Conference theme

The conference theme this year is “Change, Mutation, Transformation…”. Our intention in choosing this year’s theme is to examine not only how language change can be modelled using Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), but also to examine how the SFL approach to language has changed over time. Diachronic studies have always been a central issue in the SFL approach. According to Michael Halliday, language change is thought to operate on at least three different (but ultimately related) time-scales:

  1. the evolution of semiotic systems in human societies (phylogenetic change),
  2. the development of language in the individual (ontological change) and
  3. the unfolding of discourse in on-going texts (logogenetic change).

The notions of time and the modelling of dynamic change have recently emerged as key problems in the many fields of applied linguistics that SFL is usually associated with. For example, there is increasing interest in the analysis of short- and medium-term language change in the relatively new field of Diachronic Corpus Linguistics. Similarly, in Languages for Specific Purposes there has been a growing body of work on the evolution and on-going development of specific registers and text types, a topic which is of particular interest to SFL analysts in France. A similar movement in Terminology studies, especially from a ‘socio-terminological’ perspective, has attempted to come to grips with variation and language change, and now emphasises the dynamic, discourse-function of the text as a resource for terminological innovation, as well as the essential role of neology in the process of scientific writing. And in Translation studies, new technologies, especially the practices of translation memory and digital publishing have profoundly transformed the way in which theorists and practitioners view the translated text no longer as a finished ‘product’, but rather as an on-going ‘project’.

All of these fields (corpus work, genre analysis, terminology, translation studies, etc.) have long been seen as central preoccupations of Systemic Functional linguistics. But no approach, even SFL, is safe from the ravages of time. What have been the effects of changing practices and models, and even language change itself on SFL as a theory? And to what extent do diachronic studies in fields such as corpus linguistics or genre analysis feed back into the SFL model? What can diachronic studies teach us about notions such as ‘lexicogrammar’, ‘lexicogrammatical pattern’, ‘register’ or ‘genre’?

Our choice of conference theme is also an oblique reference to the fact that it has been 25 years since the first European SFL workshops organised in Nottingham in the 1980s. To what extent has there been change in the academic and intellectual context in which SFL evolves, and how has this change affected SFL? What aspects of SFL theory and practice have changed, and which have stayed constant in all these years? Who are the practitioners and theorists of SFL these days? Where do they come from, and what tendencies do these changes suggest for the future?

Confirmed plenary speakers

  • Margaret Berry (formerly Reader in English Language, University of Nottingham, UK)
  • Jacques François (emeritus Professor, Université de Caen)
  • Erich Steiner (Professor of English linguistics and Translation studies, Universität des Saarlandes)
  • Miriam Taverniers (Professor of English linguistics, Universiteit Gent)

Organising Committee (local)

  • Christopher Gledhill: Université Paris Diderot, Conference Coordinator
  • Jean-Michel Benayoun: Université Paris Diderot, head of Department of Applied Foreign Languages (EILA)
  • Geneviève Bordet: Université Paris Diderot, Organisation committee
  • Pascal Cabaud: Université Paris Diderot
  • Natalie Kübler: Université Paris Diderot, head of Centre for Interlanguage studies, Lexicology, Applied Linguistics and Corpus Linguistics (CLILLAC-ARP: EA3697)
  • Mojca Pecman: Université Paris Diderot, Programme committee
  • Alexandra Volanschi: Université Paris Diderot, Website, Organisation committee
  • Maria Zimina-Poirot: Université Paris Diderot, Organisation committee

Organising Committee (external)

  • David Banks: Université de Bretagne occidentale, President of the Association française de linguistique systémique fonctionnelle
  • Shirley Carter-Thomas: Institut Mines-Télécom /Télecom, Ecole de Management & LATTICE CNRS, France, Programme committee
  • Lise Fontaine: Cardiff University, President of the European Association for Systemic Functional Linguistics

Programme Committee

  • Banks, David: Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France
  • Bartlett, Tom: Cardiff University, UK
  • Bloor, Tom: Aston University, UK
  • Bordet, Geneviève: Université Paris Diderot, France
  • Carter-Thomas, Shirley: Institut Mines-Télécom /Télecom, Ecole de Management & LATTICE CNRS, France
  • Celle, Agnès: Université Paris Diderot, France
  • Fontaine, Lise: Cardiff University, UK
  • Freddi, Maria: Università di Pavia , Italy
  • Froeliger, Nicolas: Université Paris Diderot, France
  • Gardner, Sheena: Coventry University, UK
  • Gledhill, Christopher: Université Paris Diderot, France
  • Gouveia, Carlos: Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
  • Lydia-Mai Ho-Dac: Université Toulouse 2
  • Hood, Sue: University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • Humbley, John: Université Paris Diderot, France
  • Kübler, Natalie: Université Paris Diderot, France
  • Kaltenbacher, Martin: Universität Salzburg, Austria
  • Lavid, Julia: Universidad Complutense, Madrid
  • Maiorani, Arianna: University of Loughborough
  • Miller, Donna Rose: Università di Bologna, Italy
  • Nesi, Hilary: University of Coventry, UK
  • Neumann, Stella: Universität des Saarlandes, Germany
  • O’Donnell, Mick: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
  • Pecman, Mojca: Université Paris Diderot, France
  • Rosette, Fiona: Université Paris 10, France
  • Rowley Jolivet, Elizabeth: Université d’Orléans, France
  • Sharoff, Serge: University of Leeds, UK
  • Thompson, Geoff: Liverpool University, UK
  • Tucker, Gordon: Cardiff university, UK
  • Ventola, Eija: Aalto University, Finland
  • Volanschi Alexandra: Université Paris Diderot, France
  • Zimina-Poirot, Maria: Université Paris Diderot, France

Sponsored by: Région Ile de France, “Manifestations scientifiques”./Action soutenue par la Région Ile-de-France