CfP: Coexistence, competition, and change: Structural borrowing and the dynamics of asymmetric language contact (Workshop at the DGfS 2023)



Coexistence, competition, and change: Structural borrowing and the dynamics of asymmetric language contact

Workshop at the Annual Conference of the German Linguistics Society (DGfS) 2023
Date: 8-10 March 2023
Location: University of Cologne, Germany
Contact: Manfred Sailer
Workshop website:
Conference Website:


Final deadline for abstract submission: September 1st, 2022

Meeting Description:
The workshop aims at bringing together various lines of research in the investigation of the dynamics of asymmetric language contact and change. Typically, language contact situations are characterized by variation, competition, and coexistence of linguistic features at different levels of linguistic analysis and their interfaces. These dynamics become apparent not only in the linguistic behaviour of bilingual speakers and signers (code-switching, code-mixing, code-blending, and cross-linguistic influence), but also in the evolution of spoken and sign languages over time (language change, emergence of new varieties, mixed languages, pattern transfer or calque). By approaching the dynamics of language contact from different theoretical perspectives, we aim to contribute to a better understanding of the outcomes of language contact. Our focus will be on contact phenomena at the syntactic level.

Workshop organizers:
Hiwa Asadpour, Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main & JPSP International Fellow of University of Tokyo
Carolina Plaza-Pust, Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main
Manfred Sailer, Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main

Invited speakers:
– Victoria Nyst (Leiden University)
– Heike Wiese (Humboldt University, Berlin)

Call for papers:
Issues that will be addressed include but are not limited to:
• What do we know about the interplay of internal and external factors affecting the outcomes of language contact?
• Does lexical borrowing open a door to structural borrowing under specific circumstances?
• What factors contribute to the diffusion of or resistance to the importation of structural features?
• How do we distinguish between variation and change?
• How do traditional linguistic theories cope with the dynamics of language contact?
• What do dynamic models contribute to our understanding of language contact and change?
• Are borrowing hierarchies universal or conditioned by the languages involved?
• What is the scope and what are the limits of syntactic creativity in asymmetric language contact?

We particularly encourage submissions addressing these topics from different theoretical frameworks, methodological approaches, and subfields of linguistics, including but not limited to formal linguistics, typology, areal linguistics, sign language linguistics, historical linguistics, bilingualism research, contact linguistics, and postcolonial linguistics.

Time for talks: 20 min presentation, 10 min discussion

Abstract submission guidelines:

Abstracts should be submitted in an anonymous PDF file, not exceed 250 words, and contain a max. number of 5 references.

Please send your abstract to (subject: DGfS 2023 AG3-workshop abstract), incl. name(s), affiliation(s), and e-mail address(es) plus 3 to 5 keywords on the topic of the proposed presentation.

Workshop information:
The workshop at the DGfS conference is planned to be an in-person event. Please note that the regulations of the German Linguistics Society (DGfS) do not allow workshop participants to present two or more papers in different workshops. However, you are allowed to be named as co-authors in more than one presentation.

A limited number of travel grants of up to 500 Euro are available for accepted contributions by DGfS members without/with low income.

Important dates:
Final deadline for abstract submission:   September 1, 2022, 23:59 CET
Notification of acceptance:                      September 10, 2022

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Written by Johanna