Where Do We Need to Go From Here?



Call for Papers: New Contexts for the Use of Minoritized Languages/Varieties NEWCON 2020

We are pleased to announce that New Contexts for the Use of Minoritized Languages/Varieties NEWCON 2020 will take place at the University of Zadar 28-30 September 2020.

New Contexts for the Use of Minoritized Languages/Varieties (NEWCON) is an international linguistics conference organized by the Linguistics Department of the University of Zadar, the SOAS World Languages Institute at the University of London, Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation (CIDLes).

Keynote speakers

At the time when we are witnessing the discursive glorification of multilingualism, which often however officially recognizes only selected (standard) varieties of (national) languages, other languages, varieties and modes of speaking are marginalized and further minoritized. Being pushed to the periphery, their speakers often require additional resources to maintain them either as part of their individual as well as their community’s linguistic repertoires. Capturing a range of factors that lead to language decline, shift and loss has been the focus of scholarly interest for a long time. The conference will be focused on understanding different (emerging) forms of resilience in such speech communities and will offer a platform to discuss new ways in which minority, minoritized, non-standard and non-standardized languages and varieties (i.e. all those that do not function as national languages and/or have no official status) are being used, maintained, or creatively adapted to new contexts, such as, for instance

  • in migrational contexts, either local, regional or (inter)national ones
  • in new media
  • for new purposes and in new genres
  • in new (linguistic) forms
  • in the public space

Some of the questions the conference aims to tackle include, but are not limited to the following:

  • What factors contribute to the transformation of local language ecologies in different parts of the world? How are minority and minoritized languages and varieties managed in micro-contexts and at grassroots levels in ways that promote their sustainability?
  • What factors influence a continued use of some languages / varieties in certain, local or global, migrational contexts? How do the existing modes of speaking get transformed to fulfil communicative and identity needs in such situations?
  • In what ways small and minoritized languages and varieties become visible in public space, in traditional and/or social media, and in different forms of institutional discourses?

We invite original and previously unpublished contributions on these and related issues. The language of the conference is English, but PPT presentations and hand-outs in other (minoritized) languages are welcome.

Submission of abstracts

Presentations will last 30 minutes in total, with 20 minutes for the talk and 10 minutes for discussion. Abstracts should be prepared in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format and consisting of max. 300 words, excluding references. Abstracts may be submitted via EasyChair.

Important dates

  • Deadline for abstract submission: (extended) 15 May 2020
  • Notification of acceptance: 1 June 2020
  • Conference: 28-30 September 2020

Other upcoming conferences concerned with related topics:

Minority Languages in the Digital Age Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald, 11 & 12 December 2020

Language Resources and Evaluation Conference Le Palais du Pharo Marseille, new date tba

Disrupting Digital Monolingualism King’s College London, 16 & 17 June 2020