LINGUIST List 13.727

Mon Mar 18 2002

Confs: Lang and the Senses

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  1. Martina Pluemacher, Conference Announcement

Message 1: Conference Announcement

Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2002 19:34:05 +0100 (CET)
From: Martina Pluemacher <>
Subject: Conference Announcement

Conference Announcement:

How can language cope with colour and smell?
26th to 28th September 2002
University of Bremen

How can sensory phenomena like smell or colour be grasped by
linguistic categories, if these phenomena are to a great deal
subjected to independent cognitive (non-linguistic) categorisation
processes? What transformations (distortions), what gain or loss does
the heterogeneity of different levels of categorisation imply?

The first workshop deals with the problematic correlation between the
quasi-continuous organisation of colour and smell perception and the
discrete, strongly combinatory structure of language. The comparison
between linguistic and non-linguistic coding of smell and colour
perception is especially interesting from the following two
perspectives: The cortical processing of smell and colour perception
is organised differently - whereas colour perception is cortically
processed by functional discrete units, the smell system can be
described as a dynamic system whose organisation is chaotic. In order
to describe colours, relational order systems (e.g. colour circles)
have been established within the scientific domain of history of art
and culture, which make it easier to talk about colour phenomena. In
contrast, several terminological systems for the classification of
smells that have been established through the centuries, diverge
tremendously. So, it can be suggested that smell just refuses to be
categorised in a traditional way of classification (based on
Aristotelian classification principles). An alternative approach to
the topic might involve semantic analysis based on prototypes. An
interdisciplinary discours between linguists, semioticians,
neurobiologists, psychologists, philosophers and theorists of art may
hopefully be able to show a way, how comparative studies on this topic
may proceed terminologically and methodologically.

List of speakers

1. Prof. Dr. Per-Aage Brandt, University of Aarhus/DK,
 Center for Semiotisk Forskning

2. Dr. Dr. Daniele Dubois, Directeur de Recherche au
 Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques, Paris/F

3. Prof. Dr. Manfred Fahle, University of Bremen/GER, Human

4. Prof. Walter Freeman (M.D.), University of California at
 Berkeley/U.S., Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

5. Dr. Dietfried Gerhardus, University of the
 Saarland/GER, Institute of Philosophy

6. Peter Holz (M.A.), University of Bremen/GER, Studies in
 Semiotics/Department of Languages and Literature

7. Prof. Dr. Paul Kay, University of California
 Berkeley/GER, Department of Linguistics

8. PD Dr. Martina Pluemacher, University of Bremen/GER,
 Studies in Semiotics/Department of Languages and

9. Prof. Dr. Michael Stadler, University of Bremen/GER,
 Institute for Psychology and Cognitive Research

10. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wildgen, University of Bermen/GER,
 Studies in Semiotics/Department of Languages and

11. Prof. Dr. Siegfried Wyler, University of St. Gallen/CH,
 Department of Cultural Studies

12. Prof. Gesualdo Zucco, University of Padua/I, General

Call for Papers:
Abstract proposals (max. 1 page A4) can be handed in until 30th May 2002.

A participation fee of 25,- Euro will be raised.

Organisation team:
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wildgen, PD Dr. Martina Pluemacher, Andrea Graumann
(M.A.), Peter Holz (M.A.)

Registration via e-mail:
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wildgen
University Bremen - Studies in Semiotics (SIS)
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