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International Conference on Non-dominating Varieties of Pluricentric Languages
Graz, 11-13 July 2011

Non-dominant standards of pluricentric languages:
Getting the picture.

Symposium in memory of Professor Michael Clyne

Graz, 11-13 July 2011

Call for papers

The study of pluricentric languages, to which Michael Clyne so greatly contributed, has developed in diverse directions, from structural to sociolinguistic and pragmatic analyses. Still, to date there has not been a systematic documentation of non-dominant varieties and their status in relation to dominant and other non-dominant varieties of the same pluricentric language.

The first symposium of the working group on non-dominant varieties of pluricentric languages is an opportunity to document these varieties in order to provide a foundation for the systematic study of non-dominant varieties.

Objectives of the conference

The main objectives of this conference are to document the situation of the non-dominant varieties world-wide in order to identify common or diverging features and to draw conclusions for their codification, corpus and status planning. Furthermore the conference aims to bring together scholars already working on these varieties and to interest others to join the working group and contribute to its research objectives.


All scholars working in this field are invited to submit proposals for papers/workshops by 30 April 2011.

Contents of papers

Papers (20 mins. + 10 mins. discussion) should address one or more of the following:

  • the  sociolinguistic/demographic situation of non-dominant varieties in general
  • the overall  relationship between the non-dominant and the dominant variety  (acceptance/non-acceptance of the pluricentricity of the language etc.)
  • the  attitudes (status, loyalty etc.) of speakers of non-dominant varieties  towards their own variety and towards the dominant variety
  • the  treatment of the norms of the non-dominant variety in education: is it  taught explicitly
  • the  situation of codification and corpus planning, codifying institutions,  dictionaries, regulations governing codification, joint institutions that  regulate the codification (e.g. orthography) across different varieties
  • the  situation of status planning (is there any?)
  • the  treatment of pronunciation features and lexical items of the non-dominant  variety in dictionaries and in orthography (adapted/not adapted)
  • the  influence of the dominant variety/ies on the non-dominant variety  (lexicon, pronunciation, grammar, phraseology, pragmatics etc.) and vice  versa
  • prominent  linguistic and pragmatic features of one particular non-dominant variety  on all levels
  • dominant-non-dominant relationships of varieties  within national varieties (2nd level-pluricentricity)
  • the emergence of "new" varieties in non-dominant varieties as expression of social and national identity
  • the role as identity markers of non-dominant and regional varieties
  • the language usage in situations of social proximity and distance in non-dominant and dominant varieties etc.

Contents of workshops

Workshops (90 minutes long) should concern specific languages and their various non-dominant varieties, and particular methodological problems in the description of non-dominant varieties.


All abstracts should be written in English (which will be the conference language) and copied into the field "abstract" on the registration page or sent to rudolf.muhr@uni-graz.at as an email attachment in Word format.

Abstracts for 20-minute papers should not exceed 3000 characters (1 page A4) plus 4 keywords. Suggested topics for presentations can be downloaded from the conference website.

Abstracts for 90-minute workshops should not exceed 5000 characters (1 1/2 page A4) plus 4-8 keywords. Workshop organizers should outline the overall structure of the workshop and provide names of the participants.


A volume of selected papers is to be published by Peter Lang Verlag, Frankfurt.

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