The Center for Language Research of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Rijeka, Croatia, invites you to participate in the international scientific conference entitled “Language and Culture”. As already announced, the “Language and Culture” conference will take place from 24 to 26 June 2021. Due to still unfavorable circumstances regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, we have decided to hold an online event. The deadline for submission of NEW proposals is 31 March 2021 (please send your proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org). We also kindly ask all of you whose submissions have already been accepted to confirm the participation in the conference.
We thank you for understanding and look forward to your participation in the conference, the Organising Committee
We invite submissions of abstract proposals for individual papers and panels. We seek quality, unpublished papers that address the empirical, theoretical and/or methodological aspects of research into the relationship between language and culture focusing (though not exclusively) on the following topics:
Papers and panels focusing on any language and adopting any theoretical perspective are welcome. We particularly welcome interdisciplinary papers and panels. Proposals will be evaluated anonymously by two reviewers each based on their scientific contribution, content quality, thematic relevance and abstract quality. The working languages of the conference are English and Croatian.
The Center for Language Research of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Rijeka, Croatia, invites you to participate in the international scientific conference entitled “Language and Culture”.
General Session Papers
We invite submissions of anonymous abstracts suited for a 20-minute presentation, followed by a 10-minute discussion. Each participant can be the first author of one presentation only. The number of joint presentations is not limited.
Abstracts should be in the .pdf format and should include 300-400 words excluding the title, three keywords and references. Anonymous abstracts should be submitted in Croatian and in English (by authors presenting in Croatian) or in English (by authors presenting in English). Please upload your abstract to
Panels and panel papers
We invite submissions of (i) anonymous paper abstracts to be presented in the panels listed below (hereafter, panel abstracts) or (ii) proposals for panels on other related topics.
The guidelines for the submission of panel abstracts are the same as for those for the general session abstracts. However, when submitting your panel abstract, please indicate the name of the panel you wish to be considered for below the abstract title.
Panels already agreed upon are the following:
Maintenance of dialects as part of the Croatian cultural heritage
(panel leader: Mirjana Crnić Novosel, Institute for Croatian Language and Linguistics)
Minority languages and their speakers today
(panel leader: Vesna Deželjin, University of Zagreb)
Public speaking culture
(panel leaders: Blaženka Martinović, Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, and Mihaela Matešić, University of Rijeka)
Panel proposals should include a minimum of five and a maximum of ten 20-minute presentations followed by a 10-minute discussion. Abstracts should be submitted in the .pdf format and should include a 200-300-word panel description accompanied by the title, three keywords and references (which are not counted towards the word limit), plus 300-400-word paper descriptions accompanied by the title, three keywords and references (which are not counted towards the word limit). Panel proposals should be submitted in Croatian and in English (for panels to be held in Croatian) or in English (for panels to be held in English).
Please send your proposals to the organizer.
We are honored that the following distinguished scholars will present their plenary lectures:
The bimodal nature of discourse - how speech and gesture achieve cohesion across languages, genres, and native/non-native users
In this talk I will briefly outline how speech and gestures are coordinated in language production to achieve discourse cohesion in native speakers of different languages and in adult second language speakers. Discourse coherence and cohesion involves linking information about entities and events across stretches of sustained talk. In speech this involves alternations between nominal forms (e.g. the woman–she), the choice of which depend on referent properties (e.g. gender), grammatical role (e.g. subject/object), and information status (e.g. new/given; distance to previous mention, etc.), but also on grammatical structures in which referential expressions are embedded (e.g. existential vs. transitive clauses). I will illustrate some ways in which gestures also reflect discourse organisation, information structure and the tracking of entities and events. I will highlight when, where, and how gestures do this across different languages and discourse genres, and also show variations in how native speakers and language learners deploy these devices. I finally discuss some theoretical consequences of considering discourse in a bimodal perspective.
Language, culture and identity: proximity and positioning in academic writing
Identity and community are central to notions of culture and are key organizing principles of our social worlds. In academia we create disciplinary communities by choosing our words to connect with others, presenting ideas in ways that make most sense to them to demonstrate ‘proximity’ by claiming membership. At the same time, we gain credit by distinguishing ourselves from the herd, furthering our reputations and careers by our different ‘positioning’ within the discipline. Repeated uses of language thus construct communities and encourage the performance of certain kinds of professional identities. In this paper I attempt to show how corpora, assisted by community-oriented views of literacy, can illuminate the concepts of community and identity, demonstrating how language choices not only construct arguments but also disciplines and individuals.
