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IV International Congress on Dialectology and Sociolinguistics

IV CIDS – 2016 Paris-Sorbonne

September 7-9, 2016


The IV International Congress on Dialectology and Sociolinguistics is an opportunity for historically related disciplines to discuss their methodological tools, operational concepts as well as the complex relationship of the studied linguistic segments, the views adopted and the results obtained despite the specific approaches employed by each discipline to tackle its object of study.

For that reason, the Congress will focus on three themes around which debates will be held in order to discuss a key concept in Dialectology and Sociolinguistics: language variation. The purpose of the discussion is to go beyond the paths already covered in order to oppose synchronic standpoints to diachronic ones, relate the different kinds of language variation without limiting the discussion to a single parameter, and evaluate the epistemological relevance of language variation and the theoretical benefit the concept can bring to Dialectology and Sociolinguistics. Such reflection is even more urgent once the linguistic contexts with which we have been increasingly confronted in the field are so complex that the boundaries between Dialectology and Sociolinguistics are sometimes a little obscure. This is the case, for example, of the new linguistic contexts in megacities worldwide where crossed, mixed and merged linguistic uses take place and where meanwhile small linguistic islands resist the widespread standardization brought about by globalized exchanges and the vertiginous development of the media.

It would also be pertinent to discuss the different strategies the linguistic communities have adopted to preserve their identities while maintaining the necessary links with both near and far circles. Therefore, identities and differences would represent the two terms of an axis around which to articulate issues regarding linguistic attitudes adopted by individuals and social groups, the preservation of linguistic heritages as very powerful identity markers as well as language policies implemented in both emigration and hosting countries where integration is central to the linguistic management. Many issues arise concerning the geographical, ethnical and social dimensions of the languages among which we favor phraseology, one of the most remarkable aspects of idiomaticity.

The second theme of the Congress is fully articulated with the first one and has the merit of evoking features that pave the way for phraseology, a whole research segment that is relatively understudied in the field. Phraseology is any syntagmatic association that displays a minimum degree of crystallization and that keeps its own global meaning, which in turn, fully or partially breaks with the compositional meaning of the corresponding free phrase. Shifting the interest from single words to the combination of words makes it possible to integrate a set of new meaningful elements present in different linguistic realizations. Such set of elements encompasses the following: the characteristic of certain combinations that sounds “natural” to the native speakers, their pre-built, suitable and adequate aspect, their adherence to the lexicon, and their semantic specificities make those linguistic realizations special supports of stereotyped contents that are shared the speakers of a language. It is in the discourse that the polilexical units are born, used, fixed and eventually migrate to the language. The interaction established between discourse and language reflects the fundamental dynamics of every verbal communication: discourse springs from language and likewise language is born in discourse. This continued movement allows the linguistic research traditions move from the current static views to complex approaches that integrate the dynamics of the linguistic object. Thus, in order to study phraseology facts, we need to consider all the linguistic levels (lexicon, morphology, syntax, prosody, semantics, pragmatics, etc.) of all the configurations of polilexical units (from words to texts including syntagmas and sentences) as well as the dimension of enunciation (involving all the markers for the agents of enunciation situations, among others). The complexity of phraseology as a research object has little by little imposed the need for works that try to overcome the compartmentalization of the disciplines of the field of language sciences by taking into consideration the contributions of related disciplines such as translation studies, didactics, language acquisition, the automatic processing, etc. Computer tools have led scholars of the field of language sciences to question themselves about data collecting procedures, data organization and data analysis possibilities.

The third theme of the Congress – resource – springs from such intersection. Resource is a term that has been increasingly used on its own or competing with others such as data, corpus, etc. The Congress is an opportunity to discuss issues concerning data collecting and methodological procedures, nature of the data (either oral or written), data processing, its filing and exploratory analysis, etc. In accordance with the logistical features of computational technologies, we shall also discuss the new ways of working made available by the Internet and its platforms that bring out several different forms of collaborative, cumulative and relatively controllable work. Besides that, several epistemological inquiries have become urgent, among which we mention the interaction between the computational tools, the studied object and the researcher. Instances of such inquiries include the following among others: a) Do the computational requirements change the studied object? b) Would those requirements create artifacts that would have direct impact on the estimated results of the research? c) What are the possibilities to better use the potentiality of the digital technology to preserve the linguistic heritages, especially those of the endangered languages? d) What impacts could computational technology have on the linguistic issues such as history, neologisms, and stylistic markers?

Therefore, considering the three themes either in isolation or in interaction, the following axes are to be favored:

– Linguistic Geography: researches, resources, descriptions, etc.

– Language Contact: vehicular languages; national languages, vernaculars, indigenous / autochthonous languages, native languages, dialects, ways of speaking, etc.

– The linguistic observations: epistemological and theoretical reflections, databases, reference corpus, etc.

– Linguistic atlases: data collecting procedures, methods of analysis, cartographic representations, computerization, etc.computerization, etc.

– Theoretical reflection: evaluation of methodological concepts, theoretical innovations; units of linguistic analysis, etc.

– Applications: lexicography, learning language, linguistic standardization, translation, language engineering, etc.

– Urban Dialectology: linguistic heterogeneity, standardization, linguistic insecurity, linguistic market, etc.

– Cryptonymous codes: jargons, slangs, social and professional linguistic specificities.

– Crystalizations, collocations, fixed units, Paremiology, etc.

– The specialized discourses: vulgarization of terminology, terminology, markers of phraseological units, etc.

– The lexical and discursive creativity: neologism, de-crystallization, ludic uses, etc.