The politics of identity are central to language change. Here, linguistic boundaries rise and fall, motivating the ephemeral characteristics of language communities. The Mediterranean and European regions are replete with histories, and with power struggles, that demarcate nation, ethnicity, and community. For this, cultural and political identities, language ideologies, as well as the languages themselves, have sought boundedness, the dynamics of which have influenced change over eons, effected through demographic movements, through geopolitics, and through technological innovation. In the current era of technological advancement, transnational fluidity, intellectual power, capitalism, and revised sexualities, then, we again question the boundedness of language and identity, and ways in which to unbound these languages and ideologies. We now need to increasingly unbind these languages, and their ideologies, so to rectify, or at least see and move past, the segregations of old.
The COMELA 2020 theme, ‘Bounded languages … Unbounded,’ encapsulates the ongoing struggle throughout Mediterranean and European regions. As tensions between demarcation and legitimization of languages, language ideologies, and language identities, enter a new era, flexible citizenship now operates well within, and not only across, language communities, to unbind languages, and to create new boundaries, unlike those ever seen throughout history.
The COMELA 2020 invites work which addresses the shifting boundedness of Language Communities of The Mediterranean and Europe. Papers and posters should acknowledge and describe processes of language shape, change, and ideology, pertinent to social, cultural, and political histories and futures, of Mediterranean and European regions.