[PLing] CfP "Linguistic Recyling" (IPrA Panel Winterthur 2021)

Daniel Pfurtscheller daniel.pfurtscheller at univie.ac.at
Mon Sep 21 11:05:12 CEST 2020

Liebe Liste,

Gerne mache ich auf unser IPrA-Panel "Linguistic recycling" aufmerksam, für das wir noch Beiträge aufnehmen. Der Fokus liegt auf der Frage, wie und warum wir sprachliche Ressourcen "wiederverwenden" (siehe das beigefügte Abstract). 

Ich freue mich auf Ihre/Eure Teilnahme und stehe für Fragen gerne bereit.
Herzlicher Gruß
Daniel Pfurtscheller


We are pleased to invite proposals for our panel "Linguistic recycling: How and why do we reuse the same linguistic resources?" at the International Pragmatics Conference, Winterthur, Switzerland, 27 June - 2 July 2021.

Please submit your abstract (250-500 words) through the conference website by 25 October 2020. See https://pragmatics.international/page/CfP for further instructions. We would be grateful if you could also send your abstract via email to: lauri.m.haapanen at jyu.fi  and daniel.pfurtscheller at univie.ac.at . Submitted abstracts will be reviewed as part of the official review process. 


“Linguistic recycling: How and why do we reuse the same linguistic resources?”

Lauri Haapanen (University of Jyväskylä)
Daniel Pfurtscheller (University of Vienna)

“She said that he said that they said…” – this is a recursive process that can be termed ‘quoting’ when focusing on discursive practices of using utterances again and ‘recontextualization’ when focusing on the material and operational aspects of it. If termed ‘linguistic recycling’, resource aspects of this process of reusing language are foregrounded. In this panel, we invite scholars to discuss such linguistic recycling. Contributions are meant to shed light on how and why language users – both as individuals and as communities – save resources and create value by quoting and recontextualizing other’s utterances.
In the world of material goods, the term recycling describes the process of extracting entire products or their parts at the end of the products’ life cycle and reusing them to start the life cycle of new products. The value production chains of material goods are (to a certain extent) comparable with those of semiotic goods. In everyday talk as well as in professional communication and public discourse, individuals and communities engage in practices of recycling utterances. And similarly to material goods, practices of down-, cross-, and upcycling utterances have been developed to increase or maintain linguistic capital: Selling a news piece with what used to be casual utterance as its headline is what we consider upcycling. Reusing the utterance in more or less the same shape within text bodies of social and mass media news is comparable to, for example, the crosscycling of a PET bottle. By contrast, using the utterance as a text dummy in a layout sketch can be considered a case of downcycling.

Yet there are ontological differences. In the physical world, the same set of particles has been recycled since the big bang. In the semiotic world, however, recurrence, in general, and recycling, in particular, refer to the type, not the token. The utterance itself, as a physical event, is unique, inseparably intertwined with its context and therefore volatile. But this holds true in analogue communication only. Digital instances of language use such as tweets and GIFs can be recycled as exact copies, replicating themselves in social networks like viruses. So, it could be argued that digital linguistic recycling combines two types of recycling: the token-based recycling as know from the material world and the type-based recycling as known from the semiotic world. This combination results in an intriguing synthesis: In our digitalized world, we recycle semiotic and linguistic tokens (and not only types) – and we do it by saving the original token!

We are convinced that systematically scrutinizing motivations and consequences related to linguistic resources can result in exciting and, perhaps, inconvenient insights. Therefore, we invite scholars to join our panel by asking and answering a) how we can theorize linguistic recycling to add value to the well-known discussions on recontextualization and quoting, b) what methodological tools and concepts we need to study the resource aspects of reusing language, and c) how and for whose benefits linguistic recycling is practiced in various domains, today and tomorrow.

Please submit your paper abstract through the conference website by 25 October 2020. Cf. https://pragmatics.international/page/CfP for further instructions.

Submitted abstracts will be reviewed as part of the official review process. Please note that you will have to become a member of the International Pragmatics Association to submit a paper abstract to the conference.

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