ss23@hku.hk                                 

Sociolinguistics Symposium 23 

As a premier gathering of international sociolinguists, this biennial event has emerged as a unique and innovative forum to develop and exchange new ideas, broaden the scope of the discipline, and create new academic networks. From its beginnings as a small meeting of UK-based academics in 1976, Sociolinguistic Symposium has grown into the largest sociolinguistic conference in the world. Its Hong Kong edition will mark the conference’s first appearance in Asia.

 

The theme of the conference is Unsettling Language. The contemporary world is an unsettled place due to numerous conflict zones, forced migration, economic imbalances and uncertainties, as well as ideological extremism resulting in (or caused by) unsettling language emanating from powerful people, political organizations, and the media. As a form of social action, this sort of language requires serious, critical consideration, assessment and counter-action.

 

Furthermore, the notion of ‘language’ itself is undergoing a critical reassessment in how it is being theorized. Language is increasingly understood as more than ‘just’ a set of linguistic resources. Its embodied nature, the materiality of its modalities (speech and writing), interaction with other modalities (sound, music, images, etc.), and with time and space, requires integration of broader contexts of analysis, multimodal data sets, and multidisciplinary approaches.

 

We invite abstracts addressing the conference theme as well as other contributions focusing on current and innovative themes and theoretical challenges.