Call for Papers | EN

Language in Contact | Sprachen im Kontakt
Yesterday – Today – Tomorrow

Graduate School Language and Literature Munich: Class of Language 24th
LIPP Symposium – June 21st – 23rd, 2017

Our world has held and holds people in motion. This continual movement or migration leads to a mixture of cultures and their mother tongues. What happens when speakers of different languages interact? What can we learn from past instances of language contact that will help us to research language phenomena in the present? What impact will these findings have on future research and how can this knowledge be used to help us develop innovative methodology? The aim of this symposium is to use an interdisciplinary approach to convey both traditional and innovative insights into the vast field of language contact. Welcome are therefore both functionalist and sociolinguistic approaches from both diachronic and synchronic perspectives. In this call we openly invite papers focusing on research in both historical and modern languages as well as papers on new linguistic methodology within the digital humanities, neurolinguistics, language therapy, language cognition and other fields disclosing new perspectives on language contact and their putative value for general linguistic theory. Over the course of this symposium papers will examine the language contact of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

1. Language contact yesterday

This module concentrates on language interaction in the past. Especially welcome are submissions on topics from a diachronic perspective focusing on the effect migration has had on language change. How did contact varieties and dialects emerge? What effect did the superstratum have on the substratum or vice-versa? Particularly interesting are factors leading to language convergence or shifts. What linguistic and extralinguistic factors play a decisive role in the creation of new language varieties? What linguistic patterns emerged as a result of language contact in times past?

2. Language contact today

Another focus will be on linguistic processes taking place in current language varieties and speech communities. In this section language contact will be examined as the outcome of interaction between speakers of different languages who share a single location and will additionally be explored in the light of modern mobility. What does language use look like when people truly relocate? How has the new international community influenced linguistic processes within phonetics or phonology, morphosyntax, semantics, pragmatics, etc.? Do modern languages in contact today have to be approached on an entirely different level due to globalization? Also, through the use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook, chat clients like Whatsapp, forums like Reddit and internet radio, it has never been easier to stay in touch with one’s language community despite geographical distance. Taking these factors into account, what does language contact look like today?

3. Language contact tomorrow

Final emphasis will be placed on discussing the future. How can past and present language contact be studied with the aid of new technology and methodology within the Digital Humanities and how can what we learn be implemented in subsequent research? Also, to what extent can a language’s development be predicted? When looking to the future one may turn to the fields of sociolinguistics and language policy. What factors lead to the use of a lingua franca instead of embracing multilingualism and what ultimately causes language attrition? Language contact is often associated with a reduction of language diversity. Are we on a path to this reduction affecting not only minority languages, but also bigger language communities? In this module papers will be followed by a round table discussion addressing the issues, technology and methodology surrounding the field of language contact.

Submission guidelines

The Graduate School of Language and Literature (GS L&L) – Munich Symposium organizers invite proposals on original research on language contact that link theory with empirical evidence. Potential presenters should submit an abstract for a 20-minute presentation (plus a 10-minute discussion). There is no participation fee. Abstracts should be:

  • Anonymous
  • Max. 300 words (plus 1 page max. for examples and references)
  • Composed in either English or German (Presentation in either English or German)


Conference proceedings will be published in JournaLipp.

Submission deadlines

Individual papers: CLOSED

Notification of acceptance: April 10th, 2017

Email the abstract as BOTH a Word/OpenOffice and PDF file to:


Please include the following information in your email (but not in the abstract):

  • Title of the paper
  • Name and work address
  • Email address

Extra attendance

Attending the conference without presenting a paper is possible. There is, however, limited seating. Therefore, we do ask that you register via email (


Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Dr. Petar Kehayov, Universität Regensburg

Prof. Dr. Yaron Matras, The University of Manchester

Prof. Dr. Barbara Sonnenhauser, Universität Zürich

Prof. Dr. Harald Thun, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel



Prof. Dr. Thomas Krefeld

Prof. Dr. Claudia M. Riehl

Prof. Dr. Elena Skribnik

Organizing Committee

Teresa Barberio
Elisabeth Huber
Sebastian Lasch
Veton Matoshi
Ann-Marie Moser
Katharina Nakonechna
Jenny Robins


bilingual and multilingual language competence
cognitive linguistics
dialect studies
digital humanities
historical linguistics
language attrition
language contact
language policy
linguistic typology
new media studies