LINGUIST List 31.2939

Tue Sep 29 2020

Calls: Pragmatics/Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 28-Sep-2020
From: Minna Nevala <>
Subject: Self- and other-reference in social role construction in different genres and social contexts
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Full Title: Self- and other-reference in social role construction in different genres and social contexts

Date: 27-Jun-2021 - 02-Jul-2021
Location: Winterthur, Switzerland
Contact Person: Minna Nevala
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics

Call Deadline: 25-Oct-2020

Meeting Description:

First-person is an important locus of interpersonal and indexical work and it often establishes the starting point of the interaction (e.g. Agha 2007: 280, Mühlhäusler and Harré 1990). Several empirical studies show how first-person expressions establish the interlocutor’s stance and position them vis-à-vis the recipient but also in relation to the broader social and societal context, its norms and hierarchies, as well as the expectations of the audience and practices of the genre (e.g. Palander-Collin 2009, Palander-Collin & Nevala 2011, Palander-Collin & Liukkonen 2017). The communicative functions of self-reference may also vary depending on the context (Hyland 2003). Moreover, in addition to the first-person pronouns the self can be positioned through the use of various other linguistic means, as well as by means of reference to others, such as stance markers and address terms.

This panel focuses on the ways in which the writer or speaker can position themselves in different genres and social contexts and what kind of social roles are then created and which linguistic means are used. Papers to be included can relate to different genres and comparisons of genres as well as linguistic or discursive comparisons of the same individual in different social roles. We welcome methodologies ranging from macro to micro perspectives, including combinations of qualitative and quantitative methods, and synchronic and diachronic perspectives. Potential research questions might include the role of the “self” in a public context vs. private context, e.g. whose voices are presented in the first-person and what kind of roles are then constructed? Or, what kind of patterns of self- and other-reference can be detected, what are the implications for role construction, and are there perhaps changing patterns over time? Or, how specific linguistic/pragmatic functions, such as, reporting, reference, or politeness, are used for positioning of the self and other interlocutors.

Call for Papers:

Please submit your abstract through the conference webpages by October 25. For further instructions, please see

Agha, Asif. 2007. Language and Social Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Beeching, Kate, Chiara Ghezzi & Piera Molinelli (eds.). 2018. Positioning the Self and Others. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Mühlhäusler, Peter & Rom Harré. 1990. Pronouns and People: The Linguistic Construction of Social and Personal Identity. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Hyland, Ken. 2003.Self‐citation and self‐reference: Credibility and promotion in academic publication. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 54 (3): 251-259.
Palander-Collin, Minna. 2009. Variation and change in patterns of self-reference in early English correspondence. Journal of Historical Pragmatics 10 (2): 260–85.
Palander-Collin, Minna & Ina Liukkonen. 2017. Constructing the defendant role in the trial proceedings of the Old Bailey: Guilty or not guilty. Token: A Journal of English Linguistics 6: 173-203.
Palander-Collin, Minna & Minna Nevala. 2011. Sociopragmatic aspects of writer and addressee reference in Nathaniel Bacon’s letters. In P. Pahta and A. H. Jucker (eds.), Communicating Early English Manuscripts. Cambridge: CUP. 102–17.

Page Updated: 29-Sep-2020