Novel Perspectives on Communication Practices in Antiquity. Towards a Historical Socio-Semiotic Approach

03-05 October 2019, Ghent, Belgium 

The main aim of this conference, which forms the opening event of the ERC-project ‘Everyday writing in Graeco-Roman and Late Antique Egypt. A socio-semiotic study of communicative variation’ (2018-2023;, is to explore to what extent it is possible and desirable to found a discipline such as historical social-semiotics, parallel to historical socio-linguistics. Such a novel, interdisciplinary approach is particularly relevant for ‘everyday’ documentary texts: since these texts represent autographs, their external characteristics can also be brought into the interpretation. Jean-Luc Fournet (2007), for example, has recently argued for a ‘paléographie signifiante’, noting that ‘l’analyse matérielle d’un document peut être porteuse de sens’ (2007:353), not only when it comes to text type, but also with regard to the socio-cultural context of writing, and the provenance of the document. Other external characteristics to be considered as expressions of social meaning (functioning as ‘semiotic resources’) are – but are not limited to – writing material, document format, and language choice. Their analysis reveals information concerning hierarchy, status and social relations. 


Thursday, October 3, 2019 


Welcome Greetings 

Morning session: Genre and multimodality 
Chairperson: Klaas Bentein 

Klaas Bentein (Ghent University) 

Sarah Béthume (INCAL/CEMA, UCLouvain) 
“The ‘exposed writings’: how the study of the ‘pluricode’ message of ancient Greek inscriptions can shed light on the archaic and classical dialectal variation” 

Nicola Reggiani (University of Parma) 
“Towards a socio-semiotic analysis of Greek medical prescriptions on papyrus” 

11:00-11:30: Coffee Break 

Francesca Murano & Mariarosaria Zinzi (University of Florence) 
“A social-semiotic analysis of Greek defixiones from South Italy” 

Jimmy Wolfe (The Ohio State University) 
“Imagining faith: images, scripts, and texts of early Christian inscriptions from the Roman Near East” 

12:30-14:00: Lunch Break 

Afternoon session: Texts and intra-semiosis 
Chairperson: Yasmine Amory 

Key-note speaker, Antonella Ghignoli (Sapienza – University of Rome) 
“This is the catalogue! A so far unknown latin documentary papyrus from 6th century Italy” 

Martti Leiwo (University of Helsinki) 
“Hands and language in ostraca letters from Roman praesidia in Egypt” 

Giulio Iovine (University of Naples “Federico II”) 
“Descriptum et recognitum. A survey of Latin closing and acknowledging formulae in Latin and Greek papyri and ostraca” 

15:45-16:15: Coffee Break 

Antonia Apostolakou (Ghent University) 
“How to sign a contract in Late Antique Egypt: a study of linguistic variation” 

Simona Russo (Istituto papirologico “G. Vitelli”) 
“Rome as New York, fashion capital?” 

* Reception at Alice 

Friday, October 4, 2019 

Morning session: Sociolinguistic variation 
Chairperson: Mark Janse 

Key-note speaker, James Clackson (University of Cambridge) 
“Standard languages, language standards and language norms in the Greco-Roman world” 

Polina Yordanova (University of Helsinki) 
“Тhe forest’s broken branches: discontinuity in Greek word order in documentary papyri from III c BCE to III c CE” 

Alek Keersmaekers (UK Leuven) 
“Sociolinguistic variation in the Greek papyri: a corpus-based, bottom-up approach” 

11:00-11:30: Coffee Break 

Emmanuel Roumanis & Geert De Mol (Ghent University) 
“The Abinnaeus archive: lexical and orthographic features” 

Alessandro Papini (Ghent University) 
“A preliminary investigation on the graphemic oscillations in Italian Latin inscriptions of the Republican age” 

12:30-14:00: Lunch Break 

Afternoon session: Visual and material aspects of texts 
Chairperson: Joanne Stolk 

Key-note speaker, Jean-Luc Fournet (Collège de France – EPHE) 
“Beyond the text: the contribution of the ‘paléographie signifiante’” 

Marco Stroppa (Istituto papirologico “G. Vitelli”) 
“Big & small: the size of documents as a semiotic resource for Graeco-Roman Egypt?” 

