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Historical Sociolinguistics Network (HiSoN) 2021 - Erlangen (Deutschland)
17. März 2021 - 19. März 2021
Intra-writer variation in historical sociolinguistics
Intra-writer or stylistic variation can be considered as one of the new waves in historical sociolinguistics – see the previous HiSoN conference in Leiden 2018. In modern sociolinguistics, intra-speaker and stylistic variation have reached “the centre of sociolinguistic theorization and method” (Bell 2014: 297) and are now “a key ingredient of variationist sociolinguistic research” (Hernández-Campoy 2016: 30). The success of the so-called third-wave studies with their focus on the construction of identities through language has brought about influential concepts such as stylization, crossing and enregisterment. Resulting from the frequent lack of available information about individual historical writers and the randomness of textual transmission, historical sociolinguistics faces increased difficulties when focusing on individual language use and stylistic repertoires. This may be the reason why intra-writer variation has as yet not received much attention. This desideratum in historical sociolinguistics will be addressed at the HiSoN 2021 conference, 17-19 March 2021.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the conference “Intra-Writer Variation in Historical Sociolinguistics” will be full-online. There will be a combination of live Zoom meetings and pre-recorded presentations with virtual live discussions. More information and technical details will follow on the website: https://sprachwissenschaft.fau.de/hison2021

The conference is hosted at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg by the junior research group Flexible Writers in Language History and the assistant professor of English Linguistics, in collaboration with the Historical Sociolinguistics Network (HiSoN).

Keynote Speakers:
- Stephan Elspaß (University of Salzburg)
- Juan Manuel Hernández-Campoy (University of Murcia)
- Terttu Nevalainen (University of Helsinki)
- José del Valle (The City University of New York)

Organizing committee: Markus Schiegg, Judith Huber, Katharina Gunkler-Frank, Julian Mader, Luzia Pätzel

Important dates:
- Send in abstracts by 31 December
- Notification of acceptance by 15 January
- Registration by 1 February
- If you choose a pre-recorded presentation instead of a live presentation: submission by 1 March
- Conference 17-19 March

Call for Papers
Our conference invites contributions that, among others, address the following questions:

- Which factors influence intra-writer variation in historical writing? How can we assess free variation?
- Can the concepts of intra-speaker or stylistic variation in modern sociolinguistics be applied to historical data?
- In which kind of historical data can we find intra-writer variation?
- Can effective style-shifting and the scope of a stylistic repertoire be connected to communicative competence and education?
- How can we distinguish stylistic from social variation in historical data?
- Is it possible to aggregate local findings of stylistic variation and combine qualitative with quantitative approaches?
- Does the analysis of stylistic variation in writing allow us to observe language change in progress? Can an approach to language history ‘from below’ benefit from stylistic variation?
- How does intra-writer variation evolve over the lifespan of historical writers?
- What roles do style-shifting and individual language use play within historical social networks and communities of practice?
- Do we have access to metalinguistic discourses on register awareness and (ideologies of) historical styles?
- How can electronic corpora and digital methods be used to assess individual variation?

Please send your abstracts of up to 400 words (including references) to conference-hison2021@fau.de by 31 December 2020. You will be notified of your papers acceptance by 15 January.

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