Socio-Cultural Adaptation

Research Program 2 explores topics related to the mechanisms and strategies of societal adaptation and integration, the nature of interpersonal communication, and the principles underlying the transmission of cultural identity. The program thus aims at advancing our understanding of the forces that shape human behavior and its meaning, in both verbal and non-verbal modes and in its socio-cognitive and historical contexts. The research in this program focuses especially on three areas:

  1. adaptation at the level of individuals and groups;
  2. communication practices as a source of diversity and variability;
  3. historical changes in the strategies of interaction and adaptation.

The research is based on the notion of active adaptation, understood as an innovative reaction of an individual, group, or society to the challenges and opportunities which are the consequence of the constantly changing world – at the biological, psychological, societal, and technological levels, including potential risks that pose a threat to the safety and stability of the actors. All of this is relevant not only for an adequate theoretical framing of the permanent variability of modern society, but also in its relation to the applied research in this area, which is motivated by the need to cope in practice with the current and future risks and opportunities which the changes bring about (in domains such as education, prevention, regulation, etc.). Given the wide variety of contexts and perspectives that need to be taken into account, the program embraces a multidisciplinary approach that will allow us to capture the complex interplay of specific historical conditions, psychological and psycho-social premises, and individual experience. The project thus takes as its foundation linguistic, psycho-social, historical, and archaeological research of adaptation processes and the role they play in human interaction broadly defined and in the transmission of cultural identity. The convergence of all these research areas (and necessarily also the connection with the concept of autopoietic systems, see RP1 Creative Laboratory) is confirmed also by the current global migration processes that present a challenge not only for political representations but also for the stability of the existing social organization (see program RP3 Strategic Regions). All these contexts open up a space for an inquiry into the prerequisites of creativity and adaptability in contemporary world, with focus especially on the ways in which participants have been connecting specific meanings in their practice and in their action in a world that is (for them) symbolically meaningful. Only when we connect the transformation of codes (signs, words, connections of meanings) with their application in social practice (i. e. how participants understand the meaning of what they experience) can we explain how some collective representations (for example nationalist, democratic, etc.) assert themselves while others do not (such as dynastic representations, etc.).


Closing international conference focusing on complex aspects of linguistic and psycho-social adaptation in today’s globalized world.

WP2.1 Language and Communication

Aim: This work package studies human language as complex adaptive system, which provides a window into the functioning of human mind, memory, and social cognition. The research aims at formulating generalizations about language as a type of symbolic system and a mental behavior and also as a tool for verbal interaction, with its own communicative strategies that are shaped in relation to the socio-cultural norms of a given society. Part of the research is also devoted to a further development of material resources (language corpora), which contribute considerably toward strengthening the empirical foundation of linguistic analysis.

People: Bořil Tomáš, Cilibrasi Luca, Cvrček Václav, Čapka Tomáš, Čermák Petr, Čermáková Anna, Dovalil Vít, Fried Mirjam, Jehlička Jakub, Kocek Jan, Kováříková Dominika, Kratochvílová Dana, Kříž Adam, Lehečková Eva, Machač Pavel, Nádvorníková Olga, Park Minyoung, Pejcha Jakub, Procházka Pavel, Rosen Alexandr, Skarnitzl Radek, Sloboda Marián, Šebesta Karel, Škodová Svatava, Škrabal Michal, Štěpánová Marie, Štichauer Pavel, Šturm Pavel, Tichý Ondřej, Vondřička Pavel

2.1.1 Tasks

T1.1 Adaptation of the society to its multilingual character.

T1.2 Language standardization and de-standardization as forms of adaptation, concerning both individuals and communities in the modern and postmodern times.

T1.3 Language-communication effects of the use of information and communication technologies.

T1.4 Primary socialization in language-contact situations.

T1.5 Research of the sound properties of spoken Czech in relation to specific contextual settings, stylistic modulations, and situational conditioning.

T1.6 Research of individually and socially conditioned factors in speech, aiming at creating a speech corpus which will include stylistic information.

T1.7 Models of language adaptation at different levels of communication.

T1.8 Research of the characteristics of spontaneous conversational Czech.

T1.9 Complex analysis of communication behavior based in the theoretical and methodological tools of cognitive linguistics.

T1.10 Adaptation models in multilingual contexts, with particular focus on comparative studies between Czech and other languages through empirical studies using multilingual corpora.

T1.11 Creation of a complete survey of language resources available for diachronic linguistic research, including relevant kinds of metadata. Identification of appropriate statistical and linguistic tools for diachronic analysis.

