Fakultät für Linguistik und Literaturwissenschaft

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The Impact of Socio-Political Transformations on Language and Identity (ISPT)

 Tbilisi (Georgia), February 18-20, 2016 

Conference Description

Multilingualism appears in most societies of the world. Current socio-political transformations, in particular the increasing migration processes, give rise to new multi-ethnic and multilingual situations that motivate changes in languages and communities. This conference focuses on the impact of these processes in two areas: (a) linguistic phenomena, and (b) phenomena related to group identities.

Some primary questions which may be explored at the conference are:

Language change

  • What is the impact of increasing multilingualism in the different levels of linguistic structure (phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicon)?
  • What is the relation between the phenomena in multilingual situations to the generalizations about language contact and grammar?
  • How can we distinguish between effects of language contact (in bilingual societies) and effects of language attrition (in the younger generations of threatened languages)?


  • What role does language contact play in the process of forming, transforming, and negotiating group identities?
  • How are these multifaceted identities displayed in interaction?
  • Are there contexts in which heritage languages may be or may become less important for group belonging, for example contexts in which religious, political or social affiliation take priority over language competences?

Language change and Identity

  • How do language change and changing identities interact?

When and where:

February 18-20, 2016
Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University University (TSU) Building 8, No. 13, Chavchavdze Ave., 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia

Organization committee:

Stefanie Böhm (Bielefeld University), Johanna Lorenz (Bielefeld University), Prof. Dr. Rusudan Asatiani (Tbilisi State University), Dr. Svetlana Berikashvili (Tbilisi State University), Concha Maria Höfler (European University Viadrina), Dr. Natia Jalabadze (Tbilisi State University), Prof. Dr. Marika Jikia (Tbilisi State University), Prof. Dr. Konstanze Jungbluth (European University Viadrina), Ekaterina Kartvelishvili (Tbilisi State University), Prof. Dr. Zaal Kikvidze (Kutaisi State University), Nika Loladze (Tbilisi State University), Prof. Dr. Liana Melikishvili (Georgian Academy of Sciences), Prof. Dr. Sophie Shamanidi (Tbilisi State University), Prof. Dr. Stavros Skopeteas (Bielefeld University), Nutsa Tsereteli (Tbilisi State University).


This conference is part of the project "The impact of current transformational processes on language and ethnic identity: Urum and Pontic Greeks in Georgia" - funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.

List of Participants

Invited Speakers:

  • Jost Gippert (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany)
  • Astrid Menz (Orient-Institut Istanbul, Turkey)
  • Peter Rosenberg (European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany)
  • Christoph Schroeder (University of Potsdam, Germany)
  • Ioanna Sitaridou (University of Cambridge, Queens' College)
  • Manana Tandaschwili (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany)
  • Stéphane Voell (Philipps-University Marburg, Germany)

Presenters of accepted papers:

  • Tinatin Bolkvadze (Tbilisi State University, Georgia)
  • Alexander Kartosia (Tbilisi State University, Georgia)
  • Vikalp Kumar (University of Delhi, India)
  • Kanavillil Rajagopalan (State University at Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil)
  • Moira Saltzman (University of Michigan, USA)
  • Laurentia Schreiber (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany)
  • Dionysios Zoumpalidis (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia),
    Ekaterina Perekrest (Moscow School with a Georgian ethno-cultural component, Russia)

Project Members:

  • Rusudan Asatiani (Tbilisi State University, Georgia)
  • Svetlana Berikashvili (Tbilisi State University, Georgia)
  • Stefanie Böhm (Bielefeld University, Germany)
  • Concha Maria Höfler (European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany)
  • Natia Jalabadze (Tbilisi State University, Georgia),
    Liana Melikishvili (Georgian National Academy of Sciences)
  • Marika Jikia (Tbilisi State University, Georgia)
  • Konstanze Jungbluth (European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany)
  • Ekaterine Kartvelishvili (Tbilisi State University, Georgia)
  • Zaal Kikvidze (Tbilisi State University, Georgia),
    Levan Pachulia (Sokhumi State University, Georgia),
    Nino Jikhvadze (Akaki Tsereteli State University, Georgia)
  • Nika Loladze (Tbilisi State University, Georgia)
  • Johanna Lorenz (Bielefeld University, Germany)
  • Stavros Skopeteas (Bielefeld University, Germany)
  • Nutsa Tsetereli (Tbilisi State University, Georgia)