Revitalization of Slovak regional dialects from the perspective of perceptual and folk dialectology
The Slovak language area is characterized by a very rich dialect differentiation, which has been – thanks to various non-linguistic factors – to some extent preserved and commonly perceived until now. However, in the context of the current linguistic situation, dialects exist in close contact with the prestigious standard, dynamic colloquial and many other social varieties and registers. This results in structural changes of the dialects, code mixing, and shifting in communication as well as in the dialect levelling. These processes are manifested by large variation typical for transitional stages of convergent and assimilation processes, and by gradual, appreciable retreat of specific dialectal features. The communication function of dialects and their frequency in everyday communication is gradually decreasing. Alongside with the decreasing the communication function of dialects, a new phenomenon has emerged in the last 10-15 years in Slovakia. Dialects started to be deliberately used in many spheres of public communication. In addition to private communication, folklore and fiction from the rural environment, dialects now appear in popular or rap music, regional theatres, sitcoms or stand-up performances. Dialects are presented on regional and village websites, they are intentionally used in online discussions and chats. Some cultural organizations promote dialects in their printed or electronic media, using dialects authors create original literary works or translations of national or even world classics (such as Shakespeare’s works or Poe’s The Raven), inscriptions in the local dialect can be found in the commercial sphere (advertisements, restaurant’s menu or simple announcements for the public) or in language landscape. During the last two decades, many amateur dialectological descriptive works appeared, e.g. regional dictionaries, structural descriptions, or even handbooks and dialect “courses”. Authors of these works are non-professional linguists – people not spoiled by theoretical linguistic knowledge. On the one hand, this empirical material can be regarded as “unnatural”, “incorrect” or “unreliable” for dialectological research, especially for traditional dialectology and its – to some extent – purist historical approach. On the other hand, they reveal many facts about folk linguistic knowledge, natural language perception, language myths, as well as popular notions of the geographical differentiation, attitudes towards regional varieties and beliefs about their users, which are often connected with stereotypes and social discrimination. But all of them explicitly or implicitly refer to the symbolic, emotional and cultural value of a regional dialect as a sign of identity. Typological analysis of various genres and spheres led us to differentiate two categories. The use of dialects in the commercial sphere, jokes, in the media and discussions (including public discourse on language and dialect) corresponds with the results of perceptual dialectology, of the “draw-a-map” research and popular modelling of the dialect space. Amateur dictionaries, structural descriptions of dialects, literary works, handbooks and courses resemble traditional dialectological research, but without academic linguistic knowledge, so they are categorized as folk (amateur) dialectology. The authors carry out field research, create their own spellings, grammatical rules or lexicographical conceptions. Thus, they reveal their linguistic thinking, presupposition about language, identify the salient and non-salient dialect features, and contribute to the research of language use and change. The presentation will summarize the results of my research on these forms of dialect revitalization and introduce their potential to contribute to the study of language change, perception of language varieties and linguistic ideologies.
Teaching Croatian Culture in an Intercultural Context
The modern globalised world, and life within it, especially given the fact that information is quickly and easily accessible to users, imposes new criteria and requirements for the teaching of culture, both Croatian and others. As in other subjects, so it is with the teaching of culture that the transmitory function of a lecture, in which it is the role of the teacher to transmit the information, is abandoned, and the methods of teaching that most engage the student are accepted, and in the teaching process create conditions in which the students independently discover, learn, inform themselves, and conclude and articulate their own views.
The ready access to information makes students of Croatian as a Foreign Language (CFL), both at Croatian and foreign universities, begin the language learning process well informed and with built-in expectations and attitudes. As a result, any attempt to "shape" their attitudes through lesson content and teaching aids is perceived as condescending. Therefore, the teaching of culture in the instruction of CFL should enable the viewing of selected topics from different angles, thus encouraging students to make their own conclusions. Such teaching opens the door to education for developing critical thinking and closes the door to indoctrination. Contemporary teaching of culture in the instruction of CFL takes place in the gap between the content and the methods that teachers find useful and applicable, and those that are of most interest to students. In the report the results of a survey on attitudes will be presented, conducted by a questionnaire with 80 question items regarding the teaching of different segments of Croatian culture, of the students (N = 155) and the CFL teachers (N = 35) using different methods. The results of this research will be analyzed in order to serve as a source of information for CFL academic instructors and authors of academic textbooks, programmes, syllabi and courses. The topics that students show the most interest in are the result of their previous education and informedness, and the teaching of culture should enable them to develop and deepen their existing insights, but also to discover and learn about new spheres. Therefore, an equilibrium should be found in the construction of the lesson programme between what students are interested in (since places in courses for which there is no interest will remain unfilled) and what the teachers consider important. Besides learning about Croatian culture, students should be encouraged to compare it with other cultures they are familiar with. In this way the instruction appears to branch out, as during the lesson insight is acquired not only about Croatian but also about another culture (if teaching in homogeneous groups) or other cultures (if teaching in heterogeneous groups).
