DEADLINE EXTENDED Standardisation and Variation in English Language(s)

deadline for submissions: 
January 31, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Linda Pillière Aix Marseille Université

Extended deadline: January 31st

The international peer-reviewed electronic journal E-rea ( invites original research papers for a special issue on “Standardisation and Variation in English Language(s)”. The concept of standardization and the role played by standardization in language development has long been a concern of sociolinguistics (Labov 1972; Haugen 1972). When one or more norms are established within a linguistic community and used as a yardstick to evaluate or measure linguistic behaviour, other varieties become inevitably eliminated or marginalized. Linguistic theories that focus on analysing a stable form of language, a coherent idealized system, have often failed to examine linguistic variation, or it has simply been studied in the light of the standard variety (Milroy 2001). The mere use of the term “non-standard” suggests that “standard” has become the default with linguistic theory being frequently based on the characteristics of a standard variety. Even among so-called “non-standard” varieties, a certain hierarchy seems to exist, with more academic attention being paid to varieties that have an established history than to contemporary urban varieties. What exactly is the relationship between standardization and variation? Should we really consider them in terms of a binary opposition? Given that neither exists in a vacuum, is it not possible to envisage mutual influence? Is standardization itself necessarily a teleological process? Is it possible to envisage a model other than standardization? Should language development be seen in terms of a “standardization cycle” (Greenberg 1986, Ferguson 1988)? Papers may address – but are not limited to – the following themes: - The role of prescriptive attitudes and commonly-held beliefs in shaping a variety of English and maintaining sociolinguistic norms - The role played by dictionaries and style guides in establishing Standard English and canonical forms. - The role of standardization or Standard English in the creation of individual and group identities - The role of movements such as political correctness and the Plain English campaign in shaping present-day norms - The effects of language contact on standardization - The concept of destandardization. - Variation within Standard English - The place of variation in present-day grammars - Identity and standardization in a multilingual context Papers that focus on the dynamic interplay between standardization and variation or focus on the features of a non-standard variety using empirical data will be especially welcome. Corpus-based studies of specific grammatical or lexical forms are welcome as are more theoretical studies on the relations between standardization and variation. Proposal of 500 words (plus references) to be sent to the editors by January 15th, 2017. Paper (5000-7000 words) due: April 15th 2017 Paper to be peer-reviewed May-June 2017 Reports to be sent to authors: July 2017 Final paper due: January 31st, 2018 Please send abstracts directly to and