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Conference Information

Full Title: Metalinguistic Discourses

Location: Villetaneuse (93), France
Start Date: 12-Oct-2012 - 12-Oct-2012
Contact: Viviane Arigne
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: Metalinguistic Discourses. Theorization and Linguistic Research

The linguistic section of CRIDAF (EA453, Université Paris 13, PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité) is organising a one-day conference on the topic of ‘Metalinguistic Discourses’. The conference will take place at the Université Paris 13 in Villetaneuse on Friday 12 October 2012.

The aim of this one-day conference is to conduct an inquiry into the heterogeneity and variety of linguistic theories and linguistic theorization, by assessing the results of linguistic research as well as various theoretical frameworks, whether in English or general linguistics.

Contemporary linguistic research is diverse and uses a great variety of concepts and terms, which pertain to its fields of study (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics), to its various theoretical trends (Guillaume’s psycho-mechanics, generativist, enunciativist, cognitivist trends, etc.) or sub-trends (trace theory, binding theory, construction grammars, cognitive grammars, etc.). Other labels are used to refer to methods or working practices, such as field linguistics, corpus linguistics, automatic treatment of natural languages. All this leads to a proliferation of theoretical terms as well as theoretical discourses and to the consequent fragmentation of knowledge.

The discussions will try to analyse and possibly confront metalinguistic theoretical discourses so as to evaluate their descriptive and explanatory power. The issue can be approached from various angles.

- Some theoretical or descriptive stances sometimes translate rather easily into another theoretical framework. One may try to see how one particular stance is better adapted to the empirical phenomena one is endeavouring to analyse.
- One may also study the theoretical frameworks English linguistics has given itself in France in the second half of the 20th century. Insofar as enunciativist theories acknowledge some kind of underlying cognitive basis, can some of their results be related to some of the propositions put forward by those grammars which call themselves cognitive?
- Does one type of theorization make up for the shortcomings of another, for example, by giving explicit definitions, or clarifying its levels of description? Conversely, does one theoretical presentation which is given as new succeed in escaping repetition and theoretical psittacism? Does it actually break new ground?
- Translating one theory into another sometimes implies abandoning certain theoretical concepts, stances or ways of reasoning which are shown to be no longer crucial or necessary. What should the linguist discard and what should he retain?

Three useful links:

Book of Abstracts (résumés des communications):

Access to Villetaneuse (accès):
Linguistic Subfield: Linguistic Theories
Subject Language: English
LL Issue: 23.3154

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