Session 0: General Session Session 1: Grammar and Grammatical Theory Session 2: Communication while traveling Session 3: Contact linguistics, multilingualism, interculturality: theory, methodology, practice Session 4: Historical Linguistics Session 5: Language acquisition and language teaching

0: General Session

For all contributions that are not presented in one of the thematic sections

1: Grammar and Grammatical Theory

Coordination: Peter Öhl (GeSuS)

This workshop includes contributions discussing morphological or/and syntactic phenomena from a descriptive or explanative point of view. The discussions may ground on the comparison of linguistic systems of different types, which can include historical or regional varieties. Participants present descriptive analyses, formal or functional accounts, and may also touch neighbouring linguistic disciplines like semantics or pragmatics. Moreover, presenters are welcome to compare different explanatory accounts.

Contact: Peter Öhl, email

2: Communication while traveling

Chair: Renata Nadobnik (The Jakob of Paradies University, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland)

This working group will deal with various types of texts written with the needs of travellers in mind. Both synchronous and diachronic comparative and contrastive studies are expected. Studies on only one language will also be included with interest. The focus of the planned research work will be on this topic:

  • travel guides,
  • bi- or multilingual phrase books,
  • bi- or multilingual travel dictionaries,
  • advertising flyers with information on selected tourist attractions, cultural offers and facilities, accommodation and catering facilities, etc,
  • menus or information about the food on offer in various gastronomic outlets, such as restaurants, pubs, cafés, snack bars
  • and other types of texts that are used when travelling.

Electronic texts, such as e-books, applications for smartphones, bi- or multilingual language translators, can also be taken into account.

Contact: Renata Nadobnik

3: Contact linguistics, multilingualism, interculturality: theory, methodology, practice

Chair: Barbara Komenda-Earle (Szczecin, Poland)

The working group offers a forum for contributions that deal with the issues of broad contact linguistics from a theoretical, methodological and practical point of view. 

In contemporary contact linguistics, in addition to transfers on the classical linguistic levels such as phonetics, morphology, syntax, lexis and phraseology, pragmatics, also transfers on the textual and discourse level as well as broader phenomena such as bi- and multilingualism, inter- and transculturality are regarded as manifestations of language contacts.

On the opposite pole, questions of ethnolinguistics complete the picture of language contacts. – Contributions with an ethnolinguistic focus are also welcome.

The manifestations, processes and results of language contacts can be derived from

  • the language typological,
  • the language comparison level,
  • the linguistic-historical,
  • the sociolinguistic,
  • the psycholinguistic point of view. 

The working group thus offers a forum for contributions which, in addition to any fusion of languages in their social references, also speak of an interplay of languages and cultures.

In addition to papers in German and English, papers in Polish (with an abstract and handout in German or English) are accepted in the section.

It is planned to publish the contributions in an anthology (presumably in the publishing house Dr. Kovač, Hamburg), or in a special issue on a specific topic. Participants of the section are asked to register directly with the conference organizers and to send the abstract to the conference organizers.

Contact: Barbara Komenda-Earle

4. Historical Linguistics

Coordination: Bela Brogyanyi, Freiburg (Germany) & Reiner Lipp, Prague, Czech Republic

Historical linguistics deals with the history of languages. In doing so, chronologically distinct synchronous stages are determined and comparatively examined in order to analyse and describe in detail the changes that have occurred in language history. This approach provides the key to understanding the current shape of languages. Synchrony and diachrony are thus brought into harmony in language observation.

Language typology, which also works on a comparative basis, and research on language universals in turn make important contributions to the reconstruction of older language levels. As a result, methods of general linguistics find their way into historical linguistics.

We invite linguists to contribute to our section “Historical Linguistics”, which deals with aspects of historical comparative linguistics and the contribution of general linguistics to historical research on language. Lectures from all areas of historically oriented linguistics are welcome, but preferably from the field of historical and comparative linguistics.

In addition to German, English, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian are of course welcome as languages of the presentations in our section. In the case of internationally lesser known languages, the paper for the section volume must be translated into one of the languages listed.

The lectures of the section should preferably take place on two afternoons (approx. 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.).

Registrations for the section should be directed to the section organizers. For lectures registered for the section, an abstract of 20-30 lines should be submitted to the section organizers by February 28, 2020. Individual arrangements are possible, however.

The lectures in this section are to be published in a separate volume within the GESUS series “Sprache und Sprachen in Forschung und Anwendung (SiFA) [Language and Languages in Research and Application]”, to appear at Dr. Kovač, Hamburg.

Regardless of the registration for the section, every participant should inform himself/herself on the GESUS website and also register centrally for the conference. The abstract should also be sent by e-mail to the local organizers in Odense (by February 28, 2020).

We look forward to your participation.


Bela Brogyanyi
Sprachwissenschaftliches Seminar
Universität Freiburg
Belfortstr. 18
D-79085 Freiburg

Reiner Lipp
Ústav srovnávací jazykovědy
Filozofická fakulta
Univerzita Karlova v Praze
Nám. Jana Palacha 2
CZ-11638 Praha 1

5. Language acquisition and language teaching

Coordination: Claudia Rehwagen, Tampere (Finland)

This section fully addresses the topic of the conference: “Language(s) – Sprache(n) – Sprog”. The focus is therefore multi-/plurilingualism, integrated content and language (CLIL), plurilingual CLIL and the possibilities of autonomous language learning. Presentations on the (im)possibilities of those approaches to language learning in the context of schools and higher education are most welcome.

Especially in higher education these topics are highly relevant, but often cannot be learned just there. Schools and universities both struggle with the growing demand to implement them and their institutional reality. Which theoretical approaches can be put into practice in this larger context is the aim of this section.

We want discuss best practices and how to implement them in different stages of education and we want to look at the possibilities of closer cooperation of schools and universities in this matter. Please plan your presentation so that it leads to a (controversial) discussion. Plurilingual presentations are welcome.

Contact: Claudia Rehwagen, email

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