) Can normativity be viewed not as external noise which obscures ‘real’ and ‘spontaneous’ linguistic behaviour, but rather as inscribed in the very core of ‘languaging’? Related to this, is the existence of norms a necessary design feature of language?
b) What is the relation between normativity and affectivity? Is normative behaviour a form of ‘care for the code’? And is this normativity/affectivity a player in the creation of linguistic identities? Is something a language only if someone cares to be normative about it? And do languages disappear once no one does?
c) Can some of the processes often used in ‘formal’ explanations of linguistic behaviour - restructuring, reanalysis, analogy, hypercorrection etc. - serve as evidence that normativity (i.e. search of the correct form) is the driving force behind much language behaviour?
d) Can there be a typology of linguistic norms across different communities?
e) To what extent is the conceptualisation of standard language norms influenced by the situation of Standard Average European? What can we learn from non-SAE normativities?
f) Are the ‘emancipatory’ processes of standardisation, alphabetisation and technologisation of endangered/minority languages normative, in the sense that a ‘proper way of being a language’ is implicated?
g) What role does the conceptualization of linguistics as the ‘science of language’ play in the scientific modelling of norms in linguistics? How do these scientific discourses on language influence normativity in language?
h) What is the role of writing in the emergence and maintenance of norms?
i) What are similarities and differences between normativity in the domain of language and in other domains of human behaviour, and what does that say about the essence of language?
j) What is the relationship between normativity and the usage-based notion that competence equals the cognitive degrees of entrenchment of linguistic units (=form-meaning pairings)?
Linguistic Subfield: Anthropological Linguistics; Cognitive Science; Philosophy of Language; Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics
LL Issue: 23.4451

This is a session of the following meeting:
46th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea

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