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URPP Language and Space Spatial Boundaries and Transitions in Language and Interaction

Session 1

Monday, 24. April 2017


This session will discuss the ways in which physical boundaries are treated in linguistics, conversation analysis, social geography and the social sciences. Physical boundaries are most prominent as natural boundaries (such as mountains or rivers) but also comprise built boundaries in terms of architecture (leading to entities such as cities, districts, buildings or rooms). Physical boundaries are known to have impacts on linguistic and social differences and are accordingly claimed to establish relevant linguistic and social areas ranging from face-to-face interactional spaces to regional communities. Nevertheless, their status as material givens has long been challenged from different points of view. Take, for instance, the classical sociological argument that boundaries should not be taken as spatial facts with social impact but as social facts with spatial forms. The theoretical as well as methodological and empirical question then is to account for the social construction of boundaries without neglecting their physical and material manifestations. Talks related to this question may address the formation of physical boundaries within concrete settings of face-to-face interaction, within urban public spheres or larger regional areas.

11:30 - 12:00
Paul Luff, Christian Heath and Menisha Patel:
Boundaries in interaction spaces: embodied interaction within a large working environment

14:00 - 14:30
Martin de Heaver, Paul Luff and Christian Heath:
Crossing Boundaries: interactions through locations within a moving environment

14:30 - 15:00
Albert Acedo and Marco Painho:
"You should participate” or “I want to participate” – engaging spatial boundaries

15:00 - 15:30
Randi Moore:
Defining "community" through spatial reference: Communities of practice in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec

16:00 - 16:30
Sabine Lehner:
Representations of space and borders in the Austrian public discourse on Asylum and in narratives of disPLACEd persons

16:30 - 17:00
Paul Longley, Jens Kandt and Tian Lan:
Surname geographies, socio-cultural interaction and new functional regions