LINGUIST List 12.52

Wed Jan 10 2001

Calls: Historical Ling, American Dialect Society

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. Kate Burridge, Historical Linguistics Conference
  2. Glenmtz505, American Dialect Society/RMMLA

Message 1: Historical Linguistics Conference

Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2001 10:17:04 +1000
From: Kate Burridge <>
Subject: Historical Linguistics Conference

ICHL 2001
XVth International Conference on Historical Linguistics
2nd circular

The XVth International Conference on Historical Linguistics will be held in
Melbourne, August 13-17, 2001.

The Department of Linguistics at La Trobe University will host the
conference, and it will be held at the Hotel Ibis, 15 Therry St, Melbourne.
The purpose of this circular is to notify people of the workshop proposals.
The deadline for abstracts for papers (20 mins) for the main body of the
conference is Easter 2001 (by whatever calendar), but if you require
earlier acceptance, you can send your abstract at any time and we will
review it within a few days. Abstracts (of no more than 250 words) should
be submitted in the body of an email message to

>For further information, see our website


Three workshop proposals have been received and are reproduced below, and
in an attachment. Intending participants are asked to contact workshop
organisers directly.

1. Workshop on Linguistic Stratigraphy and Prehistory
The organizers are Henning Andersen (Baltic and Slavic) and Christopher
Ehret (African languages). For information, contact Henning Andersen //
Slavic Department, UCLA // P.O.Box 951502 // Los Angeles CA 90095-1502 //
U.S.A. Email address:

Every linguistic tradition includes layers of material that entered it at
different times in the more or less distant past. Hence, for periods
preceding our earliest historical documentation, linguistic stratigraphy
may yield evidence that can complement the archaeological record where
there is one, but can be eloquent in and of itself where there is none..

The chronological layering of the lexical and grammatical material of a
language may reflect the prehistory of its speakers in several ways. For
instance, layers of word formation or borrowing may bear witness to stages
in technological development or to changing currents in spiritual culture;
irregular phonological reflexes may be evidence of the convergence of
diverse dialects in the formation of a tradition of speaking; layers of
material from different source languages may form a record of changing
cultural contacts in the past; in some instances, layers of material from a
single source language spanning a lengthy period of time shed light on the
prehistoric development of both the target language and the source
language. The stratigraphic evidence may be sufficiently determinate to
suggest the nature of the contact in individual prehistoric episodes of
language contact, indicating whether it was indirect or direct, ephemeral
or long-lasting, a borrowing relationship or a case of language shift.
Lexical and grammatical elements may carry different weight in the
evaluation of prehistoric episodes of language contact, as may also
appellatives and propria, and among propria, hydronyms, toponyms, and

The aim of the proposed workshop is to highlight this important area of
historical linguistics and to bring together linguists working with diverse
geographical and cultural areas for the discussion of recent advances and
work in progress as well as problems of method and issues of interpretation.

2. Workshop on reconstruction and subgrouping in Australian languages
Organisers: Claire Bowern and Harold Koch

It would be helpful to us if you could let us know if you would like to
participate, by emailing us at or, as soon as possible, but no later than **31st
January 2001**. Please also include the subgroup/languges you will be
presenting evidence for or against, and your contact details. We would also
like a brief abstract by **1st April, 2001**. Please also note the deadline
for submission of papers for pre-circulation: **30th June 2001**.

Dear colleagues,

We are organising a workshop on subgrouping and reconstruction in
Australian languages, to be held during the 15th International Conference
on Historical Linguistics at La Trobe University, Melbourne, from 13th -
17th August, 2001. (For conference details see )

Briefly, the aim of the workshop is to examine currently accepted
Australian subgroupings from as many parts of the country as is possible,
to see if the groupings are likely to be genetic (that is, the similarities
between the languages are the result innovation during a period of common
envolution) or whether they more likely reflect a local linguistic area.
Such a workshop will make publicly available the evidence that supports
each subgroup. Most of the subgroups/families presupposed for Australia
date to lexico-statistical groupings done in the late 1960s (such as
O'Grady, Wurm and Hale's 1965 classification); we would like to use the
occasion of a major historical linguistics conference in Australia to
examine these proposed subgrouping in detail. By the end of the workshop we
hope to have assembled a collection of papers which examine these
subgrouping proposals from the point of view of traditional historical
linguistics - that is, through reconstruction, detailed etymology and the
separation of common innovation from borrowing. We hope this will move
comparative linguistics in Australia towards demonstrating to what extent
it is possible to justify genetic subgrouping and the use of the
comparative method. A number of scholars have raised doubts as to the
application of these methods in Australia, and we would like to use this
opportunity to see to what extent their doubts are justified.

As you have no doubt guessed by now, we would like to invite you to
participate in this workshop! Specifically, we are inviting you to write
paper and give a short presentation outlining the historical/comparative
evidence for the subgroup(s) which you mostly work on.

