Modelling Oppressive Speech/Norms and Social Meaning

March 23, 2020 - March 24, 2020
ZAS Berlin, Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS)

Trajekte Room, 3rd floor
Schützenstr. 18
Berlin 10117

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


  • Society for Applied Philosophy
  • XPrag
  • DFG



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Modelling Oppressive Speech/Norms & Social Meaning

Oppressive speech harms its targets. The rise of hate speech in social media and politics vividly illustrates this. This workshop will study how oppressive speech harms. Topics include: the mechanisms through which oppressive utterance causes harm; how oppressive speech shifts norms; what motivates speakers to use such speech; why others comply with the resulting harmful norms; and what needs to change to eradicate these harmful norms. We also focus on relevant aspects of social meaning such as intra-speaker variation, e.g. that oppressive language has different effects depending on who the speaker and hearer are (in-group vs. out-group, etc.). 


  • Stephen Barker (University of Nottingham)
  • David Beaver (University of Texas at Austin)
  • Anton Benz (ZAS-Berlin)
  • Laura Caponetto (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan)
  • Christoph Hesse (ZAS-Berlin)
  • Robin Jeshion (University Southern California)
  • Elin McCready (Aoyama Gakuin University)
  • Mary Kate McGowan (Wellesley College)
  • David Pietraszewski (Max Plank Institute, Berlin)
  • Mihaela Popa-Wyatt (ZAS-Berlin)
  • Uli Sauerland (ZAS-Berlin)
  • Stephanie Solt (ZAS-Berlin)
  • Lynne Tirrell (University of Connecticut)
  • Julia Zakkou (Freie Universität Berlin)


Mihaela Popa-Wyatt, Anton Benz, Stephanie Solt

Source project: the Marie Scklowdoska-Curie Action "How Language is Used to Oppress" (HaLO). This event is sponsored by the Society for Applied Philosophy, DFG, XPrag, MSCA-HaLO. We gratefully acknowledge their support. 

For more information about the schedule, abstracts, poster, please follow updates on the workshop website

Attendance is free, for logistic reasons please register on Eveeno by 9 March.

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March 1, 2020, 11:00pm CET

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