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Minority languages spoken or signed and inclusive spaces

Zuletzt aktualisiert: 31 Okt 2019

Paris, 25-27 May 2020

Institut national supérieur de formation et de recherche pour l'éducation des jeunes handicapés et les enseignements adaptés

An inclusive society cannot exclusively define its members as those who can physically access collective spaces of work, leisure and common cultural heritage. Beyond openness to differences and the measures taken to prevent discrimination, which determine accessibility as a constituent of human rights, the concrete question of the roles played by linguistic systems as paths to the appropriation of knowledge arises. This knowledge enables to build the meaning of those spaces as well as the social and personal identity of the users.

Languages, as an inter-individual and inter-group communicational tool, are indeed a real “mycelium” ensuring cohesion between individuals, but also help accomplish collective and personal fulfilment.

Since the 80s, UNESCO has considered language diversity as an essential component of humankind’s cultural diversity. As such, it has stressed the importance of assigning a "significant role to minority languages, according to the necessities of contemporary life, at local as well as national and international level".

About forty years later, it is important to ask ourselves how the promotion of this diversity, especially conveyed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is compatible and coherent with the design and implementation of an inclusive society.

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In this context, observing linguistic media -through which the contents of information or knowledge is prioritized and conveyed in social spaces- and analyzing the institutional and identity issues attached to this construct is paramount. It makes it possible to initiate dialogue between the linguistic needs of indigenous peoples, regional language speakers and people with disabilities in order to identify obstacles to the establishment of an inclusive society, activating often underestimated leverage.

This perspective compels to study the contributions and the limits of languages, whatever their spoken, gestural or written form, regarding the construction of a societal ideal of inclusion.

The objective of this international conference is to question the way social “inclusive” spaces (schools, universities, cultural centers, public services…) take into consideration minor languages (or not). It aims at fostering original and innovative initiatives in their psychological, social, glottopolitical, anthropological, linguistic, pedagogical, didactical and digital dimensions, and discussing those topics.

The discussions will be based on potential leverage tools, but also the difficulties resulting from internal and external forces of various kinds (socioeconomic, political, digital…) exerted on these minority languages. They also interrogate the repercussions on their speakers within these spaces.

Researchers are invited to follow one of the two main thematic lines:

Topic 1 : Praxeology : social intervention, work, health, education

  • Transmission and preservation of the linguistic heritage of minority languages (spoken or signed)
  • Translangaging (bringing everyone's language skills to life)
  • Artificial intelligence for minority languages (spoken or signed)
  • Linguistic diversity including minority languages (spoken or signed): life stories and practices
  • Approaches, materials and tools for minority languages (spoken or signed)

Topic 2 : Paradigms, analysis of professional, institutional or media representations and discourses

  • Minority languages (spoken or signed): Conflicting paradigms
  • Analysis and genealogy of debate on minority languages (spoken or signed)
  • Linguistic law and policy for minority languages (spokenspoken or signed)

The topics listed here are not exhaustive and any multidisciplinary presentation proposal will be welcome.