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LINGUIST List 17.1661

Thu Jun 01 2006

Confs: Historical Ling/Leipzig, Germany

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        1.    Alena Witzlack-Makarevich, Historical Linguistics and Hunter-Gatherer Populations


Message 1: Historical Linguistics and Hunter-Gatherer Populations
Date: 30-May-2006
From: Alena Witzlack-Makarevich <witzlackeva.mpg.de>
Subject: Historical Linguistics and Hunter-Gatherer Populations



Historical Linguistics and Hunter-Gatherer Populations
Short Title: HGW2006


Date: 10-Aug-2006 - 12-Aug-2006
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Contact: Claudia Schmidt
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL: http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/HunterGathererWorkshop2006

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics

Meeting Description:

Topics to be discussed:
- Are there special social practices of hunter-gatherers which are relevant for historical linguistics?
- What are the patterns of language contact among hunter-gatherer populations and how do these influence language change in them?
- What is the typological profile of areas which predominantly consist of different hunter-gatherer language families?
- Can linguistic elements (e.g., vocabulary) be linked with archaeological signatures?
- What are the patterns of language contact of hunter-gatherers with food producing colonizers?
- What are the circumstances of language shift of hunter-gatherers towards languages of their food-producing neighbors?
- Can hunter-gatherer substrates be identified in other linguistic populations who have incorporated hunter-gatherers?
- Are there cases where a formerly food-producing population seems to have acquired a hunter-gatherer subsistence secondarily and what can we learn from them?
- What is the world-wide distribution of language families whose populations are predominantly/ exclusively hunter-gatherers?

Topics

1. Internal historical aspects

- What is the demographic range of hunter-gatherer speech communities?
- Are there special social practices of hunter-gatherers which are relevant for historical linguistics, e.g., linguistic avoidance, social networks transcending language groups, linguistic exogamy, lack of reference varieties and/or reinforcement of linguistic norms?
- What are the patterns of language contact among hunter-gatherer populations and how do these influence language change in them?
- What can be discerned from attested language spreads of hunter- gatherer populations in terms of their historical triggers, underlying social processes, speed, geographical patterns (e.g., correlating with ecological zones), degree of language replacement, etc.?
- What is the range of genealogical diversification in hunter- gatherer language families?
- What are the different patterns of language densities and by what are they determined (e.g., ecological factors etc.)?
- What is the typological profile of areas which predominantly consist of different hunter-gatherer language families (e.g., southern Africa, Australia, Bering Strait, Gran Chaco)?
- What are the differences between non-sedentary~low density and sedentary~high density hunter-gatherer groups?
- Can linguistic elements (e.g., vocabulary) be linked with archaeological signatures?

2. External historical aspects

- What are the patterns of language contact of hunter-gatherers with food producing colonizers (e.g., kind and stability of clientship, etc.)?
- What is the time depth of the earliest contact with food producing colonizers in a certain area?
- Are there differences in contact patterns of hunter-gatherers with agriculturalists vs. pastoralists?
- What are the circumstances of language shift of hunter-gatherers towards languages of their food-producing neighbors (e.g., Okiek, Pygmy, San, Dama, Negrito, Vedda) and do these target languages still betray linguistic traces of their substratum?
- Can hunter-gatherer substrates be identified in other linguistic populations who have incorporated hunter-gatherers?
- Are there cases where a formerly food-producing population (speaking a language of such a group) seems to have acquired a hunter-gatherer subsistence secondarily (e.g., Mlabri) and what can we learn from them?

3. Global geographical patterns

- What is the world-wide distribution of language families whose populations are predominantly/ exclusively hunter-gatherers?
- Are there cases of hunter-gatherer populations with a coastal/seafaring rather than a terrestrial orientation?
- In the case that hunter-gatherers had a profound substrate influence on the first food-producing colonizers on a wider scale, is there any chance to correlate modern areal patterns with the global typological profile before the spread of food production?


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