LINGUIST List 32.2125

Mon Jun 21 2021

Confs: Cog Sci, Gen Ling, Ling & Lit, Socioling, Translation/United Kingdom and Online

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 20-Jun-2021
From: Nadezda Christopher <>
Subject: Mutual Intelligibility: Language, Culture, Cognition
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Mutual Intelligibility: Language, Culture, Cognition
Short Title: MILCC

Date: 24-Jun-2021 - 25-Jun-2021
Location: University of Surrey (Hybrid Format), United Kingdom
Contact: Nadezda Christopher
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; General Linguistics; Ling & Literature; Sociolinguistics; Translation

Meeting Description:

Despite being perceived as unique, self-contained systems, most languages of the world are not isolated entities, and exist in linguistic continua with other related varieties. Related languages share many properties, giving rise to the global phenomenon of mutual intelligibility, where a speaker of one language can use their variety to efficiently communicate with a speaker of another language, and vice versa (e.g. Spanish and Portuguese).
Whilst research in this area has typically been associated with the realm of linguistics, a cultural studies approach to mutual intelligibility demonstrates how it facilitates intercultural exchange between communities, challenging the misconception of languages as discrete units that has reinforced national and racial essentialism. From the point of view of cognition, meanwhile, empirical research methods can shed light on the biological underpinnings of mutual intelligibility, i.e. what neural correlates and cognitive processes underlie language comprehension and by extension enable speakers of different languages to successfully communicate with each other.

Our timely inter-disciplinary two-day conference is the first of its kind to examine mutual intelligibility from cultural and cognitive as well as linguistic perspectives. By bringing together researchers from a range of fields, this workshop aims to provide a foundation for the development of multi-disciplinary research projects on mutual intelligibility. The goal is to gain a broader understanding of this significant and complex global phenomenon, and identify how various theoretical and empirical research methods can be combined in future research.

Program Information:

The program is available at:

Page Updated: 21-Jun-2021