Symposium on Multimodal Im/politeness: Gesture, Sign and Spatial Configurations

October 23, 2020, University of Zurich,
Organized by Iris Hübscher and Andreas H. Jucker

Symposium description and call for papers

The URPP Language and Space of the University of Zurich is pleased to announce the Symposium on Multimodal Im/politeness: Gesture, Sign and Spatial Configurations.

In face-to-face interaction communication is intrinsically multimodal. While im/politeness for many years has been studied in a unilinear fashion, recent years have seen the emergence of a vibrant interest in multimodal components of im/politeness, such as prosody, gesture and bodily signals and also non-manual features in sign language. The goal of this symposium is to bring together researchers whose work focuses on multimodal aspects of im/politeness and who work in the areas of pragmatics in general, pragmatic development, gesture and multimodality, sign language, social psychology, language and space, and language and cognition. It will be an opportunity to share the latest research on multimodal aspects of im/politeness and to advance new insights in the field of im/politeness studies.
This symposium welcomes submissions related to:

  1. Gesture and bodily signals and im/politeness
  2. Acoustics, prosody and im/politeness
  3. Sign language and im/politeness
  4. Language acquisition and multimodal im/politeness
  5. Language, space and multimodal im/politeness

Especially welcome are contributions concerning usually more marginalized groups in im/politeness research such as young and old people, as well as non-WEIRD populations in order to gain a more diverse understanding of im/politeness-related behaviors in interaction.

Talks will be 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions and discussion. There will also be a poster session.

Plenary speakers

  • Lucien Brown, Senior Lecturer, Korean Studies, Monash University
  • Rachel Mapson, Lecturer in BSL/ English Interpreting, Queen Margret University
  • Takaaki Shochi, Associate Professor, CLLE UMR 5263 & LABRI UMR 5800 CNRS

Important dates

  • April 1, 2020: Deadline for abstracts
  • April 30, 2020: Notification about acceptance
  • October 23, 2020: Date of the symposium


The workshop is open and free of charge. Please send abstracts of max. 300 words (excluding references), no later than April 1, 2020, to:

Participation without giving a paper will also be possible, but please register by sending an email to the email addresses above.

Further information

Venue: to be announced

Contact persons: Iris Hübscher, Andreas H. Jucker,

Accommodation: A list of hotels and hostels near the University buildings can be found here: Link

Lunch options: Mensa and cafeterias near the University buildings are listed here: Lunch Options close to UZH (PDF, 185 KB)