We often tend to think of language as being simply a collection of words and grammar patterns; but in doing so, we risk losing sight of the subtle interconnections between language and identity, or of the ways in which shared language defines communities. This is why linguists are increasingly interested on language ideologies, the ways in which people use language to mark group membership, and the ways that such ideological processes are reproduced in the ways we communicate.
It is such considerations that have prompted Matthew John Hadodo (University of Pittsburgh), Elena Ioannidou (University of Cyprus), and Petros Karatsareas (University of Westminster) to convene an upcoming workshop focussing on “Language Ideologies, Identity and Authenticity in Minoritised Greek-speaking Communities“. The workshop will take place online on 20th January 2021 (time tbc), and aims to provide a space for discussing how speakers of Modern Greek who are living outside Greece and Cyprus (i.e. societies where Greek is the majority language) construct their identity.
What makes this workshop topical?
As the workshop organisers point out, members of speech communities often tend to assume that “language is an ‘objective’ in-group marker” which can be used to define whether individuals are “authentic” in-group members or not. However, they note, “linguistic research across diverse speech communities suggests that the processes behind language ideologies are often as much about perceptions of speakers as they are about the speech itself” and “ideologies about language play important roles in how communities form and differentiate themselves from others”.
Ideologies about language play important roles in how communities form and differentiate themselves from others.Tweet
Such beliefs raise questions like how linguistic communities define themselves in relation to other groups, how they think about themselves and how group membership is bestowed, and the workshop aims to explore such questions.
Call for Papers
The workshop organisers are keen to receive abstracts for oral presentations from a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives (sociolinguistic, language contact, language policy and planning, language and education; variationist approaches, (critical) discourse analytic approaches, ethnographic approaches) that focus on the conference themes. These might, indicatively, explore topics such as the following:
- the construction of Greekness and/or Greek-speakerhood in different geographical and sociohistorical contexts and communities;
- manifestations, conceptualisations and negotiations of linguistic authenticity, especially in communities that are or have been removed from the influence of Standard Greek or other local Greek norms;
- sociolinguistic outcomes of the confrontation with competing language forms as a result of language/dialect contact with other varieties of Greek, both standardised and non-standardised;
- the role of Greek language education in shaping local sociolinguistic landscapes and dynamics;
- the impact of language policies implemented and promoted across different levels (family language policy; local, regional, national language policies; home country and host country policies).
Contributions focusing on Greek-speaking diasporas, indigenous Greek-speaking communities outside the borders of Greece and the control of the Republic of Cyprus, and lesser-studied Greek varieties are especially welcome.
Not sure how to write an effective abstract? This link might help!
How to submit
Abstracts (max. 500 words including references), in Modern Greek or English, should be submitted online. The deadline for abstract submission is 16 October 2020, and notifications of acceptance will be sent out by 16 November 2020.
|Abstract submission deadline||16th October 2020|
|Notification of acceptance||16th November 2020|
|Workshop date||20th January 2021|
Further publication opportunities
A selection of contributions presented at the workshop will be published in a special issue in the open-access journal Languages.
The workshop organisers can be reached by email at the following addresses:
|Matthew John Hadodo||matthewjohnhadodo [at] pitt.edu|
|Elena Ioannidou||ioannidou.elena [at] ucy.ac.cy|
|Petros Karatsareas||p.karatsareas [at] westminster.ac.uk|
Before you go: I will be updating this post with additional information about the workshop, as it becomes available. I am looking forward to this event, and hopefully seeing some of the readers of this blog presenting there. Please consider forwarding this information to anyone who might be interested, using the sharing buttons below.