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Call for Papers

Variation and Variability in the Language Sciences: Analysing, Measuring, Contextualising

The doctoral students in the Language Sciences laboratories at Toulouse University, France:

are organizing the fourth edition of JéTou (Journées d'études Toulousaines), an international conference aiming at gathering doctoral students and young researchers (who have defended their dissertation within the past three years) together, from the different disciplines of the Language Sciences, on an open and multidisciplinary theme. This 2013 edition will be devoted to a reflexion on the following theme: “Variation and Variability in the Language Sciences: Analysing, Measuring, Contextualising”.

The notions of variation and variability are central to various studies in the Language Sciences. The linguist can investigate these notions as a research object or focus on the methodological issues these same notions raise.

Variation as a research object offers a wide range of possible reflexions. It can bring specific and fundamental perspective to the studies in the Language Sciences, through theoretical, historical or sociological contextualisation for instance. Besides, finding one's positioning in relation to a norm, a standard or studying the constraints and structures that a norm, a standard can impose, are as many research directions linked to the concept of variability. With the recent development of corpus linguistics, which allows for the description, analysis and comparison of the linguistic systems of the different languages on a large scale, the issues of change, evolution, instability or uncertainty seem to be of crucial scientific importance.

On a more methodological level, taking variation and variability into account seems to be one of the essential issues for the Language Sciences. The linguist can ask himself whether he is selecting and using the best measuring tools or the accurate analytical frameworks (whether they are qualitative or quantitative). Many approaches and many protocols try to take the notion of variability into account, for example through codings and transcriptions, fieldwork investigations and interviews, statistical tools, softwares and computer programming, selection of variables…

Therefore, in order to encourage researchers in the different fields of the Language Sciences to make the theme of this 2013 edition of the JéTou their own, the contributions can focus on all the following issues:

Obviously, this list does not include all the research possibilities following from the theme of the conference, which is why every submission that will address the notions of variation and variability in the Language Sciences will be read and reviewed.

JéTou 2013 offers a challenging theme that every field of the Language Sciences can make their own. This conference will give the opportunity, to those who wish to come, to ask questions, discuss and compare their work, their methods, their reflexions in an interdisciplinary context, which favours positive exchanges and constructive debates.

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