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Conference Information

Full Title: One Brain – Two Grammars? Examining Dualistic Approaches to Grammar and Cognition

Location: Rostock, Germany
Start Date: 01-Mar-2018 - 03-Mar-2018
Contact: Alexander Haselow
Meeting Email: click here to access email
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Meeting Description: The international workshop ''One Brain - Two Grammars?'' will take place on 1-3 March 2018 in Rostock, Germany. It will be organized by Alexander Haselow and Gunther Kaltenböck.

Venue: University of Rostock, Main Building

General Topic

Most grammatical models assume that linguistic structure represents a fairly monolithic system of mental and linguistic activity. Some lines of recent research, however, suggest that human cognitive activity in general and linguistic cognition in particular cannot reasonably be reduced to a single, monolithic system of mental processing but have, in fact, a dualistic organization. Such dualism has been proposed by a number of authors using a variety of different approaches and following different directions of research. It surfaces in particular in psychological work on brain activity (Kahneman 2012), in psycholinguistic research on text comprehension (Kintsch 1988; Gernsbacher 1990; Graesser et al. 1994; Greene et al. 1992; McKoon and Ratcliff 1990, 1992, 1998; Prat et al. 2007), in neurolinguistic research on linguistic processing (Bahlmann, Gunter & Friederici 2006; Van Lancker Sidtis 2009), in linguistic work on performance (Clark 1996; Clark & Fox Tree 2002), on syntax (Kac 1972), on speech act formulas (Pawley 2009), on discourse organization (Kaltenböck et al. 2011; Heine et al. 2013), on the analysis of conversations (Haselow 2013, 2016), and on bilingualism (Maschler 1994; Heine 2016). The dualism is reflected in distinctions such as novel speech and formulaic speech, linear-hierarchical and linear (flat) structure, sentence grammar and thetical grammar, microgrammar and macrogrammar, clausal constituents and extra-clausal constituents, or propositional representation and discourse representation.

However, the hypothesized dualism is not beyond criticism: researchers from the ''monolithic camp'' argue that linguistic activity cannot be broken down into separate domains, given that it ultimately serves a single goal, that of communication, and that, overal, all neural activities related to language processing and communication are equally networked.

This workshop is devoted to a discussion of the Dualism Hypothesis, based on findings from a wide range of research fields and methodological approaches. As the question mark in the title of the workshop indicates, the debate is intended to be unbiased and thus open to evidence for and against the hypothesis.

Invited Speakers:

Elizabeth Closs Traugott (Stanford University)
Bernd Heine (University of Cologne)
Diana Van Lancker Sidtis (New York University)
Linguistic Subfield: Discipline of Linguistics; General Linguistics; Neurolinguistics; Philosophy of Language; Psycholinguistics
LL Issue: 28.867

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