Variation and Contact in Languaging: Ecological and Complex Approaches (VCL'13)



1. Venue and structure

Variation and contact in languaging: Ecological and complex approaches is a Satellite Workshop of the European Conference on Complex Systems ECCS 2013 hosted in Barcelona. It will be a half day workshop, on September 19th. There will be invited talks and contributed talks. The later will be selected by the members of the Complexity, Communication and Sociolinguistics Group (Universitat de Barcelona) acting as a scientific committee). 

2. Goals and scope of the workshop

In their attempts to grasp the phenomena of language variation, change, contact, and evolution, ecological and complex perspectives have given rise fundamentally to two parallel lines of approaches that rarely come together. One line contains contributions that draw inspiration from the seminal work of, for example, William Labov and Joshua Fishman, engage in the analogical application of the premises and models of biological ecology, derive from sociological and philosophical propositions (e.g., Norbert Elias, Edgar Morin) and/or make use of the ideas of a number of physicists whose explorations have addressed how their notions might also apply to the sociocultural sphere (e.g., David Bohm, Fritjof Capra). The other line contains contributions more closely linked to mathematics, computer science and the modelling devised by physicists in the field best known as “complex systems”. These contributions draw their inspiration from researchers at the Santa Fe Institute (Murray Gell-Mann, Stuart Kauffman, John Holland) and elsewhere.

The objective of the proposed workshop is to bring together researchers from these two broad groups, which we see as complementary. The aim will be to share new mutual contributions in the field of socio/linguistics and establish an in-depth dialogue about the opportunities and limits of these two major avenues of approach to the complexity of language variation, change, contact, and evolution. The goal is to find out what linguists can tell computational modellers and vice versa.


3. Organizers

  • Albert Bastardas-Boada, Professor and ICREA Academia Researcher, Department of General Linguistics, Universitat de Barcelona.
  • Àngels Massip-Bonet, Professor, Department of Catalan Philology, Universitat de Barcelona.


4. Call for papers

Submission of contributed papers will be made by sending an extended abstract (max. 2 pages) in pdf to the following Easychair link.

The deadline for abstract submission is June 30th.

Submissions will be evaluated and selected by members of the Complexity, Communication and Sociolinguistics Group, based on the adherence to the workshop theme, originality and scientific quality. A non-exhaustive list of topics to which particular attention will be paid includes:

  • Modeling complex systems in social and linguistic sciences
  • Dynamics of complex systems
  • Language variation: theoretical models
  • Language change: theoretical models
  • Language contact dynamics
  • Language shift and maintenance models
  • Language policy models
  • Language use models

Please note that the participants must register in the ECCS general conference in this Web.

With the support of: