Typology of Small-scale multilingualism conference 2 (SSML2)
SSML2 Online conference 16-18 August 2021
As the world has become more global in unprecedented ways, the ability to communicate in multiple languages has become a prized characteristic. Multilingualism has, however, been the majority experience for most of human history. The second ever Small-Scale Multilingualism (SSML2) conference aims to recentre the notion of multilingualism as a natural and typical state of human societies and aims to shift multilingualism into the centre of the academic field of linguistics. We want to think more expansively about what constitutes SSML, and focus on the term “small-scale” as a means to “pay attention to detail”, and “take a look at individuals and localised communities”. Multilingualism is simultaneously a description of an environment and individuals who make up the tapestry of many modes of communicating, including spoken and signed languages. It is in this spirit of inclusion and attention to individuals that we seek funding to experiment with innovative forms of conferencing that would expand accessibility to people from multiple locations, and with diverse needs.
Our conference shows boldness in two ways. First, it aims to redefine SSML as mentioned above, and second, it will pilot an online format that aims at maximum inclusivity and accessibility. This second point has become even more imperative due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. In order to achieve these goals, we seek support in the form of financial and technical resources.
The second SSML conference will be hosted virtually by the University of Helsinki where multilingualism is highly topical as a research topic, but also as social reality. The conference will have wider implications in the field of language planning and policy.