Languages in Contact 2018
Languages in Contact 2018 conference (LiC 2018) was hosted at the University of Wrocław, Poland, from 16 to 17 June 2018.
The conference was jointly organized by:
University of Wrocław (College for Interdisciplinary Studies and Institute of English Studies),
Committee for Philology of the Polish Academy of Sciences – Wrocław Branch,
Philological School of Higher Education (Chair for Contact Llinguistics and the Anthropology of Discourse),
University of Malta (Institute of Linguistics and Language Technology),
Israel Study Center,
University of Salzburg, and
University of Warsaw (the Faculty of “Artes Liberales”),
with Professor Piotr P. Chruszczewski chairing the organizing and the scientific committees.
Over 80 guests participated in panels and discussions concerning current research in language and culture contact. The interdisciplinary character of the conference was reflected in the choice of plenary speakers. The first day of the conference provided an opportunity to hear the anthropological linguist, Dr. Aleksandra R. Knapik (University of Wrocław, College for Interdisciplinary Studies; Committee for Philology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Wrocław Branch), who researched the issue of small languages, the current status of Maltese, and the problem of the contemporary Maltese bilingualism. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg (Israel Study Center, Israel) gave a very broad overview of the mechanisms governing Biblical translation, thus illustrating how religious developments are used anachronistically in translation-interpretation processes. Professor Eeva Sippola (University of Helsinki, Finland) showed Spanish as a contact language in the Pacific with focus on the Philippine Spanish Creole varieties, Philippine Spanish, as well as Spanish borrowings in local, indigenous languages. Dr. Faydra L. Shapiro (Israel Study Center, Israel) opened the second day of the conference with a lecture on the understudied phenomenon of “Hebrew/Jewish-Catholics,” i.e. Jewish converts to Catholicism who maintain a sense of Jewish identity and practice. Professor Yeshaya Gruber (the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel Study Center) discussed ancient Jewish-Greek linguistic blending and its relevance for Polish-Israeli cultural contacts today. Professor Tomasz P. Krzeszowski (University of Social Sciences in Warsaw, Poland) proposed a hypothesis according to which wine would play an extremely important role in the history of salvation. Professor Michel DeGraff (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA) exhaustively explored the ways in which Creole Studies can contribute both to improving linguistics (e.g., research in linguistic theory, language acquisition, language contact and language change) and to improving the world. Finally, Professor Anja Tippner (University of Hamburg, Germany) analyzed the literary texts that put German in contact with other languages, such as Russian, Polish, Czech or Serbo-Croat.
Languages in Contact 2018 continued the high quality of previous Languages in Contact conferences that go back to the year 2010. The conference offered a broad variety of new insights from various areas of language contact and language change research. The organizers successfully addressed the need of investigating minority speech communities, endangered and vanishing literatures and languages, small languages, pidgins and creoles, as well as narrowing down the scope of study of cultural practices performed by means of language and studies through the scope of contact linguistics.
Many excellent papers were presented both by young and accomplished researchers. All the debate will hopefully give motivation and energy for future interdisciplinary studies in the topic of language change, language and culture contact, and anthropological linguistics.