CfP - IN THE SHADOW OF THE STANDARD: The influence of standard language ideology on non-standard language(s). ECR workshop and networking event.

  • 09 Jan 2018 14:34
    Message # 5668913

    Call for papers:

    IN THE SHADOW OF THE STANDARD: A workshop and networking event for Early Career Researchers on the influence of standard language ideology on non-standard language(s)

    One-day workshop aimed at early career researchers, to be held at the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, University of Nottingham, on Saturday 22 Sept 2018

    The workshop aims to investigate how attitudes towards standard languages interact with, and influence, attitudes towards other language varieties or usages. When we study or talk about language, we generally do so with some reference to the notion of a standard language, whether consciously or not (cf. Milroy 2001). Attitudes towards both ‘non-standard’ usages (that is, deviations from the norm as codified/prescribed in grammars and dictionaries) and also towards language varieties which are viewed as ‘non-standard’ (for example, regional or minority varieties) are frequently coloured by attitudes towards a standard variety. Even where the standard is not explicitly referenced or mentioned, it can influence discussions about language, whether these are professional or lay. For example, sociolinguists, although often acutely aware of the issue, find it difficult to talk about non-standard varieties or usages without resorting to reference to the standard. When we talk about ‘archaisms’ in Québécois French, for instance, these are only archaic with reference to the standard French of France; they never fell out of usage in Quebec. Equally, speakers who are not necessarily consciously aware of a standard variety may subconsciously reference it, as when they call out transgressions from it on social media (cf. memes on ‘bad’ spelling). However, in different contexts, attitudes vary towards both standard and non-standard languages or usages. Such attitudes are important and can have real-life consequences. For example, they are frequently linked to preferential treatment on the one hand, or discrimination, on the other, of speakers of certain varieties. This workshop will yield comparative discussion on the impact of standard language ideology on attitudes towards all non-standard language usages or varieties, in order to trace commonalities and differences. The question will be examined from both a current-day and a historical perspective.

    Possible approaches include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • ·         How does the existence of a standard language influence attitudes towards regional, minority or other non-standard varieties in a given region?
    • ·         Does a strong ideology of the standard help or hinder the speakers of non-standard varieties?
    • ·         How do attitudes towards the standard language influence attitudes towards non-standard usages of that language (that is, towards deviations from the prescribed norm)?
    • ·         How is standard language ideology produced and reproduced in a given speech community?
    • ·         How is standard language ideology spread in the written and online press?
    • ·         What is the role of dictionaries and grammars in the production/reproduction of standard language ideology?
    • ·         What role does social media play in the spread and/or maintenance of standard language ideology?
    • ·         What role do standard and non-standard language varieties play in identity formation?
    • ·         How does the linguistic standard relate to social standard/social capital?
    • ·         How do issues such as language endangerment/revitalization relate to standard language ideology?
    • ·         What relationship does the standard language have to language advice (blogs, language columns, prescriptive works)?
    • ·         How does standard language ideology influence language myths and/or folk attitudes?
    • ·         What relationship does the standard language have to prescription and/or linguistic purism?
    • ·         What are the implications of attitudes towards non-standard varieties for language policy and planning?

    The workshop will consist of several talks in the morning, including a keynote talk by Professor Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade, followed by an afternoon networking session. During this, ECRs will present their research related to any of the broad themes outlined above (from either a diachronic or a synchronic perspective) in a PechaKucha style presentation. A round-table discussion will then be held on the commonalities and differences in research questions and approaches, and areas of potential collaboration. The workshop is therefore explicitly aimed at ECRs within eight years of the award of their PhD and final-year PhD students.


    If you are interested in participating in the networking session, please complete the expression of interest form by Friday 16 March 2018.

    Notification of acceptance will be sent by Friday 27 April 2018.

    The workshop is free for all attendees and will include lunch and refreshments. A small number of travel bursaries (up to £50) are available for participants who do not currently hold an institutional affiliation or who do not have access to financial support from their home institutions. If you would like to be considered for a bursary, tick the appropriate box in the expression of interest form and provide a short statement of support.

    For any enquiries, please contact Dr Olivia Walsh at . For further information, see the website.

    This workshop is organized with the financial support of the Leverhulme Trust, as part of a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship, held by Olivia Walsh at the University of Nottingham for her project “A History of Language Purism in France and Quebec”.

    Dr Olivia Walsh


    Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

    Department of French and Francophone Studies

    School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

    University of Nottingham

    NG7 2RD

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