Annual Workshop on Fragmented Languages

First Annual Workshop on Fragmented Languages (The “Twelve-tweet Twitter” Workshop)

WIELD is pleased to announce its first-ever annual workshop on fragmented languages. The announcement flyer is available here. Below, please explore the history of WIELD’s workshop preparations together with some answers to frequently asked questions.


History of the Workshop

In 2019, WIELD’s board began plans for an international workshop on fragmented languages to be held via a virtual medium. Discussion centered on the purposes, scope, and expected outcomes of the workshop, including whether a publication might be expected to result from the endeavor. The Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020 and resulted in two unexpected issues, one negative and one positive:

(1) Some of our board members were impacted by the lock downs in their respective nations and were not able to make preparations for the workshop as originally planned, which moved the timing of the meeting back by several months.

(2) The rest of the academic community immediately embraced virtual solutions in place of travel for conferences and workshops due to the virus-related travel restrictions, which increased the likelihood that a virtual workshop might be broadly accepted.

It was therefore decided that WIELD should focus on the best aspects of online media and rework the workshop to take advantage of the most promising means of gathering online. Thus WIELD’s Twelve-tweet Twitter Workshop on Fragmented Languages was born.

Twitter as a medium of content distribution and virtual gathering allows presenters to communicate their message succinctly and with appropriate examples via attached images. We believe that all this can be done across twelve tweets, which gives the presentations a hybridized character with some similarities to poster presentations alongside a more traditional paper presentation feel.

This format will allow anyone to view participants’ presentations in real time from anywhere on earth. It also allows presenters (who so choose) to answer questions about their work long after the end of the workshop.

Which topics are relevant for submission?
Any topic that covers the documentation or analysis of a fragmented language is an appropriate one for this workshop. WIELD coined the term “fragmented language” in order to label languages that are more than just endangered or und(er)documented. Like any label, there is a core and a periphery when it comes to which languages fit under the concept of “fragmented language.” WIELD has developed a quantitative scaling method for determining the status of a language and the degree to which it is fragmented. You can view that information here.

How should submissions be formatted?
Scholars are asked to submit a 400-word abstract (see this flyer for details). Up to twenty presenters may be chosen. Each successful applicant will be notified before December 7, 2020.

How will the workshop structured?
On December 12, 2020, presenters will create 12-tweet threads (with accompanying images) and direct them on Twitter to WIELD (Twitter handle: @wieldorg). Presenters will each be assigned a specific time slot when they will be asked to tweet their thread and monitor it for questions. Outside of that time slot, presenters are not expected to monitor their threads; instead, they are encouraged to participate in consuming and responding to the tweeted presentations of others.

What happens after the workshop?
After the conclusion of the event, WIELD plans to archive the presentations. The twelve tweets and accompanying images of each presentation will be combined into a single pdf. These documents will be archived on the WIELD website, where they will be available to the public.

Up to twelve presenters may be asked to turn their presentations into parts of a publication derived from the workshop. These invitations will be sent by email before January 1, 2021.