Symposium Obdobja 39
SLOVENE – DISCOURSES, GENRES AND LANGUAGE VARIETIES BETWEEN IDENTITY AND FUNCTION
You are invited to take part in the 39th international Obdobja Symposium on the theme of Slovene – Discourses, Genres and Language Varieties between Identity and Function, which will be held from 18 to 20 November 2020, organised by the Centre for Slovene as a Foreign and Second Language at the Department of Slovene Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana.
In the Slovene context, the relationship between language varieties, genres and discourses has changed fundamentally over recent decades. Among the social processes which influence changes in language practice, it is particularly worth mentioning globalisation and the associated multiculturalism, which we encounter at both the interlingual and intralingual levels, as well as the increasingly shifting individual and cultural spaces and ways of life characteristic of the postmodern society (cf. Nastran Ule).
Traditionally the individual was seen as a member of a specific social group that spoke a characteristic variant of Slovene, but now there is an ever greater awareness that each individual is simultaneously a member of numerous different social groups (connected to age, profession, interests, geography, etc.). These groups are also constituted through characteristic speech varieties which in specific roles and contexts help determine their identity as members of the group. The variability of the language environment in which different language varieties interact with each other in new ways, where different genres enter areas that were traditionally seen as domains of the standard language and where new discourses and genres appear, demands of both the “traditional” and “new” language varieties of social groups the establishment, confirmation or rearrangement of interpersonal relations, while also demanding of the individual ever greater sensitivity with regard to the selection of language variety, genre and discourse in different contexts.
Of course, even in the modern language environment the selection of a genre and discourse for a specific speech is not random as it involves a judgement as to which genres and discourses are appropriate and which elements are acceptable or expected, depending on existing interpersonal, systemic, cultural and social relations. But as Skubic, Bergoč, Kalin Golob, Mikolič, Tivadar and others note, in order to understand these relations language users can no longer rely merely on traditional descriptions of language as a system within which hierarchical social genres schematically connect with functional ones (Bergoč, Škiljan). The language character of speakers’ statements is also dependent on which of their roles and identities (professional, geographic, interest, gender, etc.) prevail in a specific situation, which is in turn dependent on a number of contextual factors (Crystal).
To capture the contemporary language environment, it is thus necessary to look at language activity as rooted in a social, political and cultural context, or to look at it as cultural and social practice that is as much to do with ideologies, identities and values (Graff, Vendramin, Kramsch) as it is with code and skills. Or to put it another way: if we wish to describe, evaluate and help shape the current language situation and offer speakers support in orienting within a changing language space, we need to take into account its functional as well as identity-related and symbolic scope (Bergoč).
In discussions at the Obdobja Symposium we shall therefore re-examine relations between discourses, genres and language varieties in the contemporary Slovene language environment. Our consideration of how speakers express their identity and realise various functions through their choice of language shall be related to characteristic areas of personal, working, official and public life. In this way we shall present language activity within a wider framework, while at the same time offering language users a starting point for a critical choice of language varieties, discourses and genres.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jerca Vogel, Presidents of the 39th Obdobja Symposium
- SLOVENE IN THE MEDIA (the relationship between Slovene and other languages, and between the standard language and other varieties; the meaning of identity and prevailing function in the choice of language variety, genre and function)
- SLOVENE IN ADVERTISING (the language of advertising between identity and function)
- SLOVENE IN THE ARTS (in literature, theatre, cartoon strip, film)
- SLOVENE IN SCHOOL (the role of the standard language and other varieties of Slovene as language of instruction and communication; developing awareness of language heterogeneity)
- SLOVENE IN LEGAL, ADMINISTRATIVE AND POLITICAL-DIPLOMATIC USE (taking into account hitherto marginalised groups; genres and discourses of the spoken and written legal-formal language)
- SLOVENE AT UNIVERSITY (the relationship between Slovene and other languages, the use of genres in spoken and written academic discourse)
- SLOVENE AT WORK (the adaptability of language varieties with regard to context and bearer, the role of foreign languages in specific work environments)
- SLOVENE AMONG SPECIAL GROUPS OF SPEAKERS (e.g. first and second generation immigrants, speakers from socially underprivileged environments, speakers with special needs)
The Symposium is organised by The Centre for Slovene as a Second and Foreign Language at the Department of Slovene Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Kongresni trg 12, SI-1000 Ljubljana.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jerca Vogel
Dr. Damjan Huber, Dr. Mojca Nidorfer Šiškovič
T: 00386 1 241 86 76
- Assist. Prof. Dr. Mateja Jemec Tomazin, Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
- Dr. Mihaela Knez, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana
- Prof. Dr. Simona Kranjc, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana
- Assist. Prof. Dr. Tina Lengar Verovnik, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana
- Prof. Dr. Vesna Mikolič, Science and Research Centre Koper; University of Trieste
- Dr. Mladen Pavičić, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana; Eötvös Loránd University
- Assist. Prof. Dr. Darja Pavlič, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana
- Assist. Prof. Dr. Simona Pulko, Faculty of Arts, University of Maribor
- Prof. Dr. Vera Smole, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana
- Prof. Dr. Mojca Smolej, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana
- Prof. Dr. Marko Stabej, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana
- Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hotimir Tivadar, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana
- Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jerca Vogel, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana
- Prof. Dr. Andreja Žele, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana
University of Ljubljana (main building, 1st floor), Kongresni trg 12, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Contributions will be published in the thematic monograph given to participants at the event and freely available on the website of the Centre for Slovene in the section Obdobja publications.
Until 10 February 2020 registration (including the submission of an abstract up to 150 words) will be via the symposium website (Obdobja Symposium 39, Registration Form) and by 20 February 2020 registered participants will receive notification of the acceptance of the submitted theme.
The deadline for the submission of papers in the prescribed electronic format (up to 20,000 characters with spaces, including bibliography and notes) is 15 May 2020. Participants will receive the format guidelines for their paper via e-mail. The guidelines will also be published on the symposium website.
Prior to publication contributions will by blind reviewed by two peer reviewers; authors will be notified of the referees’ evaluation at the latest by 5 July 2020.
Final (revised) versions of papers must be submitted by 20 July 2020. Notification of inclusion of the paper in the symposium programme will be received by participants by 10 September 2020.
Please take careful note of the deadlines for registration and submission of papers, as the electronic system does not allow for late registrations or submissions.
The fee for taking part and presenting a paper is 80 EUR and includes a folder containing symposium material, the publication of the paper, the symposium proceedings, the accompanying programme, lunches and event organisation. Participants will be sent an invoice via e-mail which can be paid through a bank or post office. 10 November 2020 is the deadline for the payment of the registration fee.
Presentation of papersThe time allowed for the presentation of a paper is limited to 20 minutes. Working languages will be Slovene and English; by prior agreement with the organisers the use of another language is possible.
Participants must book and cover the cost of accommodation themselves. Addresses of Ljubljana hotels are provided below.