T1.12 In close cooperation with KU Leuven, identification of language phenomena in diachronic material for further analysis, especially as suitable test cases for various theoretical models of language change.

T1.13 Analysis of diachronic material and research of language change.

T1.14 Research of second-language acquisition.

T1.15 Adaptation issues in second-language acquisition.

T1.16 Psychological and social aspects of communication in a foreign language.

T1.17 Building of specialized corpora. Development and implementation of adequate tools for analyzing corpus data.

T1.18 Corpus-based research of contemporary European languages.

2.1.2 Results and Deliverables

The results of WP1 research activities will be, above all, the findings provided by basic research in linguistics, particularly in the field of sociolinguistics and language planning (following T1.1-4), analysis of linguistic adaptation at various levels of language organization (phonetic, morphological, syntactic, and discourse; T1.5-10), in the field of diachronic linguistics (T1.11-13), second language acquisition and its psycho-social aspects (T1.14-16), and in the field of corpus linguistics. To some extent, the individual fields necessarily overlap.

2.1.3 Milestones

M1.1 Digital Editions Summer School Prague. A summer school in which the participants will learn the tools for creating, administrating, and presenting digital editions of texts, which can consequently serve as reliable material for quantitative language analysis within T1.12 and T1.17 (11/2018).

M1.2 Lecture series featuring foreign researchers in the area of digital humanities within the framework of the Medieval Conflicts and Contrasts series. Focus is on the identification and transfer of international trends in the field of digital humanities from a diachronic perspective, and a kick-off for task T1.12 (12/2017).

M1.3 International conference 27th International Association for Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics held in Prague. The conference focuses on speaker identification, identification of idiosyncratic and socially motivated features in an individual’s speech, and methodological and technical aspects of forensic practice (02/2019).

M1.4 Diachro-Prague 2020 conference. International conference about diachronic linguistics focusing on creating diachronic corpora and tools for their use (T1.11-12) (01/2020).

M1.5 Conference 1st Prague Italian Linguistics Meeting. International conference focusing on the diachronic aspects of Italian, with the participation of prestigious universities and lecturers (Cambridge – Ledgeway, Oxford – Maiden, Vienna – Remberger, Cruschina, Leiden – D’Alessandro; Curych – Loporcaro); following particularly T1.13 (05/2021).

M1.6 International conference Globalizing Sociolinguistics focusing on the development of the sociolinguistic theory of globalization, particularly in relation to T1.1 and T1.3, in collaboration with University of Leiden (06/2021).

M1.7 International conference 7th International Language Management Symposium, in  collaboration with Sophia University, Tokyo, and Universität Regensburg, particularly in relation to T1.1, T1.2 and T1.4 focusing on strategies in solving communication problems in today’s world (09/2021).

M1.8 International conference Czech and Other Languages,  focusing on contrastive studies of Czech and other languages and including problems of second-language acquisition, with participation of Bohemists from abroad. Related to T1.8, 10, 14–16, 18 (02/2022).

M1.9 International conference Morfosintaxis del español actual, with the participation of distinguished Hispanists from Universidad Complutense, Universidad de Valencia, Universidad Santiago de Compostela, and other universities; related to T1.10 a T1.18 (04/2022).

M1.10 Creating joint doctoral studies with the Polish University of Łódź focusing on second language acquisition (03/2019).

WP2.2 Psycho-Social Factors in Successful Adaptation

Aim: This work package is devoted to studying adaptation in relation to the socio-cultural environment and the human mind. The aim is to advance our understanding of the factors that contribute to fulfilling one’s individual potential and making use of individual strengths, and to create models of an optimal arrangement of these factors at various levels of generality. The key research topics include the developmental stages of individuals, groups, and the whole society; formative life situations and their context in families, school, workplace, and self-fulfillment; and both the risks and protective factors of this development. Related to these topics are also issues concerning the adaptation of an individual lifestyle; permanently changing conditions in today’s societies as well as adaptation to changes in the everyday environment of individual actors; a deeper understanding of the risks and protective factors associated with adaptation in the key stages of life both in individuals belonging to the regular population and in those with increased vulnerability; and applying this understanding in making psycho-social interventions more effective.

People: Dohnalová Eva, Dragomirecká Eva,Holasová Lenka, Mudrák Jiří, Takács Lea, Zábrodská Kateřina

2.2.1 Tasks

T2.1 Cognitive processes in adolescents, their learning and problem-solving abilities.

T2.2 Reading literacy as a precondition for socio-cultural adaptation in information society.

T2.3 Analysis of predictive factors in successful development from a life-time perspective.

T2.4 Analysis of protective and risk factors in social and health care transformation.