Nina Sietis (Sapienza – University of Rome) 
“Abbreviations in Greek documentary texts. A case study of ‘significant palaeography’” 

15:45-16:15: Coffee Break 

Eleonora Conti (Istituto papirologico “G. Vitelli”) 
“Spread and persistence of Latin document features in some Greek letters of high chancery on papyrus” 

Yasmine Amory (Ghent University) 
“Visual signs of deference in Late Antique letters” 

Visit at the Archaeological Collection of Ghent University at Het Pand 

19:30: Dinner at Sint Jorishof (optional, pre-reservation required) 

Saturday, October 5, 2019 

Morning session: Multimodal aspects of writing 
Chairperson: Giovanbattista Galdi 

Key-note speaker, Mark Depauw (UC Leuven) 
“Splitting words in Greek letters and petitions. Quantitative research based on Trismegistos” 

Joanne Stolk (Ghent University/University of Oslo) 
“The social meaning of scribal corrections in final versions of papyrus letters”

14th International Colloquium on Late and Vulgar Latin (LVLT14)

31 Aug – 04 Sep 2020, Ghent, Belgium

The 14th International Colloquium on Late and Vulgar Latin (Latin vulgaire – latin tardif XIV) will be held at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Ghent University (Belgium) from Monday, August 31 to Friday, September 4, 2020. It will be organized by the Latin section and the research group DiaLing at the Department of Linguistics, under the auspices of the Comité international pour l’étude du latin vulgaire et tardif ( 

The colloquium will be held in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Latin. As per tradition, it will be devoted to all linguistic aspects of late, informal, non-standard and colloquial Latin (including the transition from Latin to Romance). 

Papers will be limited to 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes discussion. A peer-reviewed selection of papers will be published in one or two volumes. 

Members of the local organising committee are: 

– prof. Giovanbattista Galdi (UGent) 
– prof. Jeroen De Keyser (KU Leuven) 
– prof. Mathijs Lamberigts (KU Leuven) 
– Simon Aerts (UGent) 
– Alessandro Papini (UGent) 

In memory of József Herman (1924–2005), his widow Marianne Bakró-Nagy and the Comité international pour l’étude du latin vulgaire et tardif have established a prize for the best contribution by a young researcher at the biennial International Colloquium on Late and Vulgar Latin (Latin vulgaire – latin tardif). The prize consists of a diploma and €500 ( 

For all further and future information, please visit the website of the colloquium at For any additional questions you may have, please contact the organisers at 

We look forward to meeting you in Ghent in 2020. 

6th European and 9th Nordic Symposium on Multimodal Communication

September 9-10 2019, University of Leuven

The 6th European and 9th Nordic Symposium on Multimodal Communication aims to provide a multidisciplinary forum for researchers from different disciplines who study multimodality in human communication as well as in human-computer interaction. The 2019 edition of the MMSYM symposium is organized by the MIDI research group (Multimodality, Interaction & Discourse) based at the Linguistics Department of the University of Leuven, Belgium.

The symposium follows up on a tradition established by the Swedish Symposia on Multimodal Communication held from 1997 until 2000, and continued by the Nordic Symposia on Multimodal Communication held from 2003 to 2012. Since 2013 the symposium has acquired a broader European dimension, with editions held in Malta, Estonia, Ireland, Denmark and Germany. This year the symposium will be held in Belgium for the first time.

The past ten years have witnessed a spectacular increase in research on multimodal communication from a variety of perspectives and (sub)disciplines, including (corpus) linguistics, conversation analysis, human-computer interaction research, and (critical) discourse analysis. This has not only led to a range of novel insights into the dynamics of embodied and situated communication (see e.g. Müller et al. 2013, 2014 for an overview), but has also been the catalyst for the development and implementation of methodological innovations, including the use of high-quality (including multi-angle) video recordings, the integration of input from motion capturing systems, biometric sensor systems and eye-tracking into a multimodal analysis pipeline, the exploration of (semi-)automatic annotation techniques for large-scale corpora, and the implementation of multimodal interaction in computer interfaces. Despite the rapid development of the fields involved, many questions still need to be resolved and new challenges emerge for research on multimodal communication. The MMSYM symposium aims to provide a forum for the discussion of these challenges.


