First Call for Papers

HiSoN Conference in Helsinki, Finland
10-11 March, 2016

Historical Sociolinguistics and Socio-Cultural Change

We are pleased to announce the HiSoN Conference, to be held at the University of Helsinki, 10-11 March, 2016. We invite contributions dealing with historical sociolinguistics of various languages and distinct historical periods.

One of the previous HiSoN conferences – held at the University of Bristol in 2005 – focused on the relationship of language and history, or linguistics and historiography. In Helsinki, we seek to enhance our understanding of the “social” in sociolinguistics and particularly invite papers that systematically study language practices in a socio-cultural context, link changing language practices with socio-cultural change, or model the interplay of language and the social from a more theoretical perspective. We welcome papers from different fields of human studies (linguistics, history, literary, social or religious studies) as well as papers with multi-disciplinary approaches.

The questions addressed in the papers might include, for example, the following:

  • What is context for a (historical) sociolinguist and how is it systematically incorporated into linguistic analysis?
  • How can changes in language practices be addressed together with socio-cultural change?
  • How are major socio-cultural turning points such as religious reforms or modernization processes reflected in linguistic practices?
  • How can large, electronic data and new digital methods be used to tackle questions with which a historical sociolinguist works?

Abstract deadline 15 October 2015 – EXTENDED DL 30 OCTOBER. Send your abstract of 300 words to

Organizing Committee:

Brendan Humphreys    Minna Nevala (chair)     Taru Nordlund     Minna Palander-Collin    Anni Sairio

6 thoughts on “First Call for Papers

    • Yes, as long as your paper involves a historical/diachronical aspect and some change in linguistic usage or patterns, I think that the educational context and language teaching would fit very well within the intended focus of the conference.

  1. Dear Conference organizers,
    Is it also possible to submit a panel, meaning a series of presentations? We are currently assembling a group of classical philologists whose goal it is to integrate sociolinguistics with their discipline, and we would love to enter into dialogue with historical sociolinguists; for this, your conference seems the perfect opportunity.
    That said, will our topic fit at all?
    Many thanks!

    • Dear Barbara,
      it is possible to submit a panel, so go ahead. The topic fits quite well in the HiSoN framework!

      • Great! Do you have any preference and other information regarding the form and length for such a panel abstract?
        Thank you very much,

        • The length is about 300 words for all abstracts, including a joint panel one. Will be looking forward to having yours soon!

          Best, Minna

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