Multilingualism in Baltic-Sea Europe: Call for Papers

For the interdisciplinary conference Multilingualism in Baltic-Sea Europe (April 13-15, 2015), the Institute of Northern European and Baltic Languages and Cultures invites papers on any topic related to multilingualism in the Circum-Baltic area. The call deadline is May 15, 2014.

Increasing multilingualism is one of the characteristic features of all Baltic-Sea European societies today. Additionally to the numerous regional and minority languages, the linguistic landscapes are enriched by ever new migrant languages. Public interest in multilingualism and the ways of managing it grows continuously as well. Nevertheless, as shown by the results of the in terdisciplinary EU-FP7 project ELDIA (2010-2013, see, many problems still need to be solved even in the Nordic societies which generally have a good international reputation in minority matters. At the micro level, the intensifying international mobility of people necessitates a conscious strengthening of mutual understanding, more tolerance towards linguistic and ethnic differences, as well as more flexibility in one’s individual everyday social practices. In brief, finding and implementing effective and sustainable macro- and micro-level measures of coping with the new forms of multilingualism and for maintaining and reinforcing the traditional minority and regional languages are urgently required.

The interdisciplinary conference Multilingualism in Baltic-Sea Europe seeks to take up the challenges from sociolinguistic, psychological, legal and economic points of view. Papers are invited on any topic related to multilingualism in Baltic-Sea Europe as a societal or individual asset and/or challenge. The conference is scheduled to be followed by the inaugural conference of the International Society of Literary Linguistics, taking place in Mainz on 15-17 April 2015. The two conferences will be bridged by a set of papers concerned with multilingualism in literature, and the organizers of the current conference specifically invite contributions to the study of the use and the representations of multilingualism in literature as well.

Although focusing on the Circum-Baltic area, the conference aims at embedding the societal and linguistic processes involving multilingualism in the Nordic and the Baltic countries, in Poland, Germany and Northwestern Russia in more global perspectives. The confirmed invited speakers and the thematic fields of their keynote papers are:

  • Karin Hoyer (The Finnish Association of the Deaf: Sign languages as a special type of minority languages in Europe)
  • Johanna Laakso (University of Vienna: Multilingualism in Finno-Ugric literatures)
  • Paul M. Lewis (SIL International, The Ethnologue: Baltic-Sea European linguistic diversity and language endangerment in a global perspective)
  • Ferran Suay (University of Valencia: Psychobiological aspects of multilingualism, with a special focus on the challenges in facilitating a change towards a more assertive linguistic behavior among speakers of lesser-used languages)
  • Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark (Åland Islands Peace Institute: Legislation and the linguistic rights of traditional and new language minorities in Europe today.)

Proposals are invited in two formats: oral presentations (20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion) and posters. The abstract should

  • be no longer than 2,000 characters.
  • include enough details to allow reviewers to judge the scientific merit of the proposed paper.

The abstract submission has been closed.