LINGUIST List 31.2272

Tue Jul 14 2020

Calls: Applied Ling, Disc Analy, Pragmatics, Socioling/Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 14-Jul-2020
From: Eva Ogiermann <>
Subject: Panel on Covid-19 Signs
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Full Title: Panel on Covid-19 Signs

Date: 24-Jun-2021 - 26-Jun-2021
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Contact Person: Eva Ogiermann
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics

Call Deadline: 15-Aug-2020

Meeting Description:

“The interpersonal functions of public signs during the Covid-19 pandemic”

This panel examines public signs that have emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic in different parts of the world. Public signs, broadly defined as “the linguistic items found in the public space” (Shohamy 2006: 110), constitute a form of asynchronous, one-way communication addressing unknown recipients. What connects them with the sign producers is the place where they appear and, in this context, communicate changes brought about by the pandemic.

Public signs have traditionally been analysed in the field of Linguistic Landscape studies (see e.g. Gorter 2013). Their potential to contribute to the study of interpersonal communication remains largely unexplored. The examination of public signs that have emerged across the world during the Covid-19 pandemic helps fill this gap. They mainly fulfil three functions: 1) directive messages (e.g. implementing social distancing measures) which tend to be direct, often using imperative or elliptical constructions, 2) messages of support, containing expressions of gratitude and solidarity, 3) commercial messages primarily aimed at retaining customers (by redirecting them to online services or social media), but often also containing elements of 1) & 2).

The panel has been accepted and currently contains contributions looking at Arabic, Greek and English data, collected in Oman, the UK (London) and Greece (Athens and a small island). There is still space for a couple of papers and we would particularly welcome contributions on signs in further languages / areas. We are also planning to put together a Special Issue based on the panel.

Call for Papers:

If you are interested in joining the panel, please email me at - ideally by 15 August. The conference deadline for submitting abstracts for individual contributions to panels is 1 October 2020.

Page Updated: 14-Jul-2020