LINGUIST List 32.483

Mon Feb 08 2021

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

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 08-Feb-2021
From: Nadezda Christopher <>
Subject: Mutual Intelligibility: Language, Culture, Cognition
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Full Title: Mutual Intelligibility: Language, Culture, Cognition
Short Title: MILCC

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

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

Call Deadline: 12-Apr-2021

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.

Call for Papers:

We invite proposals for twenty-minute presentations from researchers and cultural practitioners working from diverse disciplines, backgrounds and perspectives. Topics for submissions may include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Linguistic studies of mutual intelligibility;
- Literary/socio-cultural manifestations of mutual intelligibility;
- Cognitive studies including experimental approaches to mutual intelligibility;
- New avenues for research into mutual intelligibility.

We particularly encourage contributions on multi-disciplinary approaches, and on linguistic, socio-cultural and cognitive approaches to mutual intelligibility between understudied or under-documented languages. In the spirit of fostering inter-disciplinary discussion and collaboration, we ask that the proposed talks are aimed at an audience of non-specialists.

The workshop will take place as a hybrid* (online and in-person) event at the University of Surrey on 24-25 June 2021. There is no registration fee for this event, but registration is required.
*The event might move online subject to Covid-19 guidelines and policies.

Please send abstracts of approximately 350 words (excluding references) plus a short bio (max 150 words) to by midnight on 12 April 2021.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 12 April 2021
Notification of acceptance/rejection of abstracts: expected 30 April 2021
Registration open: 3 May 2021
Registration closing date: 20 June 2021

Dr Nadezda Christopher, University of Surrey
Dr Catherine Barbour, University of Surrey
Dr Katie Gilligan, University of Surrey

Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Surrey
Surrey Morphology Group
School of Literature and Languages, University of Surrey
School of Psychology, University of Surrey

For further information, please visit the workshop website:

Page Updated: 08-Feb-2021