Cognitive Sociolinguistics

Event Notification Type: 
Call for Papers
Abbreviated Title: 
Internat. LAUD Symposium
Monday, 15 March 2010 to Thursday, 18 March 2010
Submission Deadline: 
Monday, 15 June 2009

Full Title: Cognitive Sociolinguistics
Short Title: Internat. LAUD Symposium

Date: 15-Mar-2010 - 18-Mar-2010
Location: Landau/Pf., Germany
Contact Person: Martin Pütz
Meeting Email:

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics; Cognitive Science;

Call Deadline: 15-Jun-2009

Meeting Description:

34th International LAUD Symposium

Cognitive Sociolinguistics
Language variation in its structural, conceptual and cultural dimensions

University of Koblenz-Landau,
Landau/Pf., Germany

Date: March 15-18, 2010

First Call for Papers

Call Deadline: June 15, 2009

Confirmed Speakers

Main Keynote Speaker
William Labov (University of Pennsylvania)

Plenary Speakers
Penelope Eckert (Stanford University)
Dirk Geeraerts (University of Leuven)
Stefan Gries (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Peter Harder (University of Copenhagen)
Gitte Kristiansen (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Dennis R. Preston (Michigan State University)

Aim and scope:
Within Cognitive Linguistics and other cognitively oriented approaches to
language there is a growing interest for language variation in all its
dimensions, as witnessed by several publications, most recently by the
landmark-fixing collective volume Cognitive Sociolinguistics (2008), edited
Gitte Kristiansen and René Dirven.
In the past decades, linguistic analyses within Cognitive Linguistics or
cognitively oriented theories were all too often carried out at the level of
general, uniform language', disregarding the rich and complex patterns of
intralingual and communicative variation in that language. Such a shallow
of granularity ultimately amounts to that of a homogeneous and thus
speech community, reminiscent of Chomsky's ideal speaker-hearer. To the
that Cognitive Linguistics takes its claim of being a usage-based approach
language and cognition seriously, it cannot continue to work with an
assumed conception of language being situated taxonomically at an almost
Chomskyan level of abstraction.

Cognitive Sociolinguistic research fills this gap in an enriched manner, by
combining the CL theoretical framework with the empirical methods used in
sociolinguistics and social science at large.
The LAUD symposium is planning to explore the different facets of this
coalescence between cognitive, usage-based approaches to language and a
sociolinguistic interest in language-internal variation in 4 theme sessions,
each addressing one of the following questions:
1. How do social and cognitive perspectives fit together in a general,
model of language?
2. To what extent is usage-based language variation socially structured, and
is such language-internal variation represented in the individual language
user's (implicit or explicit) knowledge?
3. How does language-internal variation affect the conceptual aspects of
language, i.e. linguistic meaning and linguistic categorization?
4. How does language variation interact with cultural models in a linguistic
community? Does language variation follow from cultural models, or just
them or, on the contrary, determine them?

Theme Session 1:
Social factors as foundational issues in a theory of language

The first session examines the role of social factors in the conception of
language as such: to what extent should the social nature of language play a
role in the linguist's conception of the linguistic system - and in the
individual language user's acquisition and knowledge of the language? If we
abandon the simplification of an ideal speaker-hearer, what are the
consequences: what models and methodologies should we use to get a grip on
interaction between social usage and individual knowledge of the language?
In the context of this theme, we invite abstracts on topics like the
- The social status of linguistic facts
- Variability and the linguistic system
- Linguistic norms, rules and behavior
- The ideal and the real speaker-hearer
- Situated cognition and the distribution of (linguistic) knowledge
- Social and individual usage: models, methods and research questions
- The treatment of social factors and variation in the history of

