LINGUIST List 10.526

Sat Apr 10 1999

Calls: Endangered Languages, Analogical Modeling

Editor for this issue: Jody Huellmantel <>

As a matter of policy, LINGUIST discourages the use of abbreviations or acronyms in conference announcements unless they are explained in the text.


  1. Simon Donnelly, 1999 Linguistic Institute: Endangered Languages workshop
  2. Deryle Lonsdale, Analogical Modeling of Language

Message 1: 1999 Linguistic Institute: Endangered Languages workshop

Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1999 22:17:14 +0200
From: Simon Donnelly <>
Subject: 1999 Linguistic Institute: Endangered Languages workshop

This is a CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS to the two-day (July 17-18) endangered
languages workshop scheduled to take place this coming (northern
hemisphere) summer, at the 1999 LSA Linguistic Institute at UIUC. The
workshop is entitled:

Language Maintenance and Death: Reports from the Field and Strategies for
the New Millennium

I am a lecturer in the Department of Linguistics at the University of
the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am looking for
colleagues from around the world who may be able to be at the
institute, and who would be interested in presenting work or
participating in discussions at this workshop. While my own
dissertation work and experience has been on Phuthi, a tiny
endangered, unwritten south-eastern Bantu language spoken in scattered
parts of southern Lesotho and central South Africa, I am keen to
engage colleagues working in ANY linguistic region of the globe.

For an initial blurb on what this workshop is about, the gentle reader could
take a look at:

The general thinking (based on discussions with several interested
linguists) is that a useful format would be to focus on feedback from
different geographical areas (where endangered languages are found),
each report being from a linguist who is familiar with the particular

But, importantly, this feedback would specifically attempt to address
itself to some of the Big Questions, such as (a subset of) the

1. WHAT are we linguists in fact preserving?
2. What do communities WANT us to preserve?
3. How best to assist communities with tools of their own for
preservation ad revitalisation work?
4. How best to equip Linguistics students for the job at hand?
5. What responsibilities might/should the universities (and
Linguistics Departments) commit to in support of endangered languages
6. How can a thoughtful, just, equitable process be put in place for
re-evaluating the performance criteria applied in the promotion/tenure
assessment of linguists and other academics who devote significant
time to communities working towards revitalising an endangered

The intention is explicitly that reports presented at this workshop
will give rise to focused discussions. Discussion time is planned at
the end of each presentation (possibly at the end of a panel
presentation). This in part depends on the final structure of the
workshop (see below).

The intention is furthermore to include one or more speakers of
endangered languages who have worked with linguists from within
communities, since these speakers will bring important insights to the

Interested linguists and speakers of endangered languages should
submit an abstract (300 words or less) to me by May 15, in which they
indicate what language or language area they would like to report on,
and what kinds of questions they would like to address. Abstracts will
be read by a set of cooperating linguists in three countries (South
Africa, Canada and the USA). We will accommodate as many participants
as possible. The final program will be released (to Linguist, and on
the Institute's website) by May 31. At that point, all abstracts will
be circulated by email to all those who have contacted me
(participants and others alike), so that the conversation can begin
electronically before the workshop actually takes place.

The anticipated time structure of the two day workshop is:

- ----------------------
Saturday July 17 (end of week 3 of the Institute)

Session 1: 9.00 - 10.30
	coffee: 10.30 - 10.45
Session 2: 10.45 - 12.15
	lunch: 12.15 - 1.45pm
Session 3: 1.45 - 3.15
	coffeee: 3.15 - 3.30
Session 4: 3.30 - 5

Sunday July 18: the same arrangement.
- ----------------------

At present, participation in the workshop is anticipated from a number
of linguists, including Jose Hualde, Sally Thomason, Ian Maddieson,
Amanda Miller-Ockhuizen, Pat Shaw and Keren Rice.

People who may wish to attend but not present should also contact
me. Their contribution in discussions could be considerable.