Summer School: Cognitive linguistic applications to second language teaching: From Theory to Practice

21-24 August 2019, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

The workshop aims to provide interested researchers in the field of applied linguistics (PhD students, PostDocs and others) with a strong methodological background on how to test the effectiveness of cognitive linguistic approaches to language teaching by means of classroom-based studies. To this end, the program of the workshop includes both talks reporting the most recent advances in the field and hands-on sessions, requiring the participants to further their own research. Participants will have the opportunity to receive specialized feedback, become familiar with practice examples and actively engage in discussion. The workshop will be held in English, but pedagogical applications for other foreign languages such as Spanish, German and French will be showcased. Researchers working on any foreign language are strongly encouraged to participate.
Minimum Education Level: Undergraduate

Cognitive linguistic approaches such as cognitive grammar and construction grammar are best suited to elucidate grammar principles that often remain hidden to language learners, since they use imagery and embodied experiences to make grammar’s meaningfulness more transparent to learners. Although their potential is widely accepted, empirical research so far still needs to provide a clear understanding of how these approaches can best be translated into effective teaching practices, especially for languages others than English. In the field of applied linguistics, assessing the effectiveness of such approaches in controlled classroom settings remains an exciting, but challenging endeavor. Therefore, the present workshop addresses some of the questions regarding the testing of cognitive linguistic approaches in the form of interventional studies in classroom settings, such as the following:

– How should the treatment be designed in order to align with the most recent advances in language pedagogy?
– Which study designs are best suited to assess the impact of the treatment?
– How can measurements be constructed and validated?
– Which statistical methods are best suited for the analysis of variables?

Keynote Speakers

Robert Blake (University of California Davis)
Thomas François (Université catholique de Louvain)
Jörg Roche (University of Munich)

Tuition Explanation: Participation is free of charge.

Registration: 10-May-2019 to 15-Jul-2019
Contact Person: Mathieu Lecouvet

Apply here.

Registration Instructions:
Participants will be required to submit a short abstract about their current research project(s).

Linguistique générale 101. Réflexions sur l’enseignement de la linguistique

3 mai 2019, Namur, Belgium

Journée organisée par le Département de Langues et littératures romanes et par l’Institut NaLTT.

Contact et inscription (souhaitée pour le 26 avril) :

Affiche et programme <


Mot d’accueil de David Vrydaghs, Doyen de la Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres de l’UNamur

9h15-9h30 Mot de présentation par Jean-Louis Vaxelaire (UNamur)


Philippe Blanchet (Université Rennes 2)
« Monter un cours magistral d’introduction aux sciences du langage en 1ère année de licence d’information-communication : quelles orientations ? quelles modalités ? Réflexions sur une expérience à l’Université Rennes 2, en Bretagne »

10h30-11h00 Sami Mabrak (Université Lyon 2), Djamel Boukhalet et AbdessamedLamiche (Université Med Boudiaf de M’sila)
« De la convergence à la divergence dans l’enseignement de la linguistique »
11h00-11h30 Pause-café


Borko Kovačević, Maja Đukanović & Vesna Polovina (Université de Belgrade)
« Les expériences et les directions possibles du développement de l’enseignement de la linguistique générale »

12h00-13h00 Patrick Charaudeau (Université Paris 13)
« Les possibles raisons de l’invisibilité de la linguistique dans les sciences humaines et sociales »




François Rastier (CNRS)
« Linguistique et littérature : « énonciation » ou création ? »


Vince Liégeois (Université de Gand) « Vers un Cours de grammaire générative »

15h30-15h45 Pause-café


Aurélie Sinte (Université de Namur)
« L’analyse du discours oral au service de l’enseignement universitaire »


Laurence Meurant (Université de Namur, LSFB-lab)
« La linguistique générale à l’épreuve des langues signées »


Crossing the Border between Spanish and English: Current Issues, Future Perspectives, Linguistic and Literary Insights

This international congress is a joint initiative of the Research Group CROS of the Department of Spanish and Comparative Romance Linguistics at Ghent University (Belgium) and the Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies (Spanish language) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium) .

The congress will take place at Het Pand (Ghent, Belgium) on 5-6 February, 2019.

