Call for papers

Regional varieties, language shift and linguistic identities

Aston University, 12.-14. September 2012

Plenary Speakers:
Prof. Joan Beal, University of Sheffield (UK)
Prof. Barbara Johnstone, Carnegie Mellon University (USA)
Prof. Yaron Matras, University of Manchester (UK)

Regional varieties have become an important contributor to identity construction processes, and an increasingly important issue for the individual and the community in late Modernity: the individual is under constant and increasing pressure to define who s/he is and has to choose from an ever growing pool of possibilities to construct social identity in an increasingly globalized world. By referring to what is seen as traditional regional language, dialect and culture, localizing oneself seems to be a viable way out of this dilemma. This should have stabilizing effects on lesser used varieties, which have been facing a gradual process of language shift and divergence towards dominant contact languages over the last hundred years. Unfortunately, at the same time, modern life does not so much require knowledge of regional varieties as of standard languages and a good command of English as the global lingua franca. How can an upwardly mobile individual combine the requirements of modern life with identity construction on a regional scale if they so choose? What are the linguistic consequences for lesser used varieties and their respective contact languages?

Focussing on the individual speaker and the speech community which is created by the use of language(s) as social practice, the conference organizers welcome papers and posters on the following fields of research:

 Language contact between a lesser used regional variety and a dominant standard language.
 Identity and regional varieties;
 Indexicality and enregisterment;
 Variation and style;
 Postvernacular linguistic and cultural practices;
 Emblematic language use and language mixing;
 Lesser used regional varieties and the Internet;
 Regional varieties and linguistic landscapes;
 New approaches to dialectology.

Deadline for call of papers: 31st  March 2012

Conference schedule
Wednesday, 12th September: 4  7 pm Registration, followed by reception
Thursday, 13th September: 8.30  9.30 Registration; 10 am  5pm: Papers
Friday, 14th September: 8.30  9.30 Registration; 10 am  5pm: Papers
                                      7 pm Conference Dinner (optional)
Saturday, 15th September: Optional excursion to The Black Country Living Museum and canal boat trip.

For queries please contact: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Sent on behalf of the conference organizers:

Dr Urszula Clark (Reader in English, Deputy Director, InterLand)
Mr Brian Dakin (Research Associate, InterLand)
Prof Gertrud Reershemius (Professor in German, InterLand, ISLS)


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