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Center for the Study of Language and Society

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Welcome to the Center for the Study of Language and Society

The CSLS focuses on scientific research on the relation between language and society and their interrelations in the broadest sense. It starts form the assumption that language is primarily a fait social: Languages is acquired by interacting with other human beings, it is constructible and is permanently being constructed – as is society, which is not a pre-existing fact, but constructed in the process of interaction between individuals and groups. This constructivist view on language has a long tradition, where of course names like Ferdinand de Saussure cannot be left unmentioned, but it is also mirrored in current approaches like construction grammar. In contrast to the latter, the CSLS and the studies in sociolinguistics it offers does not deal with the systemic aspects of language, but with its use and effects. These include the following subjects:

  • Sociolinguistic variety: Characteristics, function and status of variety
  • Language, discourse and interaction as factors in forming identity and cultures
  • Development and use of linguistic competences in monolingual as well as multilingual contexts
  • Language as a factor of cohesiveness for societies and states
  • Language planning and language politics
  • Language norms and valuations
  • Language contact and language change
  • Language and gender
  • The languages of Europe in the past and in the future
  • Methods of sociolinguistics
  • Psycholinguistic aspects of variation

Where are France's Geordie,
Scouse and Cockney?

Dr David Hornsby (University of Kent)
Further Information: abstract | flyer | website | csls

What: CSLS Lecture
Where: Room F013, UniTobler, Lerchenweg 36, Bern
When: 29.04.2014, 14:15 - 15:45

Quantitative Methodological Approaches to Perceptual Dialectology
Dr Chris Montgomery (University of Sheffield)
Futher Information: flyer | csls | website

Art: Workshop 1
Where: Room B-181, UniTobler, Lerchenweg 36, Bern
When: 15.05.2014, 09:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Quantitative Methodological Approaches to Discourse Analysis
Dr Heike Pichler (University of Newcastle)
Further Information: flyer | csls | website

Art: Workshop 2
Where: Room B-181, UniTobler, Lerchenweg 36, Bern
When: 15.05.2014, 2.15 - 5.45 AM

Language of instruction: English
Target audience: Students of the University of Bern and students of the partner institutions of the CSLS (especially in the doctoral programme).

The second workshop will be followed by an apero, to which participants of both workshops are kindly invited.

Further information can be found in the attached announcements. Please forward this message to potential participants.

CSLS Lectures
CSLS Winter School 2014

Universität Bern | Center for the Study of Language and Society | Länggassstrasse 49 | CH-3000 Bern 9 | Tel +41 (0)31 631 54 77
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