Program & Abstracts

Conference Progam

download program, download abstract booklet
Thursday, 18th February 2016
Conference hall
09:15-09:45 Welcome
10:00-10:45 Christoph Schroeder:
Clause combining in Turkish as a heritage language in Germany
10:45-11:30 Astrid Menz:
Turkic and Slavic in contact: Examples from Gagauz and Karaim
11:30-12:00 Coffee/tea break
12:00-12:45 Kanavillil Rajagopalan:
Language as a reflex of changing geopolitical realities
12:45-13:30 Vikalp Kumar:
Religious radicalization and linguistic identity
13:30-15:00 Lunch break
15:00-15:45 Manana Tandaschwili:
Endangered Caucasian Languages in Georgia: The Case of the Udi Language
15:45-16:30 Peter Rosenberg:
Language islands in the flood: Language change and language contact in German speaking communities in Russia and Brazil
16:30-17:00 Coffee/tea break
17:00-17:45 Dionysios Zoumpalidis & Ekaterina Perekrest:
Georgian identity in Russian context: The case of Moscow school with Georgian ethno-cultural component
17:45-18:30 Tinatin Bolkvadze:
Diglossia and Bilingualism in Georgia
Friday, 19th February 2016
Parallel Session I
Conference hall
Parallel Session II
Library of Modern Greek Philology
10:00-10:45 Nika Loladze:
Greeks of Georgia: Characteristics of privileged labor Migration
10:00-10:30 Johanna Lorenz:
Subordination in a language contact situation: Complement clauses in Urum
10:45-11:30 Concha Maria Höfler:
Tracing the impact of socio-political transformations in the Greek community of Georgia
10:30-11:00 Stefanie Böhm:
Focus and word order: A comparative study of Turkish, Russian and Urum
11:00-11:30 Marika Jikia:
Number in Turkish and Urum
11:30-12:00 Coffee/tea break
Parallel Session I
Conference hall
Parallel Session II
Library of Modern Greek Philology
12:00-12:30 Ekaterine Kartvelishvili:
Interrelation between Language and Identity among the Georgian Greek community in Greece
Nutsa Tsereteli:
Affix Order in Nominal Inflection: Violation of cross-linguistic preferences and the dative in Urum
12:30-13:00 Natia Jalabadze & Lia Melikishvili:
Some aspects of the correlation between heritage language and ethnic identity in multiethnic Georgia
Svetlana Berikashvili:
Accommodation of transferred verbs in Pontic Greek (spoken in Georgia)
13:00-13:30 Zaal Kikvidze, Levan Pachulia & Nino Jikhvadze:
Urum Echo Reduplication within Typological and Areal Frameworks: Intra- and Extra-linguistic Factors
Rusudan Asatiani:
The Common Typological Feature for Languages from the Caucasus: The "Disappearance"of Accusative
13:30-15:00 Lunch Break
Conference hall
15:00-15:45 Konstanze Jungbluth:
Convergence to an outgroup language? Identity construction in multilingual settings
15:45-16:30 Jost Gippert:
Between co-existence and separation: the Ossetian case
19:00-... Conference dinner at restaurant Tsiskvil (Beliashvili Street, Tbilisi)
Saturday, 20th February 2016
Conference hall
10:00-10:45 Moira Saltzmann:
Language contact and morphological change in Jejueo
10:45-11:30 Laurentia Schreiber:
The impact of socio-political factors on language vitality: An attitudinal study of Romeyka
11:30-12:00 Coffee/tea break
12:00-12:45 Ioanna Sitaridou:
Towards a new phylogeny of Pontic Greek
12:45-13:30 Stéphane Voell:
Search for Identity in Space: Svan Spatial Practices in Multi-ethnic Southern Georgia
13:30-15:00 Lunch break
15:00-15:45 Alexander Kartosia:
Observations on the modern use of the Georgian language
15:45-16:30 Stavros Skopeteas:
Structure-building processes in language contact: on the emergence of head-initial verb phrases in Caucasian Urum

Registration, Conference Fee & Dinner


Registration for attendants who are presenting will take place on 18th February 2016 from 09:15 to 09:45 a.m. at the conference venue.

Prior registration is only required for attendants who are not presenting. Please register before January 15th by emailing your name and affiliation to Stefanie Böhm .

Conference Fee:

The conference fee will be 10,- € /25,- GEL and it will be charged during registration on 18th February 2016 from 09:15 to 09:45 a.m.

Conference Dinner:

The conference dinner will take place at the restaurant Tsiskvil (Beliashvili Street, Tbilisi) and will cost 50,- GEL, including non-alcoholic drinks.

If you wish to attend the dinner please write an email to Stefanie Böhm before January 15th.

Travel & Accommodation

How to get to Ivane Javakishvili Tbilisi State University:

The address of the university building, where the conference will be held, is VIII building of Tbilisi State University, 13 Ilia Chavchavadze Ave. From Rustaveli Avenue the university can be reached by bus (No 61,88,140) within more or less 15 minutes.

More information about bus-routes can be found on the website: Tbilisi: bus-routes .

Accommodation options:

It is recommended to book accommodation as soon as possible, as there may be high demand during the time of the workshop. In the following you find a list of hotels which are more or less close to the university.

The General linguistics research group is part of the Cluster of Excellence in Cognitive Interaction Technology CITEC (EXC 277) and Bielefeld University's Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Studies.




Languages of Côte d'Ivoire

Language situation, classifications, sample texts, collection of resources

Côte d'Ivoire


Caucasian Urum

Texts, lexicon, sound files, studies (collected in 2009-2011).