Linguistics Department

SALSA XXVI - Language in Society: Culture, Space, and Identity

Fri, April 20, 2018 | University of Texas at Austin

Language in Society: Culture, Space, and Identity

April 20-21, 2018



Keynote Speakers:


Dr. Jacqueline Urla (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Dr. Richard Bourhis (Université du Québec à Montréal)

Dr. James Slotta (University of Texas at Austin)

Dr. Bob Bednar (Southwestern University)


The Symposium About Language and Society, Austin (SALSA) is an annual symposium promoting the study of language and its intersection with society. Originally created through the joint efforts of students from the Linguistics, Anthropology, and Communication Studies Departments at The University of Texas, SALSA has developed into an interdisciplinary conference with contributions from various fields, including foreign language education, educational psychology, media studies, and language departments, including French & Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, German, and English. Our conference annual proceedings appear in special editions of Texas Linguistic Forum.


This year’s conference theme is Language in Society: Culture, Space, and Identity.

Language is a distinctly human characteristic, central to all human social organization. It is the medium through which humans shape their identities, relate to one another, and construct social realities.The conference will focus on the ways speakers from diverse sociohistorical and cultural backgrounds use language to negotiate their identities in particular spaces.

We welcome both diachronic and synchronic perspectives for the study of language in society.


We encourage papers that address questions such as:

  • In what manner do different linguistic identities interact and evolve?
  • How are identities developed and expressed in different social situations?
  • How do language ideologies influence social behavior? 
  • What rhetorical and poetic resources in language reflect particular linguistic or cultural groups? 
  • How can particular linguistic traditions and forms help us understand the nexus of  language, culture, and the individual?
  • How do varying notions of space and place interact with language?  
  • How do technological spaces provide new linguistic opportunities?
  • How do linguistic landscapes play a role in situations of language contact? 
  • How can languages be revived, revitalized, and/or maintained through language policies and planning?
  • In what ways do social media and other forms of mass media impact language use and change?
  • How does political discourse transform societies?
  • How can we use language to analyze the ideological underpinnings that shape and sustain the existence of borders?
  • How can emerging political scenarios, such as Catalonia vis a vis Spain, inform us about the relationship between language, community and identity? 

The committee of SALSA XXVI welcomes papers from all disciplines; potential topics might fall under the following areas:

  • Language and social interaction
  • Gesture and embodiment
  • Language and cognition
  • Language ideologies
  • Sign language studies
  • Language attitudes 
  • Verbal art and speech play
  • Language in the media
  • Language and advertising
  • Language and technology
  • Language policy and planning
  • Linguistic landscaping studies
  • Interactive construction of meaning
  • Language preservation, documentation, and revitalization
  • Language acquisition, shift, and loss
  • Bi-/multi-lingualism
  • Languages in contact
  • Pidgins and creoles
  • Language and law, politics, and economics
  • Linguistic and cultural identity
  • nationality, gender, race, &  sexuality

These topics are meant to serve as guideposts. Please feel free to submit papers on other topics related to this year’s theme.



Conference presented by the SALSA Graduate Student Organization at UT-Austin.


Katie E. Bradford (Communication Studies)

Kristie G. Denlinger (Linguistics)

Kelsie L. Gillig (Anthropology)

Cristian R. Juárez (Linguistics)

Raul A. Martinez/Quichi Patlan (Anthropology)

Rozen Neupane (French and Italian)


For more details and to view the schedule of events, visit the Salsa webpage.



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  • Department of Linguistics

    University of Texas at Austin
    305 E. 23rd Street STOP B5100
    Robert L. Patton Hall (RLP) 4.304
    Austin, TX 78712