New Challenges for Multilingualism in Europe

hosted by Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb - LINEE Network of Excellence

Venue: Dubrovnik, Croatia, 11-15 April, 2010

Start: Sunday, 11 Apr 2010 19:00

End: Wednesday, 31 Dec 2014 00:00

  • Panels


    1. English as a Lingua Franca in and of Multilingual Europe

    Chair: Jennifer Jenkins, LINEE, University of Southampton


    Both LINEE and DYLAN, while focusing primarily on European multilingualism, recognise the importance of exploring and defining the role played by English as Europe’s de facto lingua franca. Hence, both projects include a work package researching the phenomenon of European English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). Whereas DYLAN’s ELF work package (4.2) concerns how ELF is used in communication among multilingual Europeans and how language contact among them is leading to language change, LINEE’s ELF work package (7a) includes a focus on perceptions of European ELF and attitudes towards it. The panel brings together researchers from both work packages as well as an external commentator in order to explore the extent to which the research provides mutual insights with the potential to provide a basis for the conceptualisation of the role of ELF in Europe: a role in which English can be seen as not in conflict with, but an integral part of, European multilingualism.

    After a brief introduction, the four presenters will each speak for 15 minutes, and the discussant will then respond to their papers for a further 15 minutes. There will be approximately 40 minutes for discussion among the panel and with the audience.



    Jennifer Jenkins , LINEE, University of Southampton 

    Barbara Seidlhofer , DYLAN, University of Vienna

    Cornelia Hülmbauer , DYLAN, University of Vienna

    Alessia Cogo , LINEE, University of Southampton

    Sue Wright , School of Languages and Area Studies, University of Portsmouth



    2. Theoretical and methodological aspects of European multilingualism

    Chairs: Rosita Rindler Schjerve and Eva Vetter, LINEE, University of Vienna


    Soliciting a panel on theoretical and methodological issues of multilingualism pursues two main goals: 1. to further the development of the evolving LINEE Research Platform by integrating the views and perspectives which will result from the panel debate with invited international experts and with collaborators from DYLAN, and 2. to contribute to the international visibility and dissemination of the LINEE research by highlighting its work-in-progress and the conclusions one could draw in conceptualising European multilingualism. LINEE started off with the conviction that multilingualism in the EU is to be assessed on a multidisciplinary basis drawing upon a wide range of theoretical and methodological concepts. Hence, invited speakers will be asked to contribute with their expertise to the panel’s kernel queries on how to conceive European multilingualism:

        - Is it possible to conceptualise multilingualism as a comprehensive theoretical and methodological  framework?

        - What kinds of models or approaches are most suitable?

    Although the LINEE research had set out from a number of substantially different theoretical and methodological perspectives, it turned out that all these different approaches were related to a set of influential categories which seem to constitute some of the major components of linguistic diversity in Europe. These categories are knowledge, identity, culture, ideology, discourse, power & conflict, multi-competence & plurilingual repertoire and language policy & planning. They will constitute the primary grounds for the panel debate. Thus, invited speakers will be asked to comment and to draw conclusions on

      •   how they conceive these categories and the way these interact within a framework of multilingualism.

    Yet, some space will be given to methodological concerns. The LINEE matrix for research designs is currently in the making. Hence, one panel speaker will be asked

      •  to give his or her account of how to tackle multilingualism methodologically.

    The panel will involve one speaker from DYLAN, one from LINEE and two independent experts, one for theoretical accounts and the other for methodological concerns.



    Piet Van de Craen , DYLAN, Department of Linguistics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

    Rosita Schjerve-Rindler , LINEE, Department of Romance Languages, University of Vienna

    Henry G. Widdowson, Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of London/Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Vienna

    Monica Heller, University of Toronto



    3. Language and Gender Relations: Integration of Gender in Multinational Research Projects

    Chair: Irén Annus, LINEE, University of Szeged


    The panel is organized to reflect on the dynamics of integrating the gender perspective in the context of academic research of excellence. Its focus is on the politics of gender and language use. It is concerned with the difference it makes for the emerging horizons of legitimate research questions if we simply assume that langue performance is consequential to one’s assumed sex versus when we contest this conceptualization of gender as a self-evident binary category of sex that is always already in correlation with speakers’ corporeality and propose in its stead a reflexive and constitutive relationship between langue use and speakers (gender) identity.  In short it is the problem of how to assume a reciprocal and dynamic relationship between recognition and being recognized in our own disciplinary discourses. We are exploring how the institution of the current research format actively rebuild and sustain or renegotiate and subvert what kind of relations of gendering. In short we shall revisit our experiences in the context of LINEE in both senses of the word: as a research environment as well as a research project, hoping to gain some important insights about the conflictual relationship between gender mainstreaming and integrating gender into researching language use based on the knowledge experience in LINEE.

