LINGUIST List 26.2971

Mon Jun 22 2015

Calls: Sociolinguistics/Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Anna White <>

Date: 20-Jun-2015
From: Christoph Neuenschwander <>
Subject: Communication in the 'Country of Babel': Language Ideological Debates on Contact Varieties
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Full Title: Communication in the 'Country of Babel': Language Ideological Debates on Contact Varieties

Date: 11-Nov-2015 - 12-Nov-2015
Location: Bern, Switzerland
Contact Person: Laura Tresch
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

Call Deadline: 15-Jul-2015

Meeting Description:

This is to announce the conference “Communication in the ‘Country of Babel’: Language Ideological Debates on Contact Varieties”, which is scheduled for the 11-12 November 2015 at the University of Bern.

Conference Themes and Topics:

Language ideologies, or “cultural conceptions of the nature, form and purpose of language”, often clash in metalinguistic debates, be it public or academic ones. Notions of how expedient, authentic, legitimate or even pure a given variety is – and ought to be – are particularly divergent when new (contact-induced) varieties evolve.

The conference aims at bringing together researchers who work in the fields of language ideologies and contact linguistics, and to discuss recent trends in language development, language policies and linguistic research on metalinguistic debates. Papers should be on the following topics:

1. Language ideologies (especially in public discourse)
2. Ideologies of mobility and sedentarism
3. Meta-linguistic discourse on new dialects, pidgins and creoles
4. The evolution of new national languages
5. Standardisation of new varieties – from exonormative to endonormative standards
6. Language ideologies in educational policies
7. Language ideologies in the media
8. New varieties and power

Confirmed Speakers:

Jan Blommaert (University of Tilburg)
Helen Kelly-Holmes (University of Limerick)
David Britain (University of Bern)
Crispin Thurlow (University of Bern)
Richard Watts (University of Bern)

Organising Committee:

Laura Tresch (
Christoph Neuenschwander (

2nd Call for Papers:

We are inviting the submission of abstracts (PhD students and other researchers). Papers presented at the conference will be considered for an edited volume that we aim to publish following the conference.

The number of participants will be limited to 20, in order to facilitate a tightly structured conference that affords sufficient time for discussion.

In order to submit a proposal for a paper please submit your abstract (max. 500 words, excluding
references) to

Contributions: Individual Papers of 30 minutes (20 minutes presentation, 10 minutes discussion).
Conference language: The language spoken at the conference is English.

Deadlines for Submissions:

Deadline for submissions: July 15, 2015

Notification of acceptance: August 15, 2015

We will notify speakers if they have been accepted, and send a provisional programme.


One of the major goals of the conference proceedings is the publication of an edited volume. This provides an opportunity to young researchers to publish together with well-known experts in the field.

Page Updated: 22-Jun-2015