Language rights and politics of identity in Croatia and European Union: The status of Istro-Romanian in Istria
In my talk I will examine the ideological and policy reasons behind the problematic legal status of the Istro-Romanian language (aka Vlashki and Zheyanski; ISO 639-3: ruo, Glottolog: istr1245) in Croatia in the context of European policies toward regional or minority languages (RMLs) and minority language policies in Croatia (Tatalović 2005, Crnić Grotić 2019). My claim is that the language rights of the minority communities speaking the language are not duly protected and, hence, the existing European Union policies toward RMLs not fully implemented in Croatia (Vrzić 2021). To a significant extent, this is due to an ideological disparity between the conceptions of identity embraced by the linguistic minority speaking Vlashki/Zheyanski and those promoted by Croatia, which accords protection rights only to languages of national minorities. The linguistic minority is fully integrated into the regional Istrian society, embraces complex and multilayered identities, with the local ethnic identity, associated with a distinct language, and the Istrian regional cultural identity being complementary to a non-primordial Croatian national identity (Vrzić 2018). On the other hand, proponents of the nationalist ideology and linguistic isomorphism consider that a distinct community language is necessarily tied to a distinct national identity, a position very common in Europe (Blommaert and Verschueren 1992). The support for this attitude is exemplified by Croatia’s limited legal protection of the endangered Vlashki/Zheyanski language, at the disregard of the recommendations of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) (Council of Europe 1992), the document that the state ratified. Croatia withholds full protection and preservation of the endangered language because Vlashki/Zheyanski-speaking communities do not have a status of an officially recognized national minority. In connection to this, I also discuss the position and activities of Romania, the self-proclaimed kin state, and illustrate that state’s attitudes toward linguistic minorities and their rights on the example of the Romanian Law No. 299/2007. This laws unilaterally identifies communities speaking Vlashki/Zheyanski, as it does numerous other minority groups speaking languages historically related to Romanian, as a part of the Romanian diaspora, irrespective of their self-identification and histories. In line with their ideological and legal positions, in the 2010’s, the two states, Croatia and Romania, put pressure on communities where Vlashki/Zheyanski is still spoken today and colluded (unsuccessfully at the time) to integrate them into the national minority framework and bilateral protection exchange between the two states. Just one of the controversial elements of this plan was to introduce the teaching of standard Romanian in the communities, in spite of the detrimental effect this would very likely have on the preservation of their endangered minority language for which protection is required by the ECRML.
Hence, so far, the possibility of full protection and preservations of the group’s endangered language has been curtailed. Among others, this situation is enabled by the various indeterminacies characterizing the EU policies toward RMLs (cf. Gorter 2012, Vollstädt 2019). Namely, while the ECRML promises the preservation of RMLs, it lets the member states make most decisions, including those that have to do with the determination of the linguistic status of the protected varieties and identity of their speakers.
23.6.2021. Online event
Publication of conference papers, subject to a standard reviewing procedure, is planned in an edited volume published by a reputable international publisher. Further details will be announced closer to the conference dates.
Payment from abroad: 40 EUR
Payment from Croatia: 300 HRK
Payment to: Filozofski fakultet, Sveučilišna avenija 4, HR-51000 Rijeka
REFERENCE NUMBER: ID number-26
DESCRIPTION: CLARC 2021 name and surname
Martina Blečić, Mirjana Crnić Novosel, Vesna Deželjin, Branka Drljača Margić, Maja Đurđulov, Mirela Fuš, Cecilija Jurčić Katunar, Tihana Kraš, Mihaela Matešić, Benedikt Perak, Iva Peršić, Diana Stolac (chair), Iris Vidmar Jovanović, Silvana Vranić and Zvjezdana Vrzić
Martina Blečić, Mirjana Crnić Novosel, Vesna Deželjin, Branka Drljača Margić, Maja Đurđulov, Mirela Fuš, Cecilija Jurčić Katunar, Tihana Kraš, Mihaela Matešić, Benedikt Perak, Iva Peršić, Diana Stolac, Iris Vidmar Jovanović, Silvana Vranić and Zvjezdana Vrzić
Conference dates: June 24 – 26, 2021
Abstract submission deadline extended: March 31, 20201
Conference program announcement: May 18, 2021