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Language in society (LaSo)

Language, caregiving and health

Research in Human and Social Sciences in the field of health and personal care has both increased and improved in the last decade. ASLAN members carry out several projects in which they question language in relation to health from a cognitive, psycholinguistic, linguistic and interactional perspective. The Labex ASLAN focuses on research concerning a variety of pathologies which affect language in children as well as in young and older adults and on interactions between health professionals and patients: dyslexia at university (ETUDYS, DYS’R’ABLE, FLEXIDYS), Alzheimer’s disease and emotion (MALICE), Alzheimer’s disease and bilingualism (ALIBI and ALBINOR), parasomnia (SWYS), speech therapy, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (TDAH), language and speech pathologies (IAA with aphasic patients), migrants and healthcare (MILSA, REMILAS), interaction between health professionals (CIPSY) and patients (THÉSÉE, Meal service on the recovery ward), etc. Five of the projects in this domain came from solicitations of the civil society (CIPSY, ETUDYS, DYS’R’ABLE, FLEXIDYS and MALICE).

Education and Learning

The research carried out in this theme studies situations regarding teaching, training, and/or learning from the angle of the communicative interactions between the participating actors. Beyond the differences in theoretical approaches, the shared hypothesis is that knowledge transmission and learning depend strongly on communicative practices and situated semiotic processes. These are largely dependent on the material, cognitive and social characteristics of the situations. For this reason, the methodologies developed rely mostly on the production of
videographic recordings, supplemented by other types of data (interviews, ethnographic observations, questionnaires, document collection). Such empirical material allows for detailed interaction analyses, while taking into account the particularities of the contexts. The complex corpora produced are then analyzed using concepts and methods from different approaches: interactional linguistics, conversational analysis, ethnomethodology, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and didactics.


Confronting spoken and written practices

In order to describe a linguistic system, while taking into account all its dimensions, the work mentioned in this section focuses on different uses of ‘spoken’ phenomena in a variety of settings involving written language. These settings are concerned both with exclusively written language (language practices online and involved in digital communication, in literature, in poetry, in note-taking etc.), and written language expressed orally (the ‘oralized’ appropriation by actors of written texts in cinema, theatre, novel dialogues etc.). Furthermore, other settings such as children’s development of oral and written productions are also considered, as well as human-machine and machine-machine communication.

ASLAN projects in which such work has been carried out include IAA, MALICE, CIPSY, and Men’Hir, but also the projects around dyslexia.

Enactment of languages and Discourse analysis

The ICAR laboratory develops work at the junction of discourse analysis and a pragma-enunciative approach of enunciation. Research is divided into three essential domains. The first domain focuses on the analysis of both direct and indirect expression of emotions in discourse. The second domain uses the enunciative approach of viewpoints to characterize the notion of figure, understood as figurative work that surpasses literary tropes. The analysis of discursive phenomena such as lexical repetition and reformulation come into play. The third domain uses discourse analysis to study interactions that are filtered by different media and then used in a pedagogical context. Another domain concerns visual enunciation and in particular the polemical tensions between images in public spaces such as museums, urban areas, and the Internet.

Linguistic diversity – Endangered languages

In this field, the objective is to develop “critical thinking of the issues concerning endangered languages” in the areas of the description, documentation and revitalization of un(der)-described languages, all essentially today minority endangered languages. Its two aims have been to train and accompany individual fieldworkers facing the extremely challenging field situations of very endangered languages, and to pursue the intellectualization of the most critical issues linked to language endangerment, both based on a contrastive analysis of long term expertise in very varied field situations. We have questioned the nature of language revitalization dynamics in the specific context of very endangered languages, considering them as basically social movements and developing the notion of postvernacular revitalization dynamics and its impact on how to think about language transmission and teaching in such circumstances (SOROSORO).

Multilingual Societies

Today's societies are characterized by mobility and, as a consequence, by different forms of multilingualism, spanning from what Blommaert calls “multilingualism of the poor” to “elite multi-lingualism”. From the linguistic perspectives covered by ASLAN’s research, multilingualism in societies has been dealt with in various fields and according to various methodologies.
In the field of development and school education, multilingualism has been examined at the stage of foreign language acquisition by children (INEXDEB), and during loss of the previously known foreign language by elderly people suffering from Alzheimer’s (ALBINOR). Other projects have concerned multilingualism on the basis of teaching French as a Foreign Language (CLAPI-FLE, INTERVALLE, ELSE). Multilingualism has also been studied as a consequence of migration (REMILART).