LINGUIST List 13.1522

Fri May 24 2002

Calls: Linguistic Evidence, General Ling

Editor for this issue: Renee Galvis <>

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  1. Martina Penke, CALL for papers
  2. Karl Bernhardt, Journal of Language and Linguistics

Message 1: CALL for papers

Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 15:32:12 +0200
From: Martina Penke <>
Subject: CALL for papers


The 25th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Linguistics (DGfS)
in Munich (February 26 - 28, 2003) Sprache, Wissen, Wissenschaft
(Language, Knowledge, Science) will feature a workshop on


The investigation of linguistic competence is one of the major goals
of linguistic enquiry. Competence, however, is a 'black box' and
cannot be assessed directly; it can only be empirically investigated
on the basis of performance data. Performance data stem from different
sources: corpus data, typological data, psycho-/neurolinguistic data
(e.g. experiments, data from aphasia and/or language acquisition),
historical data, introspection, and computer simulations. However,
whether and how such diverse types of data should be considered and
evaluated is controversial. So, for example, in theoretical accounts
we can often encounter the position that theoretical linguists are
dealing with competence, while applied linguists can only make
statements about performance. Accordingly, data from the applied
disciplines (as e.g. experimental evidence) is often not accepted as
counter-evidence for theoretical approaches. In contrast,
psycho-/neurolinguists often claim that only their data can provide
genuine evidence for the 'psychological reality' of linguistic
representations, while theoretical models are regarded as mere
constructs. Another relevant issue is how much counter-evidence it
takes to falsify a theory. For example, is one experiment sufficient?
How many counter-examples are necessary to show that a hypothesis has
to be modified? One recent example for this problem can be observed
from recent discussions on the hypothesis of unidirectionality in the
framework of grammaticalization, which predicts that changes proceed
in a certain direction but not vice versa. Although a number of
counter-examples have been reported, it is disputed how these are to
be interpreted: while some linguists argue that one counter-example
proves unidirectionality to be wrong; others maintain that these
statistically very rare counter-examples are to be neglected in the
light of overwhelming evidence in favour of unidirectionality.

The goal of this workshop is to discuss what counts as evidence in
linguistics. We invite papers (20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion)
from all linguistic disciplines which contribute to this issue. Papers
could, for example, address the following questions: What type of
evidence counts in linguistics? Do theoretical linguists have a
privileged access to competence? And can theoretical linguists claim
that their models reflect (psychological) reality? How is empirical
evidence to be used? For example, how much evidence is necessary to
reject a hypothesis?

Abstracts should not exceed one page (12-point font, 2.5 cm/1 inch
margins). We strongly encourage electronic submission as ASCII-Text or
MS-WORD document.


Please send your abstract to
Martina Penke, Institut fuer Sprache und Information (Abt. Allgemeine 
Heinrich Heine Universitaet, Universitaetsstr. 1, D-40225 Duesseldorf,
phone: +49-211-81-12925
fax: +49-211-81-11325

or to
Anette Rosenbach, Dept. of English Language and Linguistics
Heinrich Heine Universitaet, Universitaetsstr. 1, D-40225 Duesseldorf,
phone: +49-211-81-13774
fax +49-211-81-13026

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Message 2: Journal of Language and Linguistics

Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 14:59:14 +0100
From: Karl Bernhardt <>
Subject: Journal of Language and Linguistics


The Journal of Language and Linguistics is seeking contributions for
July and October issues in all areas of language and linguistics.
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