37th International LAUD Symposium

Call for Papers: Linguistic Landscapes and Superdiversity in the City: Foundational questions, new directions and expanding methodologies

University of Koblenz-Landau
Landau, Germany
Landau is a small city surrounded by the Southern Wine Route district of
the Southern Rhineland-Palatinate and close to the Black Forest
(1 hour from Frankfurt airport)
Conference dates:
April 4-6, 2016
Call deadline:
October 15, 2015
Hier gelangen Sie zur Tagungshomepage.
Also find us on the Sociolinguistic Events Calendar: http://baal.org.uk/slxevents.html



Susan Berk-Seligson (Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee)

Durk Gorter (University of the Basque Country)

Adam Jaworski (The University of Hong Kong)

David Malinowski (Yale University)

Alastair Pennycook (University of Technology, Sydney)

Elana Shohamy (Tel Aviv University)


Aim and scope: In multilingual and multicultural communities we are surrounded by language contact phenomena and a diversity of languages/dialects which appear in public spaces such as signposts, photographs and videos, billboards, public roads and safety signs, slogans and commercials, lighting and printed materials, names of buildings, streets, shops and areas of major tourist attractions, instructions and warning signs, graffiti and cyber space, - in short, ‘live’ documentations and reflections of the physical environment of the late-modern, globalized urban space.

The dynamic and gradually developing sub-area of sociolinguistics, “Linguistic Landscapes” (LL), is generally perceived as the study of the visible and audible representation of multiple languages in public space and contemporary urban life. It attempts to capture and comprehend the history, motives, uses, causes, ideologies, varieties and conflicts of diverse forms of language as they are displayed in public spaces of the physical environment. LL research is anchored in a variety of theories, methodologies and frameworks, from economics, politics and sociology to linguistics and applied linguistics, literacy and education, cultural geography and the law. It offers interdisciplinary perspectives, whereby ‘physical space’ is viewed as a significant extension of the traditional scope of sociolinguistic research. LL research attempts to enhance our understanding of the role of space and place in relation to language and multimodal signs, and to enable us to explore the lived experience of languages in the city and the physical environment, i.e the scene where the public space is symbolically constructed (Pennycook 2013).

In line with Blommaert’s (2013) conceptual framework of LL research, the Symposium focusses on the following three thematic sessions.


Session 1: Theoretical, analytical and methodological considerations of LL

This session aims to address some new theoretical and methodological issues surrounding LL research as well as explore and extend the boundaries of LL; reflect on analytical frames, ethnography and data collection techniques and the measurement of LL signs, which all constitute new waves of description and analysis, thus facilitating the establishment of a unified perspective of LL research.

In particular, we invite abstracts on the following topics:


-       The theoretical relevance of the LL framework

-       Exploring the boundaries of LL research

-       Methodologies and analytic frames

-       Interviews and LL: Rationales, motivations and ideologies

-       Description, measurement and analysis of LL signs

-       Ethnography & data collection in LL studies

-       Ethical concerns in LL research

-       Perceptions and attitudes

-       The interaction of LL signs with social discourses

-       LL as signs of cultural and collective identity

-       New digital technologies and virtual spaces


Session 2: Superdiversity, power relations & ideology in LL communities

Complex forms of social mobility and layers of migration as well as new forms of knowledge, information and communication, which in their interaction characterize global cities and urban landscapes, can now be captured by the concepts of superdiversity and sociolinguistic complexity (Blommaert 2013), i.e. dense forms of social, cultural and economic diversity in multilingual and multicultural contexts. The session deals with questions of language policy and ideology in relation to public signs focusing on concepts such as ethnolinguistic vitality, language maintenance and shift, linguistic and cultural conflict, protest, propaganda and acts of resistance. The symposium aims at covering linguistic landscapes from cities all around the world.


In particular, we invite abstracts on the following topics:


-       The composition of the linguistic landscape: Sites of superdiversity

-       LL items and conflict of language groups (e.g. religious, ethnic, etc.)

-       LL signs in interaction with socio-political discourses

-       Visibility and vitality of migrant languages in LL settings

-       Public space as a site for language revitalization in LL

-       Societal power relations in LL

-       Propaganda and political agitation campaigns in LL

-       Acts of resistance in LL: graffiti and other protest signage

-       The globalization of English: Conflictual boundaries in LL cities

-       Language and cognition: LL signs and linguistic/conceptual metaphors/metonymies

-       The interaction of text and image in linguistic landscapes


Session 3: Historicity, social change and transformation in LL

An important domain of LL research which hitherto has not been given sufficient attention is devoted to a “historicizing” perspective (Blommaert 2013), with a focus on a diachronic approach to LL research. The Symposium, therefore, seeks to explore the concept of ‘physical space’ as a move from a synchronic to a historical space, indexing social change and transformation in urban multilingual environments.


In particular, we invite abstracts on the following topics:


-       The comparison of linguistic landscapes from an evolutionary perspective

-       Connecting present and past landscapes of multilingualism

-       Diachronic analyses and social/economic changes in the contemporary LL

-       Perceptions of multilingual designs in time and space

-       LL as a reflection of the history of a nation and its people

-       Cultural memory and LL: Historical monuments and commemorative spaces in the public sphere

-       Documenting and analyzing the re-writing of the past

-       The diachronic evolution of attitudes towards changing linguistic landscapes

Submissions are invited for oral presentations on the topics described above. Contributions can focus on results from completed as well as ongoing research.






The conference fee is EUR 75 and is payable on arrival.



The deadline for abstracts is

October 15, 2015.


Submissions are solicited for theme session presentations which should last for

20-25 minutes with 5-10 minutes for questions (maximum 30 minutes total).

All submissions for presentations should be in line with the following

abstract guidelines:


Abstracts should be submitted to

Martin Pütz and Monika Reif






Abstracts should be no more than 500 words and

should NOT include the authors’ names.


The subject header of the submission email should include:

Abstract LAUD 2016 – name/s of author/s.


Please provide the following information in the main body of your email:

name/s of author/s, affiliation, email address, presentation title.


Please also state for which of the 3 theme sessions, as listed above, your contribution is intended.


Notification of acceptance will be given by November 1, 2015.



Martin Pütz



Monika Reif



Neele Mundt



University of Koblenz-Landau

FB 6 Institut für Fremdsprachliche Philologien, Fach Anglistik

Marktstr. 40, 76829 Landau/Pf., Germany

PH: ++49-(0)6341-280-33-204 * Fax: ++49-(0)6341-280-33-200




René Dirven (University of Duisburg and Mechelen)

Luna Filipović (University of East Anglia)

Neele Mundt (University of Koblenz-Landau)

Martin Pütz (University of Koblenz-Landau)

Monika Reif (University of Koblenz-Landau)

Ulrich Schmitz (University of Duisburg-Essen)

Hans-Georg Wolf (University of Potsdam)