LINGUIST List 24.1223

Tue Mar 12 2013

Calls: Anthropological Linguistics, Sociolinguistics/USA

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <>

Date: 12-Mar-2013
From: Karen Pennesi <>
Subject: Personal Names and Social Identities
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Full Title: Personal Names and Social Identities
Date: 20-Nov-2013 - 24-Nov-2013 Location: Chicago, IL, USA Contact Person: Karen Pennesi
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics; Sociolinguistics

Call Deadline: 01-Apr-2013

Meeting Description:

Personal Names and Social Identities
American Anthropological Association Meeting, Chicago, November 2013

Organizer: Karen Pennesi, University of Western Ontario

I am looking for panelists to present research on how personal names are used in the construction of identities. We will start with an understanding of identities as emergent through performance, jointly produced and adapted to context. The aim is to bring together anthropologists interested in onomastics to explore how personal names are treated both as linguistic structures and as symbolic resources.

Call for Papers:

While there is large body of anthropological literature on the connections between language, identity and ideology, very few studies look specifically at personal names as ideologically charged lexical items or as identity markers with specific phonetic variables, for example. To fill this gap and enrich onomastic theory, scholars are invited to present papers investigating a broad variety of topics, including:

- Name choices
- Name changes
- Nick-names
- Online aliases
- Alterations to spelling and pronunciation of names
- Use of different names in different contexts
- Name choices as indexes of social relationships
- Names as indexes of social, cultural or racial categories
- Naming practices
- Name-related policies, regulations and laws
- Name-related stereotypes
- Name-related ideologies
- Name-related humour or speech play
- Name-related topics in pop culture or media
- Historic trends in naming
- Technologies for organizing and finding names
- Others

This session elaborates on the meeting theme ‘Future Publics, Current Engagements’ by demonstrating how anthropological investigations of personal names can provide insights that have practical relevance to diverse publics and in several domains outside of academia. For instance, multilingual and multicultural populations require that people learn how to negotiate interactions with different kinds of names. This is as important for human resource managers and organizations that serve the general public as it is for individuals making decisions about how to introduce themselves or how to refer to others. The trend of creating multiple online identities, as well as changes in how family membership is marked, have also led to more variation in how people name themselves. The papers will illustrate how the study of personal names and the ways in which they are used addresses fundamental anthropological questions about identity, family, social organization, cultural practices, and language.

Please send a 250-word (max.) abstract with title and key words by 1 April 2013 to Karen Pennesi at

Page Updated: 12-Mar-2013