LINGUIST List 15.2390

Thu Aug 26 2004

FYI: Variation in Language Workshop/Norway

Editor for this issue: Naomi Fox <>


  1. curt.rice, Variation in Language Course/Workshop

Message 1: Variation in Language Course/Workshop

Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 01:04:44 -0400 (EDT)
From: curt.rice <>
Subject: Variation in Language Course/Workshop

Variation in Language

Date: 04-Oct-2004 - 08-Oct-2004
Location: University of Troms�, Norway
Contact: Curt Rice
Contact Email: curt.ricehum.uit.no20
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Sub-field: Phonology, Sociolinguistics, Syntax

Meeting Description:

A course and workshop on Variation in Language will be hosted by the
Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical Linguistics (CASTL), with
co-financing from the Nasjonalt forskerutdanningsutvalg for
historisk-filosofiske fag. Teaching will be from Monday-Thursday,
October 4-7, and a workshop will be held on Friday, October 8th. The
course teachers are Marc van Oostendorp (Meertens) and David Adger
(Queen Mary). Invited speakers for the Workshop are Jen Smith (York)
and �ystein Vangsnes (Troms�).

Professor Adger's course will look at syntactic variation,
specifically focussing on variation within a speech community and
within an individual. We will see how sociolinguists have tried to
deal with such variation, and why generative syntacticians have often
stayed away from it. We will look at whether this kind of variation
should be modelled within a grammar, and if so, how. Much of the data
will be from varieties of English, but we will also draw upon
variation in other languages.

Professor van Oostendorp's course starts with the observation that
variation seems to be an inherent property of any human language: no
community is completely homogenous, and even every individual human
being seems to master more than one style of speech. This course
addresses the topic of language variation in phonology, mainly from
the perspective of Optimality Theory. We distinguish between three
types of variation: intraspeaker variation (style levels,
multilingualism), interspeaker variation (social variation correlated
to age, social class, etc.) and 'free' variation. We discuss how each
of these types of variation can be modelled, drawing facts from
varieties of German, Italian, Finnish, Greek and other (mainly
European) languages. We also address the question of how theoretical
phonology relates to neighbouring disciplines, such as dialectology
and sociolinguistics.

On Friday, we will be hosting a Workshop on Variation, with invited
speakers Jen Smith (York) and �ystein Vangsnes (Troms�). We invite
participants in the course and others to indicate an interest in
presenting at this workshop by sending an email to

Course credit is available for participants, although no travel
support is available.

REGISTRATION: Please check the course webpage again after September 1,
to register your intention to participate.
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