Please find below a set of guidelines for participants, which include
some suggestions for evidence to consider and a list of possibly helpful

Draft guidelines for participants

Aim: To present the evidence which supports a given subgroup; that is,
evidence which supports both
a) the coherence of the languages in a single group (establishing the
"group" of subgroup), and
b) the distinctiveness of the group from the remainder of Australian
languages (establishing the "sub" of subgroup).
To be diagnostic of a genetic subgroup in the traditional sense this
evidence must further be established to have been a feature of the
protolanguage ancestral the languages of the group, and not:
a) the result of inheritance from a more distant ancestor, or
b) the result of diffusion after the dissolution of pSG (proto Subgroup).
(In practice it may not be possible at this stage to decide what features
of a proto-language are the result of innovation. When in doubt, it is
better to present the complete evidence for pSG and leave till later a
determination of its status as retention from pre-pSG, SG innovation, or
perhaps even a post-pSG innovation.)

�	What languages are included in the subgroup? Mention doubtful or
borderline cases too.
�	Where are they located? (Provide a rough map.)

Lexical evidence:
Indicate the words which you consider to be unique to the SG.
�	Give the reconstructed form and meaning of each.
�	Organise the vocabulary by part of speech (especially Noun and
Verb) and semantic domain (of nouns: kinship, artefact, flora, etc.)
(Perhaps make reference to the lists of "basic vocabulary" (Swadesh,
Klokeid-O'Grady, Menning-Nash) [we can supply relevant references]

Evidence from word-formation:
Indicate any word-formation devices (derivational affixes, reduplications,
vowel or consonant alternations) that are distinctive of SG and
reconstructable to pSG.

Semantic evidence:
Mention distinctive semantic developments that might have affected words of
more wide-spread distribution. (e.g. "Word X of meaning M elsewhere in
Australian has shifted in this SG to meaning N.")

Phonological evidence:
�	Indicate distinctive phonemes of SG that are reconstructable to
�	Indicate distinctive phonotactic patterns of SG that are
reconstructable to Proto-SG.
�	Give the phonological changes which differentiated this SG from
other related languages (including the changes which led to the distinctive
phonemes and phonotactic patterns of pSG.)
Note: We are not interested in SG-internal phonological changes which
merely differentiated some languages of SG from other languages of the same

Morphosyntactic evidence:
�	Indicate any distinctive characteristics of the morphosyntax that
result from common innovations; e.g. auxiliaries, pronominal clitics.
�	Give the stems and inflectional forms that are reconstructable to
pSG, especially any that reflect innovations of the SG.
�	Give the interrogative-indefinite stems reconstructable to pSG.
�	Give the demonstrative stems reconstructable to pSG.
Nominal inflection:
�	Give the distinctive case, number, class markers reconstructable to
pSG. If there are conditioned allomorphs, indicate the reconstructed
conditioning factors.
Verb inflection:
�	Give the forms according to their inflectional classes, in paradigms.
�	Also indicate the membership of (especially small) inflectional
classes in terms of the reconstructed lexemes.

Prospective participants are asked to submit a 1-2
page abstract by APRIL 15, 2001, to Susan Herring (
Early abstract submission is encouraged. The abstract should be sent
as a regular e-mail message (not as an attachment). Alternatively,
abstracts may be sent by regular mail to:
	Susan Herring
	Library 011
	Indiana University
	Bloomington, IN 47405 USA
Participants will be expected to submit a full version of their paper
by JUNE 15, 2001.

	How do communication media -- ranging from writing to print to
radio and television to the Internet -- affect the structure and use
of human language over time? How does the increasing availability of
historical records of speech, e.g. via wax cylinders, film, tape
recording, videotape, and computer, potentially change the methods,
assumptions, and findings of historical linguistics? These questions
constitute the dual focus of this workshop. Technologically-mediated
communication will be addressed as a facilitator or inhibitor of
language change, as a site for the emergence and evolution of genres
and linguistic norms, as a vehicle for the diffusion of linguistic
innovation, and as socially and ideologically constructed over time.
Papers may include diachronic studies of language in a particular
medium, synchronic studies of language in a new medium in comparison
with a pre-existing medium, and considerations of the methodological
implications of new media for investigating language change in real or
recent time. A related methodological issue is how new media enable
researchers to construct and analyze linguistic corpora, or constitute
corpora in and of themselves, as is the case for the Internet and the
World Wide Web.

Barry Blake
Conference Organiser

Kate Burridge
Associate Professor, Linguistics
La Trobe University
Bundoora, 3083
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: American Dialect Society/RMMLA

Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2001 22:56:49 EST
From: Glenmtz505 <>
Subject: American Dialect Society/RMMLA


The American Dialect Society is now accepting proposals for papers to be 
delivered at its annual conjoint meeting with the Rocky Mountain Modern 
Language Association. 

The Convention will be held in Vancouver, BC Canada and will run from October 
11 - 13, 2001. 

Papers dealing with any aspect of the dialects of English or other languages 
spoken in the United States will be considered and those dealing with 
Canadian dialects, language contact in Canada, and dialect contact along the 
US/Canada border are especially welcome.

Please send a 150 word abstract by regular mail or e-mail to the address 
listed below no later than March 15, 2001.

Glenn A. Martinez
Department of Modern Languages
The University of Texas at Brownsville
80 Fort Brown
Brownsville, TX 78520 
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue