Thursday, February 23, 2023

Session "Navigating environmental uncertainty through language" at EUGEO 2023


Organizers of the session: Pźemysl Mácha (1); Katalin Reszegi (2)

From: (1) Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, (2) Department of Hungarian Linguistics, Unviersity of Debrecen 


Newly emerging environments transformed by urban development, climate change, and migration present significant challenges in landscape perception and interpretation. The panel will explore the role of language in the way we make sense of the rapid changes in our surroundings at various scales and contexts.  Session in English. The rapid changes in urban settings, transport, forestry, and agriculture associated with economic development, sustainable energy policies, climate change, and migration have transformed our familiar enviroments into strange new worlds which are often difficult to navigate at different scales. Where used to be a field there is a new residential area or a highway, on the horizon the silhouette of trees has been replaced by wind turbines, where once was a multitude of forests is but a multitude of clearings after trees fell victim to rising temperatures and uneven precipation, all the while the linguistic landscape has absorbed migrant languages which turn our cities into linguistic Babels. Making sense of the world and finding our place and way in it is a growing challenge. Language is one of the principal tools which helps us do this. The panel will explore the role of language in our perception, interpretation, and appropriation of the newly emerging environments as well as its role in the salvation of familiar spaces in view of the dramatic changes affecting all areas of life. Both the generic dimension of language (landscape categories, classes of objects, frames of reference etc.) as well as its proprial dimension (toponyms) will be explored. We particularly welcome contributions on the situation in Europe although papers on other areas of the world will also be given consideration.

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