Definition and examples
Contested languages are distinctly apart linguistically 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 Saxon, 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.
We welcome submission of abstracts for oral presentations (20 mins + 10 mins questions) and poster sessions on, but not limited to, the following topics:
- case studies of status, corpus and acquisition planning of any contested language in Europe;
- comparison of the language policy and planning situations between two or more contested languages in Europe;
- speakers’ attitudes towards specific contested languages in Europe, with a special attention to the theory and practice of “neo-speakers”;
- the role of mobility in the usage of and attitudes towards contested languages in Europe, with a special attention to issues of inclusion (MIME parallel panel);
- government attitudes towards specific contested languages in Europe, with a special attention to distance between the overt policy and planning and the “hidden agendas”;
- the impact of local legislation and/or local initiatives on the status and attitudes of contested languages in Europe, in their immediate visibility as well as the long-term goal, i.e. guaranteeing their intergenerational transmission;
- economic analyses of actual and prospective language policy and planning of any contested language in Europe;
- economic analyses of actual and prospective language policy and planning of any contested language in Europe, with a special reference to mobility and inclusion (MIME parallel panel);
- issues of Abstand and Ausbau relating to one or more contested language(s) of Europe.
Submission of abstracts
Abstracts should be around 500 words long. All abstracts will undergo anonymous review. For deadlines, see the Important dates page.
The submission Web page for CLOW3 is https://easychair.org/
Important: please state clearly in the submission if you are submitting for the MIME parallel session.
At least one author of each accepted paper or poster must register for the conference.
A selection of accepted papers will appear in the conference proceedings edited by the organizers. The proceedings of CLOW2 are under publication by John Benjamins, Amsterdam. The publisher of CLOW3 is still to be announced.