LINGUIST List 31.687
Mon Feb 17 2020
Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <laurenlinguistlist.org>
Simon Borchmann <sub
Language in Action E-mail this message to a friend
Full Title: Language in Action
Date: 12-Nov-2020 - 13-Nov-2020
Location: Roskilde University, Denmark
Contact Person: Simon Borchmann
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: https://ruc.dk/en/research-group/language-culture-and-cognition
Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics
Call Deadline: 07-Jul-2020
Malinowski's term 'language in action' implies that language is embedded in courses of non-linguistic, non-communicative actions attuned to a continuously changing environment, that the basic purpose of language is to contribute to the completion of such courses, and that regularities in language use must be explained and analyzed in terms of this purpose.
Saussure's idea of languages as autonomous systems entailed a separation of language and action and thereby made it irrelevant to explain and analyze linguistic units and regularities in terms of human activity. Early on, this separation was called into question from an anthropological point of view: ”It is nothing short of absurd to assume (...) that grammar has grown up as a sort of wild weed of human faculties for no purpose whatever except for its own existence” (Malinowski, 1969/1923: 327). According to Malinowski, grammatical categories must be a ”reflection of the makeshift, unsystematic, practical outlook” imposed by our “struggle for existence” (ibid. 328). Malinowski’s alternative to Saussure’s linguistic object is ‘language in action’ defined as “language spoken by a group of natives engaged in one of their fundamental pursuits in search of subsistence - hunting, fishing, tilling the soil” (Ibid.: 311-312), and described as “full of technical terms, short references to surroundings, rapid indications of change'' (ibid. 312). ‘Language in action’, thus, implies that language is embedded in courses of non-linguistic, non-communicative actions attuned to a continuously changing environment, that the basic purpose of language is to contribute to the completion of such courses, and that regularities in language use must be explained and analyzed in terms of this purpose.
The aim of this conference is to bring together researchers – linguists, psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists and others - who study language in action. The aim is partly to discuss and develop pragmatic, semantic and grammatical concepts and analyses of language in action, partly to present the results of studies that can form the basis for such developments.
Call for Papers:
All papers that contribute to the description of the relation between linguistic and non-linguistic, non-communicative actions are welcome. The only specific requirement is that theoretical issues are based on observations of language use - spoken and / or written - embedded in non-linguistic, non-communicative courses of actions, and that the presentations include examples of material collected in such studies.
Within this scope, there are a number of issues that can be addressed, including:
- How do we classify language in action?
- Which tasks does language serve in courses of non-communicative actions?
- How are non-linguistic, non-communicative actions coordinated by means of linguistic actions?
- How do listeners and / or readers understand language in action?
- What are the cultures of procedures? How do practitioners relate to written procedures?
- What characterises successful language in action?
- How do linguistic actions support the acquisition of non-linguistic skills and abilities?
- How can a description of language in action contribute to a theory of language evolution?
- How can a description of language in action contribute to a theory of language development?
- How do linguistic structures – paradigmatic and syntagmatic - arise and change in language in action?
- Which semantic structures characterize language in action?
- What is the information structure of language in action?
- What is the grammar of language in action, e.g. short forms?
Abstracts of 300 words with full author names and affiliations should be sent to sub
ruc.dk by July 7, 2020. Acceptance notification will be sent by August 7, 2020.
Further information: https://ruc.dk/en/research-group/language-culture-and-cognition
Malinowski, B. (1969/1923) The problem of meaning in primitive languages. In: Ogden, C.K., Richards, I.A. (Eds.) The Meaning of Meaning: A Study of the Influence of Language upon Thought and of the Science of Symbolism, eighth ed. Harcourt, Brace & World, New York, pp. 296–336.
Page Updated: 17-Feb-2020