(Dis)Fluency2017: Fluency and disfluency across languages and language varieties

Fluency and disfluency have attracted a great deal of attention in different areas of linguistics such as language acquisition or psycholinguistics. They have been investigated through a wide range of methodological and theoretical frameworks, including corpus linguistics, experimental pragmatics, perception studies and natural language processing, with applications in the domains of language learning, teaching and testing, human/machine communication and business communication.

Spoken and signed languages are produced and comprehended online, with typically very little time to plan ahead. As a result, they are often characterized by features such as (filled and unfilled) pauses, discourse markers, repeats and self-repairs, which can be said to reflect on-going mechanisms of processing and monitoring. The role of these items is ambivalent, as they can both be a symptom of encoding difficulties and a sign that the speaker is trying to help the hearer decode the message. They should thus be interpreted in context to identify their contribution to fluency and/or disfluency, which can be viewed as two faces of the same phenomenon.

Within the frame of a research project entitled “Fluency and disfluency markers. A multimodal contrastive perspective” (see http://www.uclouvain.be/en-415256.html), the universities of Louvain and Namur have been involved in a large-scale usage-based study of (dis)fluency markers in spoken French, L1 and L2 English, and French Belgian Sign Language (LSFB), with a focus on variation according to language, speaker and genre. To close this five-year research project, an international conference will be organized in Louvain-la-Neuve on the subject of fluency and disfluency across languages and language varieties.

The conference aims at bringing together scholars and researchers from different disciplines in order to discuss and confront different conceptions and perspectives on fluency and disfluency, in both spoken and sign languages. We particularly welcome abstracts for oral or poster presentations on the following topics:

-        theoretical insights gained from the study of fluency and disfluency;

-        methodological issues raised by the investigation of (dis)fluency markers;

-        acquisitional perspectives on (dis)fluency and pedagogical implications;

-        contrastive analyses of (dis)fluency markers;

-        variationist approaches to fluency and disfluency;

-        (dis)fluency  in the Sign Language of native, near-native and late signers;

-        applications of fluency research (NLP, testing, etc.)

Keynote Speakers:

Martin Corley, University of Edinburgh

Sandra Götz, Justus Liebig University, Giessen

Helena Moniz, Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering: Research and Development, Lisbon

David Quinto-Pozos, The University of Texas at Austin

Abstracts (1000 words, excluding references) should be submitted via Easy chair at the following address: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=disfluency2017

Important dates:

  • Deadline submission of abstracts: 15 September 2016
  • Notification of acceptance: 31 October 2016
  • Early-bird registration: 30 November 2016
  • Deadline registration: 15 January 2017

Scientific committee

Nicolas Ballier (Université Paris Diderot)

Roxane Bertrand (Université Aix-Marseille)

Philippe Blache (Université Aix-Marseille)

Catherine Bolly (Universität zu Köln)

Hans Rutger Bosker (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen)

Maria Candéa (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris)

Sylvie De Cock (Université catholique de Louvain)

Nivja de Jong (Utrecht University)

Robert Eklund (Linköping University)

Kerstin Fischer (University of Southern Denmark)

Thomas François (Université catholique de Louvain)

Lorenzo Garcia-Amaya (University of Michigan, USA)

Jonathan Ginzburg (Université Paris Diderot)

Pascale Goutéraux (Université Paris Diderot)

Heather Hilton (Université de Lyon 2)

Judit Kormos (University of Lancaster)

Anne Lacheret (Université Paris Ouest)

Bertille Pallaud (Université Aix-Marseille)

Laurent Prévot (Université Aix-Marseille)

Helmer Strik (Radboud Universiteit)

Parvaneh Tavakoli (University of Reading, UK)

Gunnel Tottie (University of Zurich)

Mieke Van Herreweghe (Universiteit Gent)

Ioana Vasilescu (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris)

Myriam Vermeerbergen (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)

Organizing committee

Liesbeth Degand (UCL)

Cédrick Fairon (UCL)

Gaëtanelle Gilquin (UCL)

Sylviane Granger (UCL)

Laurence Meurant (UNamur)

Anne Catherine Simon (UCL)

George Christodoulides (UCL)

Ludivine Crible (UCL)

Amandine Dumont (UCL)

Iulia Grosman (UCL)

Ingrid Notarrigo (UNamur)

Lucie Rousier-Vercruyssen (UCL & Université de Neuchâtel)