(Dis)Fluency2017: Fluency and disfluency across languages and language varieties

Call for Papers

15-17 February 2017
University of Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
Fluency and disfluency have attracted a great deal of attention in different areas of linguistics such as language acquisition or psycholinguistics. They have been investigated through a wide range of methodological and theoretical frameworks, including corpus linguistics, experimental pragmatics, perception studies and natural language processing, with applications in the domains of language learning, teaching and testing, human/machine communication and business communication.
Spoken and signed languages are produced and comprehended online, with typically very little time to plan ahead. As a result, they are often characterized by features such as (filled and unfilled) pauses, discourse markers, repeats and self-repairs, which can be said to reflect on-going mechanisms of processing and monitoring. The role of these items is ambivalent, as they can both be a symptom of encoding difficulties and a sign that the speaker is trying to help the hearer decode the message. They should thus be interpreted in context to identify their contribution to fluency and/or disfluency, which can be viewed as two faces of the same phenomenon.
Within the frame of a research project entitled “Fluency and disfluency markers. A multimodal contrastive perspective” (see http://www.uclouvain.be/en-415256.html), the universities of Louvain and Namur have been involved in a large-scale usage-based study of (dis)fluency markers in spoken French, L1 and L2 English, and French Belgian Sign Language (LSFB), with a focus on variation according to language, speaker and genre. To close this five-year research project, an international conference will be organized in Louvain-la-Neuve on the subject of fluency and disfluency across languages and language varieties.

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Constructed | Constructive Journalism

8-9 December 2016
Brussels Institute for Journalism Studies (BIJU)
Department of Applied Linguistics
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium

Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2016

Plenary speakers
Cathrine Gyldensted (Windesheimhogeschool Zwolle, The Netherlands)
Peter Bull (University of York, UK)

This conference aims at bringing together researchers from different backgrounds investigating construction in journalism. We define construction in a twofold way. On the one hand, there is the perspective of journalism as an interpretive and discursive construction of social reality which goes back to postmodern and poststructuralist approaches. In this view, news is the product of linguistic and journalistic choices with possible ideological implications. A recent interpretation of this approach focuses on the deconstruction of the idea of the journalist as an ‘objective’ gatekeeper by pointing out new and hybrid roles like that of storyteller, activist or opinion leader. Likewise, the discursive construction of ‘reality’ has evolved along with the development of grassroots and participatory types of journalism afforded by new media technologies. Contemporary analyses have responded to, and moved beyond postmodern and poststructuralist thinking by initiating a ‘both/neither’ dialogue between notions of deconstruction and reconstruction.

On the other hand, there is the perspective of journalism as a constructive activity. Whereas journalistic practice traditionally was defined as impartial and detached, many practitioners and scholars nowadays adhere to the vision that journalists should not only point out problems, but should also play an active role in proposing solutions. Also, in the constructive view, journalists should not ruminate the negative aspects of the news, but they should try to bring untold and affirmative stories. Constructive journalism draws on insights from positive psychology and reception studies and purports to frame news by involving and connecting audiences. Inclusion is an important topic within this perspective, not only as covered in political news but also in all other beats (sports, culture, lifestyle, etc.). Constructive journalism can be related to other approaches of journalism, such as slow journalism, hyperlocal, activist, citizen and peace journalism.

We want to encourage participants to engage in a critical discussion of constructed and/or constructive forms of journalism and to also consider possible overlap and tensions or interactions between both forms. Is constructiveness a construction just like objectivity, adversarialness, neutrality or neutralism? Does construction sometimes occur with constructive purposes? What are the boundaries between constructive journalism and biased forms of communication or even activism? The role of social media and alternative media in this process will be a special point of interest. Continue reading

CBL Best Paper Presentation Award 2016

Le Cercle belge de Linguistique a organisé la première édition du Prix de la Meilleure Présentation par un doctorant lors de la journée linguistique 2016.

Le prix 2016 a été attribué à Emma Vanden Wyngaerd pour sa présentation intitulée ‘Adapting a monolingual theory to fit a bilingual problem’.