LINGUIST List 23.678

Thu Feb 09 2012

Calls: Sociolinguistics/ Social Semiotics (Jrnl)

Editor for this issue: Brent Miller <>

Date: 09-Feb-2012
From: Mark Robinson <>
Subject: Social Semiotics
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Full Title: Social Semiotics

Call Deadline: 02-Mar-2012

Special Issue of 'Social Semiotics'

Topic: Objects and language in trans-contextual communication

Guest editors:Gabriele Budach (Southampton), Catherine Kell (Cape Town) & Donna Patrick(Ottawa)

The study of objects has a long history in modern philosophy, anthropologyand in semiotics. Central to this work has been the study of objects and theirmeanings in relation to material culture, the arts, fashion, and design. Thisspecial issue adds to this research with a specific focus on 'objects andlanguage' and the role played by non-linguistic objects in shaping linguisticcommunicative and social processes across contexts.

The study of objects has not been at the centre of linguistic study so far, butcan shed new light on central questions of sociolinguistic enquiry. Objectscarry meaning and instantiate power and ideology in situations ofcommunication. As objects move, they enter into new ensembles ofparticipant frameworks, bundles of semiotic and discursive resources andassociated artefacts. They thereby elicit shifting social interactions andlanguage practices and recontextualise knowledge and social hierarchies indifferent environments. Studying such practices offers new ways tounderstand how material culture and language practices are connected andhow power and ideologies are distributed across contexts. This new approachbenefits both studies on material culture and linguistics. More broadly, thisspecial issue will contribute to a new area of study for social semiotics whichaddresses the call for a 'spatialisation of social sciences' and for which wepropose to develop a framework for 'trans-contextual' analysis.

We invite papers that explore the role of objects and their associated socialand socio-linguistic interactions across space and time. Papers shouldconsider the role of objects in terms of their impact on shaping broader socialprocesses, language ideologies, and relations of power. Such objects caninclude linguistic texts (both analogue and digital), together with non-animateobjects (like jewellery, concrete blocks, fishing rods, toys and so on) andother culturally assembled pieces, like fashion items and artistic productionswhich are recontextualised as they cross time and space. We welcomepapers, from a broad and interdisciplinary range of conceptual frameworks(e.g. New Literacy Studies, social semiotics and multimodality, discourseanalysis, social geography, linguistic ethnography, communication andcultural studies) that study the role of objects in trans-contextual encountersand their social impact.


Submission of abstract: March 2, 2012.

Submission of manuscript: August 27, 2012

If you wish to contribute to this special issue, please submit an abstract of500 words including a title and key references to Gabriele Budach(

Page Updated: 09-Feb-2012