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Linguistic Explorations in the Field of Sports and Physical Activity

Explorations linguistiques dans le domaine du sport et de l’activité physique

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Published on Friday, May 31, 2024

Abstract

Cette journée d’étude souhaite offrir un espace de rencontre et d’échanges aux linguistes qui travaillent sur le sport, compris au sens très large comme toute forme d’activité physique et sportive, individuelle ou non, et qui a pour objectif l’amélioration ou l’expression de la condition physique, dans un cadre compétitif ou non. Les recherches qui mobilisent des analyses sur corpus (écrits ou oraux) seront les bienvenues, indifféremment des perspectives de travail ou du cadre théorique adopté.

Announcement

Argument

Sport, seen from the perspective of both recreational and professional physical activity, occupies a central position in a wide scientific spectrum - from biomechanics to materials engineering, through physiology, computer science, and nutritional sciences. Deeply rooted in social life, whether through education (physical education classes), health (sports-health), leisure (physical activities of all kinds), or the media (media coverage of sporting events at various scales), sport has also been embraced by all humanities and social sciences. More than just a "codified and institutionalized motor situation in the form of competitions" (Parlebas, 1999), sport proves to be a relevant observatory of social dynamics and structures (Bourdieu, 1980). Thus, it is not surprising that its practice, which embodies universal human values (discipline, respect, perseverance, fair play, self-knowledge, leadership, etc.) while raising ever-relevant issues (such as inequalities, discrimination, and social integration), has consistently attracted the attention of sociologists, anthropologists, and psychologists.

Within the language sciences, although to a lesser extent, the field of sport has also been explored from various angles. As one of the few human activities offering a universally adopted model by all its practitioners, sport is distinguished by its exceptional notional richness. This particularity explains the predominant interest among terminologists and lexicographers in the "words of sport," as evidenced by the numerous works frequently entitled "Vocabulary" or "Language" followed by the name of a particular discipline (rugby vocabulary, football language, etc.). Research focuses on specific lexical analyses or sports expressions and metaphors (Charteris-Black, 2004; Dervent, 2016; Ligas, 2010), sometimes from the perspective of specialized translation (Bonadonna, 2016; Durand-Fleischer, 2013; Monrozier, 2016; Watson, 2016). Two points bring the overwhelming majority of these works together. On one hand, they highlight how everyday language and sports jargon intermingle, thus testifying to the complex dynamic interactions between sport and society. On the other hand, they are almost exclusively focused on sports or disciplines of well-established and undeniable popularity: football, basketball, rugby, athletics, etc. A wide range of practices and physical activities thus remains largely unknown and unexplored by linguists (one naturally thinks of dance, as well as extreme sports or activities centered on the use of urban space: skateboarding, BMX, street workout, parkour, roller derby, breakdancing, buildering, MMA, urban sliding sports, etc.).

Argument

Sport, seen from the perspective of both recreational and professional physical activity, occupies a central position in a wide scientific spectrum - from biomechanics to materials engineering, through physiology, computer science, and nutritional sciences. Deeply rooted in social life, whether through education (physical education classes), health (sports-health), leisure (physical activities of all kinds), or the media (media coverage of sporting events at various scales), sport has also been embraced by all humanities and social sciences. More than just a "codified and institutionalized motor situation in the form of competitions" (Parlebas, 1999), sport proves to be a relevant observatory of social dynamics and structures (Bourdieu, 1980). Thus, it is not surprising that its practice, which embodies universal human values (discipline, respect, perseverance, fair play, self-knowledge, leadership, etc.) while raising ever-relevant issues (such as inequalities, discrimination, and social integration), has consistently attracted the attention of sociologists, anthropologists, and psychologists.

Within the language sciences, although to a lesser extent, the field of sport has also been explored from various angles. As one of the few human activities offering a universally adopted model by all its practitioners, sport is distinguished by its exceptional notional richness. This particularity explains the predominant interest among terminologists and lexicographers in the "words of sport," as evidenced by the numerous works frequently entitled "Vocabulary" or "Language" followed by the name of a particular discipline (rugby vocabulary, football language, etc.). Research focuses on specific lexical analyses or sports expressions and metaphors (Charteris-Black, 2004; Dervent, 2016; Ligas, 2010), sometimes from the perspective of specialized translation (Bonadonna, 2016; Durand-Fleischer, 2013; Monrozier, 2016; Watson, 2016). Two points bring the overwhelming majority of these works together. On one hand, they highlight how everyday language and sports jargon intermingle, thus testifying to the complex dynamic interactions between sport and society. On the other hand, they are almost exclusively focused on sports or disciplines of well-established and undeniable popularity: football, basketball, rugby, athletics, etc. A wide range of practices and physical activities thus remains largely unknown and unexplored by linguists (one naturally thinks of dance, as well as extreme sports or activities centered on the use of urban space: skateboarding, BMX, street workout, parkour, roller derby, breakdancing, buildering, MMA, urban sliding sports, etc.).

Another strand of research bears witness to the interest shown by specialists in media discourse on sport, and more particularly in the genre of sports commentary (Augendre et al., 2014; Bonnet, 2019; Bres, 2007; Deloufeu, 1999; Fernández, 2004; Fontagnol & Mathon, 2020; Krazem, 2020; Lenoir, 2010; Mathon & Boulakia, 2009; Ohl, 2000; Vanhoudheusden, 2010, 2014). They emphasise, among other things, the strong anchoring of this type of discourse in the temporality of enunciation, where it is vital to synchronise speech with action and gesture. That being said, many aspects deserve more systematic and in-depth investigation, from the morpho-syntactic level (for example, the deployment and arrangement of linguistic sequences in an "online syntax", Auer 2009) to the pragmatic level (Bonnet, 2011, 2019; Fontagnol & Mathon, 2020; Lenoir, 2010; Vanhoudheusden, 2018), not forgetting that ‘doing sport’ covers a range of situations outside any competition (and media coverage) which are just as worthy of linguists' interest because of their non-normative nature, on the borderline of specialised discourse (Duteil et al, 2021; Petrault et al., 2022).