    After a short introduction by the Chair, the keynote speaker of the panel, Professor Deborah Cameron is going to give a talk, grounding the main theoretical issues regarding gender mainstreaming in large scale social institutions (40 minutes). It will be followed by the talks given by the two leaders of the Gender Task Force in LINEE, based on their particular experiences over the history of the research project, both speaking 15 minutes, respectively. Then, following Deborah Cameron’s responses to the Task Force leaders’ talks (10 minutes), the floor will be opened for discussion among the panel and with the audience (20 minutes).



    Deborah Cameron, Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language and Communication, Worcester College, University of Oxford, UK

    Christa Binswanger , LINEE, Gender Task Force, University of Basel, Switzerland

    Erzsébet Barát , LINEE, Gender Task Force, University of Szeged



    4. Approaches to Lingua Receptiva

    Chair: Jan D. ten Thije, University of Utrecht


    The panel’s objective is to discuss the potential and limitations of a mode, or means, of interlingual communication which is subsumed under the cover concept of Lingua Receptiva . Lingua Receptiva can be considered a vehicle for effective communication between members of diverse language communities while using different languages simultaneously to reach mutual understanding (ten Thije, Rehbein, Verschik to appear) 

    The studies to be discussed in the panel identify multilingual constellations in which citizens use Receptive multilingualism or Lingua Receptiva and discuss facilities for how to improve its successfulness. Their research questions focus on adequate communication strategies and on coping with potential conflict constellations in specific settings, such as border regions, institutional discourse, and cross-generational communication. An interesting issue concerns the comparison of Lingua Receptiva with the use of English as Lingua Franca (Seidlhofer et al 2006).

    Due to the new agenda on multilingualism of the European Commission (2006) the High Level Group on Multilingualism (2007) recommends to study receptive multi­lingualism (Ten Thije Zeevaert 2007) or inter­comprehension (Conti  & Grin, 2008) and to investigate the communication strategies in various European multilinguals constellations and their relevance to improving intra-European communication. This panel aims to collects findings of from studies concerning communication strategies used by speakers of Scandinavian, Romance, Germanic, Slavic, and Turkic language. The panel relates findings within the DYLAN project and LINEE network to the results of other multilingual investigations.




    Georges Lüdi, DYLAN, University of Basel 

    Mira Nabelkova / Marian Sloboda , LINEE, Charles University, Prague

    Kurt Braunmüller , University of Hamburg   

    Jochen Rehbein / Gulsum Massakowa , Middle East Technical University,Ankara



    5. Valorization and contestation of linguistic resources in peripheral multilingual contexts

    Chairs: Sari Pietikäinen, University of Jyväskylä and Brigitta Busch, University of Vienna


    Valorization is a concept that we use to refer both to the processes whereby the value of language variants is mobilized and conferred, and to practices attempting to upscale the value of such resources. In a heteroglossic situation where the borders, rights and positions of various languages and their speakers is constantly under negotiation, valorization is deeply embedded in the local economy of languages, the historical trajectories of each resource, and individual experiences of these resources. This makes valorization processes an important site to examine the intertwined relationships between the local political economy of resources, language hiearchies and ideologies as well as personal experiences of changing heteroglossic repertoires.

    In this panel we want to explore the ways in which language varieties get valorized or devalued in various contexts, and what happens to the speakers of these languages when some of their resources are upscaled while others are downscaled. We are particularly interested in the experiences of speakers of minoritized languages, where valorisation of certain languages or varieties may be the target of an explicit language policy while globalisation flows with new job markets, commodification of local resources, new genres and modes can bring added value other resources.

    Our starting point in this panel is our shared assumption that valorization practices and the complex questions around them in peripheral heteroglossic spaces can fruitfully be examined through the analysis of the performance of multilingual resources. Representations and visibility of various languages in place, usage of heteroglossia as a resource for communication and identity construction through genre mixing, stylised code switching, aesthetics and humor, together with playful interventions of valorized practices offer us a vantage point to examine the questions, tensions and innovations regarding multilingual resources in minoritized language contexts.

    In the panel, we would like to bring together perspectives and experiences from a variety of minority language contexts which could be considered as sites of valorization of multilingual resources in order to address some or all of the following questions:

    ·     What factors contribute that speakers experience their heteroglossic linguistic repertoires or parts of them as a potential or as a deficiency? What kind of resources do not get valorized and are devalued?

    ·     Which theoretical and methodological approaches are particularly fruitful in investigating valorization processes? Are visual and creative methods with their multimodal approach likely to provide new insights?

    ·     What tensions arise because of the valorization processes? Who are the agents of that valorization? What kind of good practices and innovations can be found? What are the ripple effects of these valorization practices?

    After a short introduction, each speaker will have 20 minutes to present a paper including questions. The session will conclude with a commentary by Nancy Hornberger and open discussion.




    Leena Huss , University of Uppsala

    Sari Pietikäinen , University of Jyväskylä

    Brigitta Busch , University of Vienna.

    Máiréad Moriarty , University of Jyväskylä/Limerick

    Sue Wright, School of Languages and Area Studies, University of Portsmouth  




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