CLAVIER Conference 2011

Tracking Language Change in Specialised and Professional Genres

Modena, 24-26 November 2011

The international conference ‘Tracking Language Change in Specialised and Professional Genres’, hosted by the CLAVIER Group, will take place in Modena on 24-26 November 2011.
The nature of genres has always been defined as both static and dynamic, functioning as discursive action within particular social, historical and cultural contexts but open to individual and collective creativity and innovation. Corpora can be powerful tools in tracking this kind of change, as clearly shown by a well-established tradition in historical linguistics, where growing interest has been shown in the diachronic analysis of specialized genres. Elements of change, however, can also be seen at work in contemporary discourse. As a consequence, there is an increasing need for diachronic approaches that may help map changes brought about for example by new technologies or globalization.
Nowadays, with the recession of the traditional constraints of geography on social and cultural arrangements brought about by globalization, new cultural and linguistic interconnections are being established, for example in academic and professional settings. This state of things can account both for the emergence of new ‘globalizing genres’, and for the implementation of a series of adaptations to the existing ones, as possible solutions to guarantee the success and survival of different genres in an era which celebrates the need for a ‘global reach’.The conference intends to focus on such issues in order to provide a better definition of the methods of investigation of language change, the tools, the approaches, the new perspectives, bringing together two complementary strands of linguistic investigation – corpus analysis and genre analysis. The conference purports to describe the extent to which language resources and generic resources are creatively exploited in discourse, variously responding to or determining new socio-cultural scenarios, with a special interest in technological developments which have radically changed the way specialized knowledge is disseminated.In particular, contributions are invited, focusing on textual, intertextual, organizational aspects of genres, as well as on interdiscursivity and other aspects which contextualize genres as reflections of changing disciplinary and professional cultures, investigating how their integrity is negotiated and exploited, in the following domains:

– Academic
– Professional
– Institutional

The organizers encourage proposals for panels including sets of four related papers.

The conference is held by the CLAVIER (Corpus and Language Variation In English Research) group, a research centre founded by the Universities of Bergamo, Firenze, Modena and Reggio Emilia, Roma “La Sapienza”, and Siena, currently based in Modena.

One of the purposes of the 2011 CLAVIER conference is to reinforce national and international cooperation with scholars and research centres that can widen and complement the interest in language variation both in quantitative and qualitative terms.

Plenary speakers who have accepted to participate are:
Dawn Archer (University of Central Lancashire)
Winnie Cheng (Hong Kong Polytechnic University – Hong Kong)
Marianne Hundt (University of Zurich)

The conference will start early in the afternoon on the first day and close around lunchtime on the third day, after a roundtable in which participants and invited speakers will discuss theoretical and methodological issues emerged from the papers presented in the previous sessions.

The colleagues who have agreed to take part in the roundtable are:
Jan Engberg (Aarhus School of Business)
Giuliana Garzone (Università degli Studi di Milano)
Maurizio Gotti (Università degli Studi di Bergamo)
Josef Schmied (Chemnitz University of Technology)
Paul Thompson (University of Birmingham)
Elena Tognini-Bonelli (Università degli Studi di Siena)
Geoffrey Williams (Université de Bretagne-Sud)

Preconference PhD Workshop