Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas

CFP: Language Contact in the Circumpolar World

Language Contact in the Circumpolar World

Institute of Linguistics RAS, Moscow, Russia

27-29 October, 2017

Extended deadline: August 31

The circumpolar world includes the Arctic as defined by AMAP (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program) with adjacent areas. This vast territory has a number of common features that set it apart from any other part of the world: extremely harsh climate conditions, low population density, large distances between speakers of different languages or even of the same language, seasonal migrations for hundreds of miles, prevalence of hunter-gatherers with absolutely no traditional farming, etc. While language contact has been a popular topic of linguistic research in the last couple of decades, there have been few studies that would concentrate on the circumpolar region and specifics of language contact in the area.

The Language contact in the circumpolar world conference will bring together researchers studying language contact in the North, and discussions of any aspect of the topic are welcome. Of particular importance is the question of whether language contact in the circumpolar world is different from that of other areas, and if so, in which particular respects.

The conference will feature papers selected by the Organizing committee, invited lectures by leading international experts specializing in the topic, and two extended tutorials on particular parts of the circumpolar world, Language Contact in Arctic Canada & Greenland by Michael Fortesque (University of Copenhagen) and Language Contact in Arctic Europe by Jussi Ylikoski (The Arctic University of Norway & University of Oulu).

We welcome abstracts from colleagues working on a variety of topics pertaining to language contact in the circumpolar region that include but are not limited to:

  • language change conditioned by language contact,
  • mixed languages,
  • linguistic areas or Sprachbunds,
  • reconstructing the past through linguistic data,
  • patterns of traditional or modern multilingualism,
  • sociolinguistic details of modern or historic language contact,
  • northern varieties of larger languages that are not restricted to the region (e.g. dialects of Russian, Swedish, English, etc.),
  • cartography of language contact areas,
  • methodology of language contact studies which takes into account specific features of the region.

The conference is organized by a new research group on Language Contact in the Circumpolar World at the Institute of Linguistics RAS, supported by the Russian Science Foundation, see for more details.

Confirmed plenary speakers:

  • Michael Fortescue (University of Copenhagen)
  • Lenore Grenoble (University of Chicago)
  • Brigitte Pakendorf (CNRS, Lyon)
  • Nikolai Vakhtin (European University of St. Petersburg)
  • Jussi Ylikoski (The Arctic University of Norway & University of Oulu)

Organizing committee:

  • Olesya Khanina (Chair)
  • Andrej Kibrik (Chair)
  • Maria Amelina
  • Mira Bergelson
  • Valentin Gusev
  • Olga Kazakevich
  • Elena Klyachko
  • Yuri Koryakov
  • Natalia Stoynova

The conference will be held in English. Organizers will assist participants in finding accommodation in the vicinity of the conference location.

The extended deadline for abstract submission is August 31, 2017. Notifications of acceptance or non-acceptance will be sent via email soon after that date. Please submit an anonymous abstract of no more than 1 page (excluding references) by email to; include a title, authors, and affiliations in your email.

Updated: August 15, 2017 — 3:54 pm
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