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World Conference on Pluricentric Languages and their non-dominant Varieties
Graz, 8-11 July 2015

Aims of the conference

  1. To get information about the situation of as many pluricentric languages and non-dominant-varieties in order to get empirically secured descriptions of their effects:
    • on the identity of their speakers
    • on the identity of their language communities
    • on the treatment of norms in written and spoken language
    • on the principles of codification and their spread to younger generations
    • on methods in language-technology, how linguistic variation between and within national varieties and nd-varieties in particular can be treated and modelled
  2. To get exhaustive reports of the situation of as many plc. languages and nd-varieties around the world and in particular of lesser known and researched plc. languages and nd-varieties like:
    • Albanian, Aramaic, Aromunian, Basque, Bengali, Chinese, Croatian, Guaraní, Hebrew, Hindi/Urdu, Hungarian, Kiswahili / Swahili, Kurdish, Mapudungun, Occitan, Pashto, Punjabi, Quechua, Tamil, Romanian, Russian etc.
    • ND-varieties of English in South-America, Africa and Asia: Bahamas, Cameroon, Caribbean, East-Africa, Gambia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta, Namibia, Philippines, Scotland, Singapore, Sri Lanca, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda etc.
    • ND-varieties of French in Europe, West- and Central-Africa, Asia and South-America: Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea equatorial, Haiti, Madagascar, Mauretania, Morocco, Ruanda, Switzerland, Chad, Togo, Tunisia etc.
    • ND-varieties of Spanish in South- and Central America: Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Costa-Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Uruguay
    • ND-varieties of Portuguese in South-America, Africa and Asia: Cap Verde, Goa (India), Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Macau, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe etc.
    • ND-varieties of German in Austrian, Belgium South-Tyrol, Swiss, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg.
    • Reports on the development of Russian in the former countries of the Soviet Union
  3. To deepen the theory of plc. languages and the methods for the description of nd-varieties in particular in respect to:
    • migrant varieties creating new types of pluricentricity
    • second level forms of pluricentricity within national varieties and their theoretical treatment
    • strategies for coping with language shift caused by electronic media and satellite TV spreading dominant norms to non-dominant varieties
    • the treatment of linguistic and pragmatic features of nd-varieties in education in primary and secondary schools
    • the concept of a “single” linguistic standard vs. many “standards” in parallel but with different scope and usage
    • principles of codification in diglossic language communities of plc. languages, esp. the treatment of divergent linguistic forms that are common in everyday communication
    • the usage of endonormative codification strategies and their impact on the development of varieties and languages
    • measures of status planning and corpus planning

Topics of the Conference:

  1. the  sociolinguistic/demographic situation of non-dominant varieties in general
  2. the overall  relationship between the non-dominant and the dominant variety  (acceptance/non-acceptance of the pluricentricity of the language etc.)
  3. the  attitudes (status, loyalty etc.) of speakers of non-dominant varieties  towards their own variety and towards the dominant variety
  4. the  treatment of the norms of the non-dominant variety in education
  5. 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
  6. the  situation of status planning (is there any?)
  7. the  treatment of pronunciation features and lexical items of the non-dominant  variety in dictionaries and in orthography (adapted/not adapted)
  8. the  influence of the dominant variety/ies on the non-dominant variety  (lexicon, pronunciation, grammar, phraseology, pragmatics etc.) and vice  versa
  9. prominent  linguistic and pragmatic features of one particular non-dominant variety  on all levels
  10. dominant-non-dominant relationships of varieties within national varieties (2nd level-pluricentricity)
  11. the emergence of "new" varieties in non-dominant varieties as expression of social and national identity
  12. prominent  linguistic and pragmatic features of one particular non-dominant variety  on all levels
  13. the role as identity markers of non-dominant and regional varieties
  14. the language usage in situations of social proximity and distance in non-dominant and dominant varieties etc.

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