LINGUIST List 24.2430

Fri Jun 14 2013

Calls: Anthropological Ling, Socioling, Lang Documentation, Typology/Germany

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <>

Date: 14-Jun-2013
From: Martin Pütz <>
Subject: 36th International LAUD Symposium
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Full Title: 36th International LAUD Symposium Short Title: LAUD 36
Date: 31-Mar-2014 - 02-Apr-2014 Location: Landau/Pfalz, Germany Contact Person: Martin Pütz
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics; Language Documentation; Sociolinguistics; Typology

Call Deadline: 15-Sep-2013

Meeting Description:

36th International LAUD Symposium

Endangerment of Languages across the Planet:
The Dynamics of Linguistic Diversity and Globalization


University of Koblenz-Landau
Landau, Germany

Landau is a small city surrounded by the Southern Wine Route district of Southern Rhineland-Palatinate and close to the Black Forest (1 hour from Frankfurt airport).

Confirmed Plenary Speakers:

Peter Austin (University of London)
Bernd Heine (University of Cologne)
Lisa Lim (University of Hong Kong)
Rajend Mesthrie (University of Cape Town)
Salikoko Mufwene (University of Chicago)
Shana Poplack (University of Ottawa)
Suzanne Romaine (University of Oxford)
Sarah Thomason (University of Michigan)
Li Wei (University of London)

‘The disappearance of a language is like the disappearance of life-giving water sources: in a generation, a lake or river can be reduced to a series of water holes, then puddles, after which it may dry up …’(2010, The UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger)

Aim and Scope:

There is general consensus among linguists and language experts that slightly more than 7,000 languages (Ethnologue 2013) are spoken across the world today and that half of them are under threat of extinction within fifty to one hundred years. Today at least 3,000 tongues are endangered, seriously endangered or dying in many parts of the universe. It is a deplorable fact that many linguists have remained rather ignorant to the threat to most of the world’s languages until fairly recently. This conference aims to examine the reasons behind this dramatic loss of linguistic diversity, why this matters, and what can be done and achieved to document and support endangered, moribund and small languages especially in the context of an ever increasing globalized world. In fact, to date there is very little empirical research on the impact of globalization on endangered languages and language shift. How can a minority/indigenous language be maintained in this era of globalisation and what is the role of language policies and language planning strategies in multilingual contexts? And finally, what are the benefits of documenting and archiving endangered languages for linguistics, related disciplines and human cultural heritage in general, especially in the light of new advances in technology and data collection methodologies? In this vein, the context of globalization and language threat will be explored, with all the challenges and consequences involved and discussed from a variety of perspectives: sociolinguistics and the sociology of language, language contact, language policy/planning, language ecology, language endangerment and documentation.

Conference Fees:

The conference fee is EUR 75 and is payable on arrival.

Call for Papers:

In the light of increasingly complex and variable multilingual environments and their impact on language endangerment the following thematic and partly overlapping areas of research will be explored:

Theme Session 1:
Language Endangerment, Language Ecology and Globalization

The first session examines the richness and complexity of linguistic diversity and language contact situations from the perspective of language endangerment, with a focus on case studies from around the world. In this regard, topics such as the diversification of languages, their adaptation to new ecologies, and the relation between linguistic and biological diversity (i.e. ecolinguistics) will be discussed. In the context of globalization, the impact of English in different parts of the world, such as Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific region will be explored. The spread of English to virtually all parts of the world has brought along completely new challenges to the research in this area, such as the effects of the gradual shift in the functions of language (e.g. Europe), as well as the impact of the ever increasing changing role of English as a second language and as the preferred language in communication among non-native speakers from a variety of linguistic backgrounds. The contemporary global processes of socio-cultural, economic and environmental disruption represent a threat to the world’s fast-declining linguistic diversity. Globalisation also entails discussion of attitudinal and ethnic identity factors as necessary for conflict resolution.

