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LINGUIST List 17.2362

Mon Aug 21 2006

Calls: General Ling/Netherlands

Editor for this issue: Dan Parker <danlinguistlist.org>


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        1.    Charlotte Gooskens, The Intelligibility of Closely Related Languages


Message 1: The Intelligibility of Closely Related Languages
Date: 21-Aug-2006
From: Charlotte Gooskens <c.s.gooskensrug.nl>
Subject: The Intelligibility of Closely Related Languages


Full Title: The Intelligibility of Closely Related Languages

Date: 02-Apr-2007 - 03-Apr-2007
Location: Groningen, Netherlands
Contact Person: Charlotte Gooskens
Meeting Email: c.s.gooskensrug.nl
Web Site: http://www.let.rug.nl/~gooskens/intelligibility

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Call Deadline: 01-Oct-2006

Meeting Description:

The theme of this workshop is the intelligibility of closely related languages.
Focus will be on the relevance of different linguistic factors. The workshop
takes place at the launch of the research program Linguistic determinants of
mutual intelligibility in Scandinavia, which is funded by the Netherlands
Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The workshop intends to bring
together researchers studying intelligibility from the perspective of second
language acquisition, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, phonetics and
dialectometry to get an overview of the experience acquired with different
methods and to exchange ideas on fruitful avenues for future research. Questions
to be addressed are the following:

How can intelligibility between closely related languages be measured?

Which linguistic factors determine intelligibility?

How can these linguistic factors be measured quantitatively?

Background:

Most individuals have to invest considerable time and effort to master a
language other than their mother tongue. However, some genetically related
languages are so similar in terms of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation that
speakers of one language can to a certain extent understand the other language
without prior instructions. Speakers of such languages are able to communicate
without a lingua franca or without one speaker using the language of the other.
This type of interaction, which is referred to with terms such as
'semicommunication' (Haugen 1966) or 'receptive multilingualism' (Braunmüller
and Zeevaert 2001), has many advantages, in any case on the production side.
People usually find it easier to express themselves in their mother tongue than
in a later acquired second or foreign language. Research into receptive
multilingualism has a long tradition and different methods have been applied for
measuring the degree of intelligibility. However, the study of linguistic
factors that determine the level of understanding has received little attention.
What, for example, is the relative contribution of consonantal differences
versus vocalic differences? Are insertions of consonants more disruptive than
deletions? Do lay people have clear intuition of the plausibility of various
sound correspondences? What is the effect on intelligibility of prosodic
differences?

Workshop format:

The workshop will begin on Monday before lunch and end in the late afternoon on
Tuesday. The number of papers will be limited in order to leave plenty of time
for discussion. On Monday evening there will be a conference dinner.

Important dates:

Submission of abstracts: 1 October 2006
Notification: 15 November 2006
Final programme: 1 February 2007
Workshop dates: 2 and 3 April 2007

Workshop organizers:

Renée van Bezooijen (Radboud University Nijmegen)
Gerard Doetjes (University of Hamburg)
Charlotte Gooskens (University of Groningen)
Sebastian Kürschner (University of Freiburg)
Jens Moberg (University of Groningen)
Anja Schüppert (University of Groningen)
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