LINGUIST List 28.1002

Fri Feb 24 2017

Calls: English, Historical Linguistics/France

Editor for this issue: Kenneth Steimel <>

Date: 23-Feb-2017
From: Justyna Robinson <>
Subject: The Role of an Individual in Linguistic Change
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Full Title: The Role of an Individual in Linguistic Change

Date: 04-Jul-2017 - 06-Jul-2017
Location: Tours, France
Contact Person: Justyna Robinson
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English

Call Deadline: 28-Mar-2017

Meeting Description:

This is a workshop on ''The role of an individual speaker in linguistic change'' at the Biennial Conference on the Diachrony of English (CBDA-5).

Organiser: Justyna Robinson

On the one hand, this workshop explores the way in which individual speakers participate in an ongoing community change by advancing it, resisting it, or following other response scenarios (what are the potential scenarios?). In this respect, the workshop aims to assess the importance of various factors in differential speaker's response to change such as social position of the speaker, attitudes to and perceptions of change, the type of change (e.g. change at different levels of language, changes from above/below), etc. On the other hand, the workshop considers the lifecycle of linguistic change and how it intersects with the life of a speaker or a small group of speakers as evidenced in the history of English. How do innovations arise and how are they 'managed' by individual speakers? How are the innovations passed on to other speakers during the diffusion of change? How is the process of receding usage managed by individuals? The workshop also considers the issue of differential 'reaction' of individuals to change (participating in the change or not, other scenarios?) depending on the stage of change (e.g. new change, change towards completion) and depending on the life stage of an individual speaker.

This workshop also aims to assess the effect of remaining historical records of individual usage on our understanding of the history of English.

A desired outcome of the workshop is a more fine-grained understanding of how linguistic change happens as exemplified by changes in the English language. What were the past reasons for an individual to depart from an established usage and follow the innovative use? What were the social, cognitive, and structural ingredients of a successful change? What were the characteristic of ephemeral changes?

Apart from theoretical issues, this workshop will discuss methodological challenges involved in investigating linguistic change at an individual level and outline the most pressing areas of further research.

Call for Papers:

The workshop on individual variation considers the question of how linguistic innovation and change happens when viewed from the point of an individual speaker or a small group of speakers. We would like to invite papers which consider this question in the context of the diachrony of the English language.

Full papers will be allowed 30 minutes, including 10 minutes for discussion. If you would like to take part in the workshop, please send an abstract (approximately 300 - 400 words), in .doc or .pdf format, to Justyna Robinson ( Abstracts should reach us no later than March 28, 2017. Please leave the abstract anonymous, but do cite your name and affiliation as well as the title of your paper in the e-mail.

Further information on the CBDA-5 conference is on the meeting website:

Page Updated: 24-Feb-2017