Contested Languages in the Old World 4 - CLOW4

Country: Germany

City: Mannheim

Abstr. due: 15.11.2019

Dates: 14.05.20 — 15.05.20

Area Of Sciences: Humanities;

Organizing comittee e-mail: clow4 AT

Organizers: Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache


Contested languages are typically related to yet linguistically distinct from the official languages of the state in which they are spoken; they further have a substantial number of speakers of different age groups (although younger speakers tend to be less conversant and prefer the use of the state language), often a distinct literary written tradition, and display some level of standardization and corpus planning. Still, these languages are often referred to as ''dialects'', ''patois'' etc. in everyday (and sometimes in academic) discourse.
Typical cases of contested languages are several regional languages of Italy (Lombard, Piedmontese, Sicilian, Venetian, but also Sardinian - which has been officially recognized as a minority language - and others), the Netherlands (e.g. Frisian, in certain contexts), Germany (e.g. Bavarian, Low German, Swabian), and Poland (e.g. Kashubian, Silesian), a few regional languages of Spain (e.g. Aragonese, Asturian, or, in certain contexts, even Catalan), and most regional languages of France. We welcome all cases of contested languages within the European continuum.
We also include languages traditionally present in the continent which are either a-territorial or lacking a well-defined territory, such as various languages of the Roma people, Yiddish or Sami. Creole languages without a high degree of Ausbau and spoken by a consistent community in a territory of Europe (such as Papiamento in the Netherlands) can be included. In many cases, also sign languages are often contested in the European context. Finally, a special case of contested language is Esperanto.

Aim of the Conference:

The conference aims at bringing together scholars and activists working on the current status and future prospects of contested languages, as well as on issues of corpus, status and planning, and how these impact on the speaker communities themselves and on the academic world.

Conference Web-Site: