In the Shadow of the Standard – a workshop

Olivia Walsh
University of Nottingham

On Saturday 22 September 2018, I organized a workshop, ‘In the Shadow of the Standard’, at the University of Nottingham. The aim of the workshop was two-fold: firstly, to explore new perspectives on how attitudes towards standard languages interact with, and influence, attitudes towards other language varieties or usages; secondly, to afford an opportunity for Early Career Scholars to network.

When we study or talk about language, we reflect particular language ideologies, that is, beliefs about language or about the relationship between language and society, which are often then used to justify or rationalize particular language uses (Silverstein 1979: 193). One of these beliefs is that ‘language homogeneity’ is a ‘natural state’ (Kroskrity 2000: 26) and that one particular form of language, the ‘standard’ language, is superior to others. This is standard language ideology (SLI, see Lippi-Green 2012), and it feeds directly into attitudes towards and about language, affecting attitudes towards both ‘non-standard’ usages (that is, deviations from the norm as codified/prescribed in grammars and dictionaries) and also towards language varieties which are viewed as ‘non-standard’ (for example, regional or minority varieties). Read more ›

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Posted in Article, Europe, History, Linguistics, Sociolinguistics

L’histoire des sciences du langage à l’épreuve des approches historiographique et épistémologique, Leysin (Suisse), 27–29.09.2018

Programme doctoral CUSO en sciences du langage
Leysin (Suisse), Hôtel de la Tour d’Aï, 27–29.09.2018

L’histoire des sciences du langage à l’épreuve des approches historiographique et épistémologique

Journées organisées par Ekaterina Velmezova et Malika Jara-Bouimarine (logistique)


– 10h00 Accueil des participants et présentation de l’école doctorale par Ekaterina VELMEZOVA (Lausanne)
– 10h15 Savina RAYNAUD (Milan) How to Work in the History of Language Sciences and Why
– 11h15 Pause
– 11h45 Savina RAYNAUD (Milan) Semiotics and Linguistics in Karl Bühler’s View and Project
– 12h45 Repas et promenade
– 14h30 Malika JARA-BOUIMARINE (Lausanne) Le russe à travers le corpus d’exemples présents dans les écrits de Charles Bally
– 15h00 Émilie WYSS (Lausanne) Les prémices de la traduction automatique en URSS: de Petr Petrovič Trojanskij à Dmitrij Jur’evič Panov
– 15h30 Alessandro CHIDICHIMO (Genève) Refresh Saussure. Réorganiser des manuscrits saussuriens grâce à des textes inconnus
– 16h00 Pause
– 16h30 Sébastien MORET (Lausanne) 1918-2018, cent ans après: Les langues dans l’Europe nouvelle d’Antoine Meillet
– 17h00 Patrick FLACK (Genève) Structuralisme et phénoménologie: entre antagonismes historiographiques et histoire partagée
– 17h30 Michail MAIATSKY (Lausanne) La théorie de l’argumentation face à la linguistique: esquisse méthodologique et institutionnelle

– 9h00 Paul COBLEY (London) The Historical Situatedness of Definitions of Language (part 1)
– 10h00 Pause
– 10h30 Paul COBLEY (London) The Historical Situatedness of Definitions of Language (part 2)
– 11h30 Kalevi KULL (Tartu) The Limits of Linguistics: On the History of Debates about Interpretation and Code
– 12h00 Repas et promenade
– 14h00 Ljubov KISSELEVA (Tartu) History of the Tartu Semiotic School
– 15h30 Pause
– 16h00 Daria ZALESSKAYA (Lausanne) Les idées et les conceptions linguistiques présentes dans les manuels de russe pour francophones publiés dans les pays francophones (1917- 1991)
– 16h30 Yuliya MAYILO (Lausanne) L’épistémologie de certains concepts de Larysa Masenko dans le discours contemporain sur la langue ukrainienne
– 17h00 Mallory FAVRE (Lausanne) Sur la réception de l’analyse du discours en Russie au début des années 2000: l’histoire d’un échec?
– 17h30 Elena SIMONATO (Lausanne) La «dialectologie coloniale» en URSS dans les années 1930-1960

– 9h00 John JOSEPH (Édimbourg) La simple histoire…
– 10h00 Pause
– 10h30 John JOSEPH (Édimbourg) …des résistances au structuralisme
– 11h30 Anna ISANINA (Lausanne) La traductologie soviétique: de la science vers l’idéologie
– 12h00 Ekaterina VELMEZOVA (Lausanne) L’histoire des idées linguistiques dans le miroir de l’Histoire (présentation des enjeux de l’école doctorale 2019 en histoire et épistémologie des sciences du langage)

Discussion générale Repas et fin de l’école doctorale

Program and abstracts :

Posted in Announcements, Conferences and workshops

CfP: The politics of classifying linguistic varieties

13-14 July 2019
Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand

With growing scholarly interest in the process of categorization, it is timely to situate linguistic categorization within the broader history of ideas. This conference invites case studies in the politics of linguistic classification that place linguistic debates within the broader context of political struggles. Selective reading of linguistic evidence can justify fanciful theories: what theories have caught the fancy of scholars? Since the politics of linguistic categorization has many dimensions, its study can be pursued on several levels. Read more ›

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Posted in Announcements, Conferences and workshops

Typology – a new task of linguistics

James McElvenny
University of Edinburgh

In lieu of an introduction

Hypologie – title pageBelow I offer an English translation of the last essay Georg von der Gabelentz (1840–1893) personally submitted for publication, “Hypologie [Typologie] der Sprachen, eine neue Aufgabe der Linguistik”.

This essay is interesting for a number of reasons, not least of all because it would seem to be the first published use of the term Typologie (typology) in a linguistic sense. The term is in fact rendered throughout the published article as Hypologie, but from other sources we can be certain that this is a typographical error, which Gabelentz was unable to correct because he passed away before the final proofs of the article reached him. That the editors of the journal did not notice the error attests to the novelty of Gabelentz’ term.

As in so many of his writings, the program Gabelentz outlines in this essay combines traditional, in many ways outmoded, concerns with innovative, hyper-modern proposals. On the one hand, Gabelentz revisits key themes from nineteenth-century language classification in a conceptual framework that appeals to notions of “race”. On the other hand, he seemingly anticipates ideas and methods that would only come to the fore in twentieth-century efforts at language typology. Read more ›

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Posted in 19th century, Article, Europe, History, Linguistics, Typology

SHLP6 – Program live

The 6th biennial meeting of the Society for the History of Linguistics in the Pacific will be held 12-14 December 2018 at the University of Adelaide in South Australia, in conjunction with the 2018 conference of the Australian Linguistics Society.

SHLP6 features an exciting program with speakers from Australia and Europe. Prof. Otto Zwartjes of Université Paris 7 Diderot will open the meeting with a masterclass on missionary linguistics. The full program can be found here at

Posted in Announcements, Conferences and workshops

Program September–December 2018

[Program updated 21 November 2018]

5 September Typology – a new task of linguistics
Georg von der Gabelentz & James McElvenny
University of Edinburgh
3 October Workshop report: In the shadow of the standard
Olivia Walsh
University of Nottingham
17 October Triangulating the history of science communication: Faraday, Marcet and Smart
Brigitte Nerlich
University of Nottingham
31 October Towards a history of concept list compilation in historical linguistics
Johann-Mattis List
MPI for the Science of Human History, Jena
28 November The Elementa grammaticae Huronicae (1745) of Pierre-Philippe Potier
Zanna Van Loon
KU Leuven
Posted in Programs

Postdoc: MEITS, University of Cambridge

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 12 months in the first instance.

A full-time Research Associate position is available at the University of Cambridge in conjunction with the research project ‘Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies (MEITS)’, funded by the AHRC under the Open World Research Initiative to promote modern languages in the UK. Read more ›

Posted in Announcements, Jobs and funding

MEITS Flexible Funding Call

MEITS is delighted to announce the launch of the second of two calls for funding to encourage other researchers and partners to work in partnership with the project. Read more ›

Posted in Announcements, Jobs and funding

Recent publications in the history and philosophy of linguistics, June 2018

Below is a list of some monographs and collected volumes in the history and philosophy of linguistics that have appeared recently.
Read more ›

Posted in Publications

CfP: The direct method in language teaching

Joint conference of PHELLE, CIRSIL, Henry Sweet Society and SIHFLES.

Granada (Spain), 16–17 May 2019

Deadline for submission of proposals: 15 January 2019

Notification of accepted proposals: 15 February 2019

What exactly is the ‘Direct Method’? In France, the chief inspector of modern languages Firmery answered this question in a very simple way in his 10 October 1902 article in the Revue politique et parlementaire: ‘It is the method by which one teaches a language directly, that is, without the intermediary of the mother tongue’ (in Rochelle 1906: 4; our translation)

In the 1880s a strong movement for reform of modern language teaching arose, principally in Germany and Scandinavia, with the addition of France at the beginning of the 20th century. The starting point for this renewal can be seen to have been the call made by Wilhelm Viëtor in 1882, under the pseudonym Quousque Tandem, in his manifesto Der Sprachunterricht muss umkehren (‘Language Teaching Must Change Direction!’). In 1886 the German Association of Modern Language Teachers was founded; in 1886, also, a group of Scandinavian teachers created a society to promote reform ideas. Similar associations were created across Europe: in France, the Association des Professeurs de Langues vivantes (APLV) and the Société des Professeurs de Langues Vivantes de l’Enseignement Public; in Britain, the Société Nationale des Professeurs de français; in Belgium the Union des professeurs de langues modernes, and so on. Read more ›

Posted in Announcements, Conferences and workshops