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French in Multilingual Urban Centres Conference

Interland Square

French in Multilingual Urban Centres Conference at Aston University (Friday 12th – 13th June)


Emmanuelle Labeau is organising a two-day conference which will conclude a pilot study, French as Spoken in Brussels, funded by the British Academy. The project aims to conduct, to transcribe and to disseminate online sociolinguistc interviews with born and bred inhabitants of Brussels in order to provide an authentic snapshot of French as it is spoken nowadays in Brussels.

In addition to presenting the project’s results, the conference’s purposes are to offer networking opportunities to researchers working on French in multilingual urban centres and a springboard for new collaborations and research directions.

The conference welcomes any presentation on French in a multilingual urban environment, irrespective of its focus: contact phenomena, changes or linguistic planning.  Presentations about existing or planned corpora and resources are welcome. More specifically, the programme will revolve around 4 specific areas

Research strands

Strand 1: Language policy in officially multilingual spaces


In many parts of the worlds, French officially co-exists with other languages.  Autochthonous language, language of implantation or of (post)colonisation, how is the status of French evolving? This strand welcomes discussions around issues of language planning and its fallouts.


Strand 2: Spaces of language contact


The vagaries of history and migration movements have put French in contact with other languages, some of which are typologically very remote. What are the consequences on discursive practices including French? Discussions about code-switching and code mixing would be relevant in this section.


Strand 3: Influence of language contact on language evolution

Language contact can lead to adopting foreign features but also to encouraging word coinage. In extreme cases, it can result in forsaking one language for another. Phenomena of that type will be addressed here.


Strand 4 : Linguistic Data

In the last half century, large corpora have emerged and developed thanks to technological development. This strand will be devoted to the presentation and the exploitation of corpora of French in multilingual spaces of any kind.

A 400-word abstract (including references) will provide the background for the paper, the research question(s) and an overview of the results.

It will be submitted through Easychair, by 31 st January 2015.

31st  January 2015 : Abstract Submission

31st March 2015 : Acceptation notification

1st April 2015 : registration opens

15th May 2015 : Final programme

12th-13th  June 2015 : Conference