LINGUIST List 32.2333

Fri Jul 09 2021

Calls: Applied Ling/Italy

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 09-Jul-2021
From: Valeria Caruso <>
Subject: Old and new types of imbalanced communication, XXII AItLA CONGRESS
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Full Title: Old and new types of imbalanced communication, XXII AItLA CONGRESS
Short Title: AItLA 2022

Date: 10-Feb-2022 - 11-Feb-2022
Location: University of Naples, Italy
Contact Person: Marta Maffia
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

Call Deadline: 30-Aug-2021

Meeting Description:

Old and new types of imbalanced communication: channels, structures, and models

In asymmetrical communicative situations, ''participants differ from each other according to their imbalanced access to the management of the interaction'' (Orletti, 2000:12). How we relate to others through language and the types of more or less asymmetrical relationships that are established in communicative exchange have been the focus of observation of several areas of linguistics since Sacks' conversational analysis in the 1960s (Sacks et al., 1974). This field of studies has defined the necessary tools to investigate how interlocutors' identities are dynamically shaped during verbal exchange through control strategies, negotiation activities, and social dominance realised in language use.

Different studies analysing the disparity between interactants in different institutional settings have convincingly demonstrated that asymmetric interaction can jeopardise the fulfilment of communicative goals, e.g. the way learners’ mistakes are corrected can discourage learning in the classroom (Orletti, 2000), the way a therapist interacts with his/her patients can affect the outcomes of therapy (Auer & Hörmeyer, 2016) or, during interaction between native and non-native speakers, communicative effectiveness can be compromised by cultural and social distance (Ferguson, 1975; Berruto, 1993).

The aim of the conference is to reflect on old and new forms of asymmetries in communication, when the different status of the interlocutors affects communication itself. Furthermore, positive examples of forms or models of communication which reduce asymmetries in knowledge or language proficiency are particularly welcome for illustrating good practices to support social cohesion and inclusion. Consider, for example, the practices adopted by linguistic-cultural mediators who work in healthcare assisting patients with different language abilities, i.e. foreigners or native Italians with restricted code types (Gavioli, 2015).

Returning to the main goals of interactional linguistics (Couper-Kuhlen & Selting, 2018), the conference aims to encourage discussions and reflections on (i) describing language structures as a means of social interaction, (ii) providing analyses and comparisons to highlight how interactional needs shape language structures and, conversely, how language structures interfere with organisational aspects of social interactions, and (iii) put forward proposals for theories and models of general linguistics by taking into account real language use and structures.

Final Call for Papers:

The deadline for submitting abstracts is extended to Tuesday, August 30, 2021.

Contributions to the conference can use different approaches and techniques for analysing any structural level of languages to approach the proposed topics from different perspectives:

1. channels of transmission of imbalanced communication: text (in)accessibility, communication aids and environments, new media and asymmetrical communication in journalism or the web, etc.;
2. imbalanced communication structures: language of inclusion/exclusion, language of bureaucracy, language disorders and pathological speech, foreigner talk, etc;
3. linguistic models for the analysis of imbalanced communication in speech and texts: phonetic-phonological, segmental and suprasegmental, morpho-syntactic and pragmatic aspects of interaction in the oral and written form, analysis of structures of textual organisation at the macro- and micro-level, metaphor and metaphoric vocabulary for monitoring purposes, etc.

Proposals should consist of 4000-5000 characters including spaces (bibliography excluded). Abstracts must be sent to, specifying ''Abstract2022'' in the subject.
Further information can be found at:

Confirmed Invited speakers:
Claudia Bianchi, Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele
Franca Orletti, Università degli Studi Roma Tre
Cristina Vallini, Università degli Studi di Napoli ‘L’Orientale’

Page Updated: 09-Jul-2021