The verbalization of sports discourse is also one of the central concerns of didactic research in the context of physical education classes, which opens up more global perspectives on how language shapes, directs, and influences physical action (Bordes, 2020; Louis, 2013). Far from being reduced to a simple narration of movements or rules of the game, language plays a significant role in the formation and execution of physical skills since it appears as a mediator between thought and action (Winkelman, 2021) and thus participates in the construction of motor schemes, the development of the proprioceptive system (Gouard, 2001), and the representations that different actors (coaches, physical trainers, athletes, sports students, journalists, supporters, the general public, etc.) have of movement, exercise, effort.

Finally, more recently, innovative sociolinguistic research has seized questions in the sports field (Caldwell et al., 2017) and highlighted the complexity of language in the sports context and its influence by social and cultural factors. These studies have enriched the understanding of sports language, addressing topics such as communication in multilingual teams or interactions between players and coaches. All these research efforts, whether studying semantic change in NBA jargon (Verdugo et al., 2022), communication strategies in European multilingual football teams (Lavric et al., 2008; Lewandowski, 2023), the interactional construction of evaluation in post-competition interviews (Pamphile, 2016; Wilson, 2021), the peculiarities of different enunciative situations, etc., only underscore the multiple interests and real needs for linguistic illumination on sports language in all its diversity and manifestations (Altmanova, 2012; Bordes, 2020; Denison, 2010; Haneda et al., 2019; Hunt, 2016; Knapp, 2015; Krebs, 2018; Okada, 2018; Sabiston et al., 2020).

This workshop aims to offer a space for meeting and exchange for linguists working on sport, understood in the broadest sense as any form of physical and sports activity, individual or not, aimed at improving or expressing physical condition, in a competitive framework or not. Research that mobilizes corpus analyses (written or oral) will be welcome, regardless of the working perspectives or the theoretical framework adopted. They may fall within one or several axes, the list being not exhaustive:

- Description of sports lexicon (analysis of the names of disciplines, athletes, exercises, or sports movements; neological creation; lexical dynamics and evolution of sports terminologies);

- Sports phraseologies: beyond specialized lexicon, works interested in the unique linguistic characteristics of sports discourse and exploring lexico-syntactic configurations, predicative specificities, particular constructions, etc;

- Studies exploring the complex links between language and action, movement, performance;

- Typology of sports discourses (e.g., sports discourse as a programming discourse - explaining a scheme of actions, the semantics of injunction, etc.);

- Representation of practices, techniques, and communicative strategies in sport and more broadly the links between discourse and sports practice (the discourse of motivation; the public perception of certain sports disciplines; identity-building strategies of sports organizations; the role of discourse in transmitting values, techniques, and specialized knowledge in sport in different contexts - training sessions, private coaching, training situations, etc.);

- Use of sports language in the educational and didactic context: the use of sports language in teaching physical education and in interactions between sports professionals and a non-specialized public;

- Etc.

Submission guidelines

Applicants interested in submitting a paper should send a max. 1000-word abstract (excluding bibliography) in French or English to angelina.aleksandrova@u-paris.fr and aragomez@flog.uned.es

no later than June 9, 2024

Presentations can be in French or English.

Abstracts must be written in Times 12 font, single-spaced, and must clearly present the research question, method, corpus, and essential expected results.

Indicative schedule

  • Submission date : 09/06/2024
  • Notifications to speakers: July 31
  • Workshop: November 21-22, 2024, Université Paris Cité - Paris

Organizing committee

  • Angelina Aleksandrova (Université Paris Cité)
  • Araceli Gómez Fernández (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia)

Scientific committee

  • Paul Cappeau (Université de Poitiers
  • Marianne Doury (Université Paris Cité
  • Paolo Frassi (Université de Vérone)
  • Laurent Gautier (Université de Bourgogne)
  • Frederic Landragin (CNRS - Université Sorbonne Nouvelle)
  • Dominique Legallois (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle)
  • Pierluigi Ligas (Université de Vérone)
  • Marie-Claude L’Homme (Université de Montréal)
  • Florence Mourlhon-Dallies (Université Paris Cité)
  • Alain Polguère (Université de Lorraine)
  • Catherine Schnedecker (Université de Strasbourg)
  • Dejan Stosic (Université de Toulouse Jean-Jaurès)
  • Agnès Tutin (Université de Grenoble)
  • Isabel Uzcanga Vivar (Université de Salamanca)
  • Marie Veniard (Université Paris Cité)
  • Patricia VON MUNCHOW (Université Paris Cité)

Subjects

Event attendance modalities

Full on-site event


Date(s)

  • Sunday, June 09, 2024

Keywords

  • sport, linguistique, langage, discours, activité physique

Contact(s)

  • Angelina Aleksandrova
    courriel : angelina [dot] aleksandrova [at] u-paris [dot] fr

Information source

  • Angelina Aleksandrova
    courriel : angelina [dot] aleksandrova [at] u-paris [dot] fr

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Linguistic Explorations in the Field of Sports and Physical Activity », Study days, Calenda, Published on Friday, May 31, 2024, https://doi.org/10.58079/11r0e

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