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LINGUIST List 16.2099

Wed Jul 06 2005

Confs: General Ling/Amsterdam, Netherlands

Editor for this issue: Kevin Burrows <kevinlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Kenny Smith, Language Evolution: Formal Modelling Meets Empirical Data

Message 1: Language Evolution: Formal Modelling Meets Empirical Data
Date: 05-Jul-2005
From: Kenny Smith <kennyling.ed.ac.uk>
Subject: Language Evolution: Formal Modelling Meets Empirical Data

Language Evolution: Formal Modelling Meets Empirical Data

Date: 02-Sep-2005 - 03-Sep-2005
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contact: Kenny Smith
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL: http://staff.science.uva.nl/~jzuidema/LEFE05/

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; General Linguistics; Historical Linguistics

Meeting Description:

Language Evolution: Formal Modelling Meets Empirical Data

Language is a defining characteristic of the human species. Research into the origins and evolution of this capacity has the potential to inform a wide range of disciplines, particularly those concerned with human culture and cognition and the evolutionary forces which act to shape them. Regrettably, theories of the evolution of language have often been speculative in nature. Recently, however, historical and developmental linguists, biologists and comparative psychologists, among others, have begun to test the consistency of such theories with empirical data. Simultaneously, modelling techniques from mathematical biology and computer science have allowed the internal coherence of theories to be more rigorously tested.

''Language Evolution: Formal Modelling Meets Empirical Data'' will highlight and build on these recent and promising developments in evolutionary linguistics, bringing together researchers from linguistics, psychology, biology and computer science, in order to develop novel, synthetic and ultimately testable theories of the evolution of this uniquely human trait.

The workshop will take place on September 2-3 2005, at the University of Amsterdam, and will be organised into four sessions, each lasting half a day. Each session will address a specific theme: (1) the evolution of speech; (2) interactions between learning and evolution; (3) social learning and conventional meaning; (4) the evolution of syntax. Each session will consist of 4 to 6 talks, with a total of 21 invited speakers.

If you want to participate in the symposium, please register online at


There will be a small registration fee payable in cash on arrival, to cover the costs of lunches and refreshments.

Confirmed Speakers:
Joost Beltman (Leiden University)
Rens Bod (ILLC, University of Amsterdam)
Bart de Boer (AI, University of Groningen)
Ted Briscoe (Cambridge University)
Christine Caldwell (University of Stirling)
Carel ten Cate (Behavioural Biology, Leiden University)
Bill Croft (University of Manchester)
Tecumseh Fitch (University of St. Andrews)
Carmel Houston-Price (University of Reading)
Simon Kirby (LEC, University of Edinburgh)
Robert Lachlan (Behavioural Biology, Leiden University)
Pierre-Yves Oudeyer (Sony CSL-Paris)
Asli Özyürek (Radboud University & Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen; Koç University, Istanbul)
Robert van Rooij (ILLC, University of Amsterdam)
Andrew Smith (LEC, University of Edinburgh)
Kenny Smith (LEC, University of Edinburgh)
Arie Verhagen (Leiden University)
Paul Vogt (LEC, University of Edinburgh)
Henk Zeevat (ILLC, University of Amsterdam)
Klaus Zuberbühler (University of St. Andrews)
Jelle Zuidema (ILLC, University of Amsterdam)

Jelle Zuidema (ILLC, University of Amsterdam)
Kenny Smith (LEC, Edinburgh)

The UK-Netherlands Partnership Programme of NWO and the British Council.
The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), University of Amsterdam.

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