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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Conference Information

Full Title: Distance in Language, Language of Distance

Location: Munich, Germany
Start Date: 05-Apr-2013 - 06-Apr-2013
Contact: Barbara Sonnenhauser
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL: http://www.slavistik.uni-muenchen.de/forschung/konferenz1/index.html
Meeting Description: In linguistics, the notion of ‘distance’ has already been employed in cognitive and functional approaches, and has proven as a fruitful tool for the description of verbal and nominal categories, particularly in the area of Balkan linguistics.

However, its use is by no means consistent. On the one hand various linguistic phenomena are described in terms of ‘distance’; on the other hand, the notion itself is being related to different concepts. In its original sense, ‘distance’ refers to a ‘gap’ between two spatially separated points (Dancyngier & Vandelanotte 2009). This spatial concept, combined with a deictic component, is transferred to other mental and linguistic concepts, whereby the speaker serves as a point of reference.

The central question of the conference is: What is the common denominator for the various uses of this notion, based on which a semantic category ‘distance’ can be defined and how is this category realised in language?

Plenary Speakers:

Lieven Vandelanotte (Namur & Leuven): ‘The language of distance in grammar and discourse’
Evangelia Adamou (Paris): ‘Distance in tensed nominals: A typological perspective’
Gracie Fielder (Arizona): ‘Triangulation: Navigating distance in interaction’
Linguistic Subfield: General Linguistics
LL Issue: 23.4759

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