T2.5 Subjective and objective indicators of social and health care transformation.

T2.6 Programs in adaptation support for selected groups.

2.2.2 Results and Deliverables

WP3 research results are primarily centered around the core theme of the whole project, concerning specifically the psycho-social factors in successful adaptation from lifelong perspective. Therefore, professional studies and conferences related to the main topic make up the main output.

2.2.3 Milestones

M2.1 Presentation of results at the 35th International Conference of Psychiatry Section of the J.E. Purkyně Czech Medical Association.

M2.2 Deepening cooperation with Prof. Alexander T. Vazsonyi (University of Kentucky) in the field of successful development (broader collaboration in life transitions topics).

M2.3 Publication on the topic of Deinstitutionalization in the Czech Republic.

M2.4 Presentation of research results at the 32nd International Congress of Psychology.

M2.5 Presentation of research results at the 34th International Conference of Psychiatry Section of the J.E. Purkyně Czech Medical Association.

M2.6 Interdisciplinary conference on the topic of psycho-social factors in socio-cultural adaptation.

M2.7 Presentation of research results at the 22nd Social Processes and Personality Conference.

M2.8 A monograph on subjective and objective indicators in evaluating psycho-social interventions.

WP2.3 History of Adaptation Processes

Aim: WP2.3 studies the changes in interpretation of history and in a self-identification with cultural heritage, as adaptation strategies used by individuals, groups, and institutions in local, regional, national, and international contexts as well as in a historical perspective.

People:Biegel Richard,Bitušíková Alexandra, Dušková Lucie, Havlík Jakub, Ira Jaroslav, Janáč Jiří, Klusáková Luďa, Kmošek Matej, Koura Jan, Kovářová Linda,  Kysela Jan, Masař Tomáš, Pavúk Peter, Rákosník Jakub, Randák Jan, Sommer Vítězslav,Spurný Matěj, Stančo Ladislav, Švácha Rostislav, Tinková Daniela, Tůmová Helena, Tušlová Petra,Vacinová Lenka,Verčík Marek, Vojtěchovský Ondřej, Zdichynec Jan

2.3.1 Tasks

T3.1 Definition of adaptation processes and identification of analytic tools.

T3.2 Establishing a doctoral and post-doctoral seminar.

T3.3 Strategic use of the interpretation of cultural heritage.

T3.5 Research of adaptation strategies in ancient communities and transfers of cultural values in space and time.

T3.6 Activation of networks with participating partners and experts.

T3.7 Integration of cultural heritage as an adaptation strategy into the study program.

T3.8 Role of technologies from a comparative perspective of adaptation strategies.

T3.9 Research of the reception of the antiquity and antique civilizations in the 19th and 20th centuries.

T3.10 Strategic use of the cultural heritage interpretation II.

T3.11 Adaptation and migration in a local and global context.

T3.12 Evaluation of specific case studies and creating sets of indicators reflecting the Europeanization of cultural heritage.

T3.13 Interpretation of the research results in the area of cultural heritage, expert level of adaptation, and various forms of reception in the past from a comparative perspective.

T3.14 Summarization and delivery of the research results in the area of history of adaptation processes.

2.3.2 Milestones

M3.1 Kick-off meeting WP2.3. Methods and concepts; adaptability, technology, innovation, identity, cultural heritage, regions, etc. For all participants of WP2.3, a part of which will be section WP3 with associated partners – activation of research and social network in relation to T3.5 (05/2018).

M.3.2 Workshop for the research and social network at the conference EAHI Interpret Europe (in relation to T3.2) (05/2018).

M.3.3 Assessment and presentation of the results in the first year of the project by taking part in international conferences such as European Association for Urban History held at the University Roma Tre (in relation to D3.3 a D3.7) (09/2020).

M.3.4    Interdisciplinary conference Adaptation along the Borderzones. Discussion over the results of the field research with regard to border regions. In relation to T3.2, T3.3 a T3.4 (10/2018).

M.3.5 Assessment and presentation of the results at halftime of the project, in the form of participation at the World Congress of Historians in Poznan (or at EAUH or ESSHC conferences) (09/2020).

M.3.6 Exhibition The Antiquity and the Czech Lands. The influence of collecting antiques on the art of the 19th and 20th centuries in the Czech lands (10/2021).

M.3.7 Accreditation of a new MA program with a working title Public History and Cultural Heritage. In collaboration with  a new partner, North Carolina State University, which may apply for a grant in H2020 (T3.7) (09/2022).

M.3.8 Closing conference together with the associated partners and experts in the professional network (D3.16) (09/2022).