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Globalising Sociolinguistics (GloSoc2) “Communicating in the city”, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Thursday 13 December 2018 - Saturday 15 December 2018
Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
See program, on 13 December in the Van Steenis building and 14 and 15 December in the Lipsius Building

This second edition of the Globalising Sociolinguistics series focusses on the city as a sociolinguistic entity in its own right. Cities have something in common, even if they are in different parts of the world. In fact, city dwellers might feel more at home in another city – even one in another country –than in the surrounding more rural regions of their own city. More often than not, moving to the city is a life-changing event that reveals itself in ways of communicating of individuals and in the expansion and fluidity of repertoires. We will seek to explore communicative practices in the city in a way that transcends group-based or language-centered approaches. We seek to capture communication as situational, evolving, and dynamic.

The city as a sociolinguistic system in a more general way is also worthy of attention. Sociolinguistically, cities are where things often happen. They are growing in size, in importance, in independence from the nation state, and in complexity. Cities are the locus of innovation, adaptation, conflict, opportunity-seeking, and, as a consequence, of language use diversification and modernisation. Broader communication systems in urban contexts are, therefore, part of this conference.

The conference is inspired by the recent publication of the edited volume Urban Sociolinguistics. The City as a Linguistic Process and Experience (Routledge, 2018; Smakman & Heinrich, Eds): https://www.routledge.com/Urban-Sociolinguistics-The-City-as-a-Linguistic-Process-and-Experience/Smakman-Heinrich/p/book/9781138200371. This book explains language usage in very large cities across the globe and provides examples and analyses of such uses.


  • Dick Smakman, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics, The Netherlands
  • Patrick Heinrich, Department of Asian and North African Studies, Ca’Foscari University, Venice, Italy
  • Kapitolina Fedorova, Department of Anthropology, European University at St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Jiří Nekvapil, Department of general Linguistics, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Sandra Barasa, Communication and Information Studies, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • Riikka Länsisalmi, University Lecturer, Department of Languages, University of Helsinki, Finland



  • Marina Terkourafi, Professor of Sociolinguistics, Leiden University
  • Shobha Satyanath, Editor-in-Chief of Asia-Pacific Language Variation (journal), Associate Professor of Sociolinguistics, Department of Linguistics, University of Delhi, India
  • Daniel Kadar, Research Professor of Pragmatics and Head of Research Group, Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Yunshan Chair Professor, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies
  • Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade, Professor of English Sociohistorical Linguistics, Leiden University




  1. Paper abstracts are invited related to communication in the city in (a.) a narrow, individual sense and in (b.) a broad, system-oriented sense. This means that we welcome papers in the areas of discourse studies, linguistic landscape studies, ethnolinguistics, approaches focusing on ethnicity and identity, language-acquisition approaches, as well as approaches in the field of language/communication in relation to economy, social mobility, and modern/traditional media. We aim to receive papers about a wide variety of cities; both large ones and smaller ones. Paper presentations are 40 minutes, including questions.
  2. Poster abstracts are invited about the same themes.

Please send abstracts (200-250 words, not including references) to GloSoc2018@hum.leidenuniv.nl. Give the abstract a title and write down three keywords underneath this title. For each presenter, include (underneath the abstract text): presenter name, university name, country of origin, and contact details. Indicate whether you are interested in presenting a paper or a poster. The abstract deadline is 15 May 2018; confirmation by the organisers by 20 May 2018.



  • Early Bird (before 1 June 2018): 80 euro (researchers) or 50 euro (MA/PhD students)
  • Late registration (after 31 May 2018): 130 euro (researchers) or 80 euro (MA/PhD students)


NB: Researchers/students from countries low on the Human Development Index may apply to have their fees waived. Please apply before 1 April 2018. Up to 10 researchers/students can have their fees waived this way.


The program (updated 5 February 2019) can be viewed here

Registration is closed.




How to get to Leiden

Information about the venue 13 December

Information about the venue 14 & 15 December


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