Contact-Driven Multilingual Practices, Helsinki



Date: 1 – 2  June 2017

Meeting Description:

Almost every country in the world is multilingual. In many of them, multilingualism is a long-standing state of affairs, while for some it is a relatively recent development. Numerous speech communities in different parts of the world are currently experiencing profound transformation, and the cultural change is more intensive than ever. These changes are triggered by a fundamental restructuring of the social, economic, cultural and political environment of language, the fall of traditional language boundaries, new forms of mobility and migration.

The conference seeks to contribute to the scholarly understanding of multilingual practices and the patterns of both language change and language shift in speech communities all over the world. We encourage attention to those viewpoints, such as language contact situation, code-switching, speakers’ attitudes in different linguistic environments, that emphasise the significance of detailed qualitative linguistic analysis. We see this conference as a forum for discussion of the importance of the parallel use of two or more languages and its influence on both language structure and the renewal of functional domains.

Possible topics for talks may, therefore, relate to (but are not restricted to) the following research areas:

– Contact-induced language change
– Code-switching and code-mixing
– Old and new forms of multilingualism
– Minority languages and language shift
– Language policy and education in multilingual communities
– Multilingual practices in different environments
– Sociolinguistic aspects of multilingualism
– Legal aspects of multilingualism
– Linguistic landscapes in multilingual communities
– Methodological issues in the research of multilingualism

The following plenary speakers have confirmed their participation:

– Prof. Durk Gorter (Ikerbasque, Basque Foundation for Science/University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU in Donostia-San Sebastián)
– Dr. Eitan Grossman (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)