There will be a fee payable at the time of the workshop for all
participants (whether presenting or not): $10 for students, $15 for
faculty. $7 goes automatically to the host institution (the University
of Illinois), and the remaining amount will cover simple refreshments
at the coffee breaks, as well as basic paperwork and flyers.

Simon Donnelly

Department of Linguistics
University of the Witwatersrand
P/Bag 3
Wits 2050

phone: +27 - (0)11 - 716-2309
fax: +27 - (0)11 - 716-4199
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Message 2: Analogical Modeling of Language

Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 20:24:21 +0000
From: Deryle Lonsdale <>
Subject: Analogical Modeling of Language

 Conference on Analogical Modeling of Language (AML)
 Call for Papers

Date: Thursday and Friday, 23-24 March 2000

Location: Brigham Young University (BYU), 
 Provo, Utah, USA

The purpose of this conference will be to bring together researchers
in Royal Skousen's theory of analogical modeling of language (AML) as
well as various other exemplar-based approaches to describing
language. Most of the conference will concentrate on AML, but
invitations to present are extended to other exemplar-based
researchers who have compared AML with their own work.

Brief description of AML:

During the last two decades, as rule approaches have encountered
difficulties explaining language behavior, several competing non-rule
approaches to language have been developed. First was the development
(or rejuvenation) of neural networks, more commonly known in
linguistics as connectionism. More recently, numerous researchers have
turned to exemplar-based systems (sometimes known as instance-based
systems or "lazy learning") to explain language behavior. These
exemplar-based learning systems involve hunting for the most similar
instances ("nearest neighbors") to predict language behavior. A more
general theory of the exemplar-based approach is Royal Skousen's
analogical modeling of language, which permits (under well-defined
conditions) even non-neighbors to affect language behavior.

Confirmed invited speakers:

 Walter (Antwerp, comparing nearest neighbor
 Daelemans Tilburg) approaches and AML

 Bruce (University experimental testing
 Derwing of Alberta)

 Steve (University psycholinguistic evidence
 Chandler of Idaho) 

 David (Mississippi applying AML to Spanish
 Eddington State) morphology

 Doug Wulf (University applying AML to
 of Washington) German plural

Submission information for papers to be presented at

 * Detailed abstract (approximately 1000 words)
 due 1 December 1999

 * Submit by email to (plain ASCII,
 PDF or Postscript only),

 * or by regular mail to:
 Royal Skousen
 Department of English
 Brigham Young University
 Provo, Utah 84602

 * Preliminary draft of full paper due at time of

 * Publication plans: major academic publisher,
 negotiations underway

In addition to the public conference on 23-24 March 2000,
there will be:
 * tutorial sessions on AML on Wednesday, 22 March 2000:
 o overview of AML
 o developing datasets
 o running the AML software
 o using other instance-based approaches
 * expert sessions in research on Saturday, 25 March 2000
 o groups applying AML to specific language problems

Local organizing committee for the conference:
Royal Skousen
Deryle Lonsdale
Dil Parkinson
Bill Eggington

with the assistance of other members of the AML research
group at BYU:

Paul Baltes
Don Chapman
Dana Bourgerie
Kirk Belnap

For more details about the conference, as well as papers
and the Perl program that runs AML, see the AML website

Possible support available from BYU's Kennedy Center for
International Studies for scholars from outside the U.S.

Anticipated costs:
 * Nominal conference fee: includes lunches on Thursday
 and Friday, plus handout materials (abstracts)
 * Similar nominal fee for the tutorial sessions on
 * Travel to Salt Lake City; shuttle services from
 airport to Provo (currently about $40 for roundtrip)
 or car rental
 * Hotels and motels in Provo area:
 o currently from about $38 to $79 per day
 o hotels include breakfast, plus shuttle to BYU

For specific correspondence with the organizing
committee, send e-mail to:
or write to:
 Royal Skousen
 Department of English
 Brigham Young University
 Provo, Utah 84602
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