Plenary speakers:

Linguistics: Kim Potowski (University of Illinois)
Literary Studies: An Van Hecke (KU Leuven, Antwerpen)
Cultural Studies: Silvia Betti (Università di Bologna)


A detailed conference program can be consulted on

Registration is now open, see:

Language in Webcare: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

22-Nov-2018 – 23-Nov-2018, Ghent, Belgium

With the rise of digital business communication, end-users of products and services can now easily communicate positive and negative feedback to other customers and organizations on social networking and (micro)blogging sites, the sheer amount of which is hard for corporations to monitor, let alone respond to. As negative word-of-mouth on both the issue at hand and the way it has been tackled may have detrimental consequences in terms of reputation and sales (Luo 2009), organizations now have to access these social platforms as well and engage in a very delicate type of online service encounter (i.e. webcare) with the prime intention of nursing customer relationships and monitoring reputation management (Van Noort and Willemsen 2011). The success of this type of interaction depends on many different aspects, including the linguistic realization of both the original message by the customer and the ensuing webcare itself. However, context-specific knowledge on what constitutes the most appropriate, effective communicative strategies during critical moments – both from the customers’ and the companies’ perspective – is lacking (Lee and Song 2010) or proves to be somewhat contradictory.

As organizers of this symposium, we believe that research into the communicative challenges of digital business communication would greatly benefit from an interdisciplinary approach, combining theories and methods from linguistics, service-oriented marketing and public relations (see also Holmqvist et al. 2017; Carnevale et al. 2017). Therefore, this symposium aims to bring together scholars in language, communication and marketing studies who all share an interest in the linguistic and communicative intricacies of online service management. We invite papers focusing on consumer reviews, complaints, webcare and/or crisis communication from different theoretical and methodological perspectives.

We invited five speakers with an expertise in discourse- and communication-related approaches to online consumer complaints, reviews, and webcare: Camilla Vasquez (University of South Florida), Valerie Creelman (Saint Mary’s University), Guda Van Noort (University of Amsterdam), Rob Le Pair (Radboud University Nijmegen), An-Sofie Claeys (University of Leuven).

We ask scholars attending the conference (except for BA and MA students) to pay a registration fee of 100€ (excluding dinner on November 22).

For further information please contact, and/or


The program can be found on:

CogLing8 programme and registration

Dear colleague,

We are pleased to announce you that the registration for CogLing8 is now open. We kindly request you to register before 15 November through the following link (also available via the conference’s webpage):

A provisional programme is now available on the conference website

It is still possible to book a hotel room at the university rate via the link provided on our website Please note that it is compulsory to use the link and form mentioned on this page in order to obtain the university rate. A limited number of rooms is available in both hotels (please note that the offer for the Ibis hotel is valid only for bookings made before 12 November). Our website also includes a link to other accommodation options in the numerous B&Bs in Louvain-la-Neuve, as well as travel information.

Kind regards,

The organizing committee

Barbara De Cock, Liesbeth Degand, Gaëtanelle Gilquin, Sara Jonkers, Julien Perrez, Kristel Van Goethem

Advance notice: ‘Corpus Linguistics with R’ and ‘Statistics for linguistics with R’ bootcamps by S.T. Gries

Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, August 2019

The Linguistics Research Unit of the Institute of Language and Communication (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium) will be hosting two 30-hour bootcamps by Stefan Gries next summer.

The ‘Corpus Linguistics with R’ bootcamp (12-16 Aug 2019) is a hands-on introduction to using the programming language R for the analysis of textual data (mostly corpora, but theoretically also literary works, web data, etc.). It is based on the second edition (2016) of Gries’s textbook Quantitative corpus linguistics with R and introduces a variety of programming constructs required for text processing and corpus exploration including

  • building word frequency lists and computing type-token ratios;
  • computing dispersion and key words statistics;
  • extracting concordance lines.

For that, we will discuss different relevant functions and data structures, control flow structures such as loops and conditionals, and a sizable number of regular expressions; in addition and time permitting, we will also cover very elementary basics of data visualization. The kinds of data dealt with in this course come from a variety of differently formatted/annotated corpora and will also include 1-2 examples of literary works and/or XML processing.

The ‘Statistics for linguistics with R’ bootcamp (19-23 Aug 2019) is a hands-on introduction to statistical methods for both graduate students and seasoned researchers and is based on the second edition (2013) of Gries’s textbook Statistics for linguistics with R. The course is intended for linguists who already have a basic knowledge in statistics and some experience using R, and who wish to improve their proficiency in statistical analysis of linguistic data. Using the open source software and programming language R, we will:

  • briefly recap basic aspects of statistical evaluation as well as several descriptive statistics;
  • briefly discuss a selection of monofactorial statistical tests for frequencies, means, correlations and how they constitute special (limiting) cases of regression methods;
  • explore different kinds of multifactorial and multivariate methods, in particular different kinds of regression approaches (fixed-effects only and mixed-effect modelling) as well as classification trees and random forests.

