LINGUIST List 16.1110

Thu Apr 07 2005

Confs: General Ling/Kenitra, Morocco

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        1.    Marouani Hakima, Current Issues in Comparative Linguistics

Message 1: Current Issues in Comparative Linguistics

Date: 05-Apr-2005
From: Marouani Hakima <>
Subject: Current Issues in Comparative Linguistics

Fund Drive 2005 is now on! Visit to donate now!
Current Issues in Comparative Linguistics

Date: 25-May-2005 - 25-May-2005
Location: Kenitra, Morocco
Contact: Marouani Hakima
Contact Email:

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Meeting Description:

The 1st linguistic seminar organized by Arabic and Dialectal UFR.

University of Ibn Tofail
Faculty of Letters and Humanities in Kenitra
UFR: Arabic and Dialectal Linguistics

The first linguistic seminar

Arabic and Dialectal linguistics UFR organizes a linguistic seminar in the
faculty of letters and humanities in the 25th of May 2005 in Kenitra about:

Current Issues in Comparative Linguistics

Generative linguistics is based on the assumption that natural languages are
uniform in their properties since they are all based on the principles of
Universal Grammar. The latter are in turn determined by the human linguistic
mental organ. In addition to universal principles, there are parameters with
unmarked values which languages mark according to their particular linguistic
data. The difference in parametric values' marking is what causes linguistic
variation. Accordingly, the best knowledge of structure and meaning of a
specific language requires its comparison with other languages, in order to
determine what is part of universal grammar, and what is part of particular
grammar that is governed by universal principles. Within this framework,
language typology is essentially based on principles and parameters.

At the phonological level, comparative studies have revealed that human sounds'
set of phonological features are parameterized in syllabic structure differently
from one language to another. For instance, English and French allow the
occurrence of a consonant in the onset, a property that is not attested in
Arabic. Furthermore, sonorant consonants may constitute syllabic peaks in
English, an option that is banned from Arabic.

At the semantic level, studies have stated that many aspects of meaning are
uniform across languages at the conceptual structure level. They have also shown
that there is only one language at logical form. The difference lies in the
morpho-syntactic features of meaning. Therefore, research must be undertaken to
look for the manners in which structures differ to express these meanings.

Syntactic studies have demonstrated that structure of clauses is uniform across
languages; the difference in word order is solely ascribed to the properties of
the morphological features of functional categories.

Along with this theoretical context, the linguistic seminar seeks to deal with
syntactic, morphological, phonological, and lexical phenomena by comparing
different natural languages be it national or others. The participants in this
seminar are scholars from Moroccan universities and institutions.

The application forms of participation in this seminar are to be sent before the
30th of April, accompanied by an abstract about the contribution in Arabic,
French, or English to the following e-mail or mailing address:

Seminar of: Current Issues in Comparative Linguistics

Department of Arabic Language and Literature

Faculty of Letters and Humanities

- P.O.Box.401, Kenitra, Morocco
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