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Conference Information

Full Title: International Workshop on Linguistic Microareas in South Asia

Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Start Date: 05-May-2014 - 06-May-2014
Contact: Anju Saxena
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: Multilingualism has long been the norm in South Asia. There are signs of language contact between Vedic Sanskrit and Dravidian languages in the Rig Veda, the oldest extant Indian text. It is reasonable to assume that this long-lasting contact situation will have made the languages of this region more similar in many respects to each other than they are to their genetically related languages spoken outside the region. However, systematic investigations of the areal phenomena within South Asia have been few and narrow in scope. Which areal phenomena are characteristic of South Asia, as well as their geographical extent, remains unclear. Some 'microareas' within South Asia have also been proposed, for example, the Himalayan region, where a long history of language contact and multilingualism has led to convergence on many linguistic levels between the two genetically unrelated language families of the area (Tibeto-Burman and Indo-Aryan). Another microarea which has been proposed is South-South Asia which encompasses Sri Lanka and parts of India, with primarily Dravidian and Indo-Aryan languages. It has further been suggested that Dardic (Indo-Aryan) is not a genetic, but rather a geographical/areal labelling of languages of North India and Northwestern Pakistan, and a similar suggestion has been made for West Himalayish (Tibeto-Burman).

In order to obtain a clearer picture of areal phenomena within South Asia, there is a need for more comprehensive overviews of the linguistic patterns from different geographical regions in South Asia in order to discuss the relationships between linguistic features that are attributed to the microareas and features that encompass the entire South Asian region, as well as to disentangle genetic and areal traits. This two-day workshop is intended as a forum to discuss these issues in more depth.

Invited Speakers:

Professor Elena Bashir (University of Chicago)
Professor Balthasar Bickel (University of Zürich)
Professor Shobhana Chelliah (University of North Texas)
Professor Hans H. Hock (University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign)
Professor John Peterson (University of Kiel)


Anju Saxena (Uppsala University)

Organizing Committee:

Lars Borin (University of Gothenburg)
Bernard Comrie (MPI-EVA Leipzig/UC Santa Barbara)
Niklas Edenmyr (Uppsala University)
K. Taraka Rama (University of Gothenburg)
Vera Wilhelmsen (Uppsala University)
Linguistic Subfield: Genetic Classification; Historical Linguistics; Language Documentation; Sociolinguistics; Typology
LL Issue: 25.1654

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