Details about the previous edition of the ‘Statistics for linguistics with R’ bootcamp in LLN are available at: For info about the prerequisites, visit

The website of the two events will be online in early 2019 and online registration will start on 1 March 2019. It will be possible to register for one event only but priority will be given to people who register for both. The number of participants is limited. If you would like to participate, mark the date in your diary!

Contact email:

Magali Paquot

6th International Conference on Statistical Language and Speech Processing

October 15-16, 2018, Mons, Belgium

Co-organized by:

NUMEDIART Institute, University of Mons
LANGUAGE Institute, University of Mons
Institute for Research Development, Training and Advice (IRDTA), Brussels/London



Monday, October 15

09:00 – 09:30 Registration

09:30 – 09:40 Opening

09:40 – 10:30 Thomas Hain. Crossing Domains in Automatic Speech Recognition – Invited lecture

10:30 – 11:00 Break

11:00 – 12:15

Amal Houidhek, Vincent Colotte, Zied Mnasri and Denis Jouvet. DNN-based Speech Synthesis for Arabic: Modelling and Evaluation

Antoine Perquin, Gwénolé Lecorvé, Damien Lolive and Laurent Amsaleg. Phone-level Embeddings for Unit Selection Speech Synthesis

Raheel Qader, Gwénolé Lecorvé, Damien Lolive and Pascale Sébillot. Disfluency Insertion for Spontaneous TTS: Formalization and Proof of Concept

12:15 – 13:45 Lunch

13:45 – 14:35 Simon King. Does ‘End-to-End’ Speech Synthesis Make any Sense? – Invited lecture

14:35 – 14:50 Break

14:50 – 16:05

George Christodoulides. Forced Alignment of the Phonologie du Français Contemporain Corpus

Ruei Hung Alex Lee and Jyh-Shing Roger Jang. A Syllable Structure Approach to Spoken Language Recognition

Gueorgui Pironkov, Sean Wood, Stéphane Dupont and Thierry Dutoit. Investigating a Hybrid Learning Approach for Robust Automatic Speech Recognition

16:05 – 16:20 Break

16:20 – 17:30 Poster session I

17:30 – 19:30 Touristic visit

Tuesday, October 16

09:00 – 09:50 Isabel Trancoso. Analysing Speech for Clinical Applications – Invited lecture

09:50 – 10:20 Break

10:20 – 11:35

Jan Vanek, Josef Michalek, Jan Zelinka and Josef Psutka. A Comparison of Adaptation Techniques and Recurrent Neural Network Architectures

Andris Varavs and Askars Salimbajevs. Restoring Punctuation and Capitalization Using Transformer Models

David Awad, Caroline Sabty, Mohamed Elmahdy and Slim Abdennadher. Arabic Name Entity Recognition Using Deep Learning

11:35 – 11:50 Break and Group photo

11:50 – 13:05

Pratik Doshi and Wlodek Zadrozny. Movie Genre Detection Using Topological Data Analysis and Simple Discourse Features

Daniel Grießhaber, Thang Vu and Johannes Maucher. Low-resource Text Classification Using Domain-adversarial Learning

Manny Rayner, Johanna Gerlach, Pierrette Bouillon, Nikolaos Tsourakis and Hervé Spechbach. Handling Ellipsis in a Spoken Medical Phraselator

13:05 – 14:35 Lunch

14:35 – 15:50

Laura García-Sardiña, Manex Serras and Arantza Del Pozo. Knowledge Transfer for Active Learning in Textual Anonymisation

Fernando Gomes and Juan Manuel Adán-Coello. Studying the Effects of Text Preprocessing and Ensemble Methods on Sentiment Analysis of Brazilian Portuguese Tweets

Daniel Lichtblau and Catalin Stoean. Text Documents Encoding through Images for Authorship Attribution

15:50 – 16:05 Break

16:05 – 17:05 Poster session II

17:05 – 17:15 Closing