In particular, we invite abstracts on the following topics:

- Linguistic diversity and endangerment: case studies
- Language, ecology and environment (ecolinguistics)
- Globalization, power and the status of threatened languages
- Globalization, Englishisation and post-colonial English
- Effects of the spread of English from colonialism to the ‘New World Order’
- Relationships between majority languages, indigenous minority languages and newer migrant minority languages
- Globalisation and endangered pidgins and creoles
- Linguistic diversity, biodiversity and poverty
- Attitudes, beliefs and ethnic identity

Theme Session 2:
Language Endangerment, Language Policy/Planning and Ideology

When languages and linguistic varieties are endangered, language policy often takes the form of specific ideologies and attitudes that underlie language planning strategies and language management. This session explores language policy and language planning models, activities associated with minority and endangered languages, and issues such as linguistic imperialism and language inequality in communities around the world. Are language policies the way to maintain and promote an endangered minority language or can they sometimes be counterproductive? In this vein, should we insist on promoting and implementing mother tongue education or should we further encourage the use of an ex-colonial and official language such as English in multilingual and multicultural contexts?

In particular, we invite abstracts on the following topics:

- Language policy, the nation and nationalism
- Cognitive models of language policy (rationalist vs. romantic)
- Language inequality and linguistic imperialism
- Empowerment of the populations through the use of indigenous languages
- Linguistic human rights
- Colonial and post-colonial language policies (e.g. Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific)
- Language policy and medium of instruction in education
- Language planning and policy in the context of protection of linguistic diversity vs. promotion of linguistic homogeneity
- Governmental support of endangered languages as a moral obligation

Theme Session 3:Language Endangerment and Documentation

One response to language endangerment has been the creation of a new discipline within linguistics labelled language documentation or documentary linguistics. With the disappearance of unwritten and undocumented languages, humanity would lose not only an invaluable portion of its linguistic and cultural wealth but also important ancestral knowledge embedded, in particular, in indigenous languages. The last session, therefore, aims to assess what can be done to promote the documentation, preservation and revitalization of endangered languages. A further question concerns the forms and functions in the structural system of an endangered language. For example, from the perspective of cognitive semantics, metaphors are considered to play an important role in the ecosystem of endangered languages: they appear not to be universal but rather shaped by the sociocultural worldviews of native speakers.

In particular, we invite abstracts on the following topics:

- The role of the linguist in language maintenance, promotion and revitalization
- Degrees of endangerment: ethnolinguistic vitality
- Revitalization of endangered languages: case studies
- Language obsolescence and language death
- Language documentation and documentary linguistics
- Information technologies: digital archiving and the role of the new media
- Language preservation projects and language activism (e.g. Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project, etc.)
- Structural changes in endangered language systems
- Endangered metaphors and metaphors in endangered languages

Submissions are invited for oral presentations on the topics described above. Contributions should focus on results from completed as well as ongoing research, with an emphasis on current approaches, methods, and perspectives, whether theoretical, descriptive, sociolinguistic or corpus-based.

Submission of Abstracts:

Submissions are solicited for theme session presentations by one or two authors within a thirty-minute period, including time for discussion.

All submissions for presentations should be in line with the following abstract guidelines:

Abstracts should be no more than 500 words.
The subject header of your email should include: Abstract LAUD 2014 - name/s.
Please include the following information in the main body of your email: name of author/s, affiliation, email address, presentation title.

Please also state for which of the 3 theme sessions, as listed above, your contribution is intended.

Abstract Specifications:

1 page, 500 words, single-spaced, font size 12 pt, Times New Roman, 2.5 cm margins on all sides.

Abstracts should be submitted to Martin Pütz (

University of Koblenz-Landau
FB 6 Institut für Fremdsprachliche Philologien, Fach Anglistik
Marktstr. 40, 76829 Landau/Pf., Germany
PH: ++49-(0)6341-280-33-204 * Fax: ++49-(0)6341-280-33-200

Organizing Committee Members:

René Dirven (University of Duisburg and Mechelen)
Luna Filipović (University of East Anglia)
Martin Pütz (University of Koblenz-Landau)
Monika Reif (University of Koblenz-Landau)
Justyna Robinson (University of Sussex)
Ulrich Schmitz (University of Duisburg-Essen)
Hans-Georg Wolf (University of Potsdam)

Page Updated: 14-Jun-2013