Theme Session 2:
Structural variation from a usage-based perspective

How are lectal variation, linguistic change, and language acquisition
by taking a usage-based approach to language? Usage-based and meaning-based
models of grammar introduce more variation into the grammar than a
approach tends to do: the language-internal or discourse-related factors
influence the use of a particular construction may be manifold, and the
or absence of a construction is not an all-or-none matter. In the analysis
this type of variation, it often appears that the variation is co-determined
'external', sociostylistic factors: the variation that appears in actual
(e.g. as attested in corpora) may be determined simultaneously by
discursive, and socio-stylistic factors. Furthermore, awareness (of
factors and social dimensions) also plays a role in successful
conceptualisation, together with structured patterns of subjective and
In the context of this theme, we invite abstracts on topics like the
- Cognitive linguistics and sociolinguistics
- Cognitive linguistics and dialectology
- Cognitive linguistics and stylistics
- Cognitive linguistics and discourse analysis
- Linguistic variation and multidimensional research
- Usage-based mechanisms of language change
- Exemplar-based models of language variation
- Lectal and interactional factors in language acquisition
- Perceptual dialectology and production
- Subjective and objective linguistic distances
- Language attitude research and quantitative data
- Linguistic variation and varieties: expert analysis versus folk perception
- Folk perception of bilingualism and multilingualism

Theme Session 3:
Conceptual variation in language-internal
and cross-linguistic categorization preferences

To what extent do the phenomena that we typically focus on in Cognitive
Linguistics and other meaning-related approaches - phenomena involving
and categorization - exhibit variation within the same linguistic community?
Both the concept of semantic flexibility (as in prototype theory and radial
networks) and the concept of cultural models played an important role in the
emergence of Cognitive Linguistics, but this usage-based variation of
and categorization is not standardly analyzed from a socio-stylistic point
of view.
In the context of this theme, we invite abstracts on topics like the
- Lectal variation of cognitive models and metaphorical mappings
- Lectal variation within prototype-based structures and radial networks
- Prototypes, stereotypes, and the division of linguistic labour
- Intralinguistic semantic conflicts and their resolution
- The relation between language variation and cognition within a single
- Dialectal and sociolectal variation of meaning
- Styles and registers as categories of meaning
- The linguistic construal of identities as meaning creation
- Social cognition, social categorization and interactional sociolinguistics

Theme session 4:
Cultural models and cultural variation of cognitive models

Within Cognitive Linguistic research on cognitive models, there is a
tension between scholars emphasizing the universal aspects of cognitive
and those pointing to the historical and cultural variability of such
But the variability is often considered from a cross-cultural perspective
without specific attention for the language-internal or culture-internal
variability of cultural models. So, how does variability of cultural and
cognitive models work within a community, and how does it interact with
variability of language and language use? In particular, what are the
models that people use to think about language variation and
social variation?

In the context of this theme, we invite abstracts on topics like the
- Cultural models and their interaction with Idealized Cognitive Models
- Universalism and (historical, cultural, anthropological) variability of
cognitive models
- Competition and conflict between cultural models
- Cultural models and ideology
- Critical-linguistic approaches such as Critical Cognitive Linguistics, and
cognitively inspired Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)
- Cultural models of social variation
- Cultural models of language variation, and their consequences for language
planning and language policy
- Language-based social stereotyping

Conference Fees
The conference fee is EUR 75 payable on arrival.

Submission of Abstracts
Submissions are solicited for theme session presentations which should last
20-25 minutes with 5-10 minutes for questions (maximum 30 minutes total).
All submissions for presentations should follow the following abstract
The deadline for abstracts is June 15, 2009.
The address for submitting the abstracts is Martin Pütz
Abstracts should be no more than 500 words.
The subject header of your email should include:
Abstract LAUD 2010 - name/s.

Please include the following information in the main body of your email:
name of author/s, affiliation, email address, presentation title.
Please also state for which of the 4 theme sessions, as listed above, your
contribution is intended.
Notification of acceptance will be given by June 30, 2009.

Local Conference Organizer
Martin Pütz
Email: Puetz@uni-landau

University of Koblenz-Landau
FB 6 Institut für Fremdsprachliche Philologien
Fach Anglistik
Marktstr. 40
76829 Landau/Pf.
PH: ++49-(0)6341-146-204
Fax: ++49-(0)6341-146-200

Organizing Committee Members
René Dirven
Dirk Geeraerts
Gitte Kristiansen
Martin Pütz
Monika Reif