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FRIAS: HUMSS – Project Group “Routinization in Language”

Lecturer(s)Prof. Dr. Uta Reinöhl
Contact personProf. Dr. Uta Reinöhl
DateMonday, 7th November 2022, 15:00 - 16:00
LocationSeminar room, Albertstrasse 19 Freiburg Germany

Routines pervade linguistic interaction, but their nature, complexity and rigidity vary considerably. For example, micro routines such as conventionalized greetings (A: Hi! How are you? B: Good, thanks. And

you?) contrast with macro routines such as certain poetic or literary traditions (e.g., the epos as a hallmark of oral societies, or the novel as a new genre arising in pre-modern Europe). While some routines are fully or almost fully fixed (e.g., idioms, certain prayers etc.), other routines show flexibility that can be creatively exploited (e.g., in punning or word games). The variety of linguistic routines is such that it remains quite unclear whether they form a coherent phenomenon or several discrete ones. In particular, it is unclear whether the emergence and development of routines – routinization – proceeds according to the same social and cognitive mechanisms and trajectories.

While many sub-disciplines of linguistics and other language-oriented sciences (e.g., cognitive science or linguistic anthropology) occasionally or regularly touch on routinization, they each tend to consider only specific subtypes of routinization. This FRIAS project group assembles researchers with routinization-related foci with backgrounds from across the language sciences (e.g., working on modern or historical data, in different languages from around the world, on spontaneous language but also on ritualized language etc.). While the core research group consists of linguists, we will network with scholars from further disciplines, including from psychology, cognitive science, anthropology, literary studies, and artificial intelligence research, together exploring the variation space of routinization in language.

Lying at the core of human interaction, researching routinization promises deeper insights into the dynamics of human sociality through time. In accordance with its ambitious longer-term research objective, this group will explore the potentials of routinization as an interdisciplinary topic for a collaborative research programme.