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LINGUIST List 18.2894

Thu Oct 04 2007

Calls: Socioling/USA; General,Historical Ling,Linguistic Theories/UK

Editor for this issue: Ania Kubisz <anialinguistlist.org>


As a matter of policy, LINGUIST discourages the use of abbreviations or acronyms in conference announcements unless they are explained in the text. To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at http://linguistlist.org/LL/posttolinguist.html.
Directory
        1.    Juan Antonio Thomas, 4th International Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics
        2.    Gunther De Vogelaer, Dialects as a Testing Ground for Theories of Change


Message 1: 4th International Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics
Date: 02-Oct-2007
From: Juan Antonio Thomas <wss4albany.edu>
Subject: 4th International Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics
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Full Title: 4th International Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics
Short Title: WSS4

Date: 17-Apr-2008 - 18-Apr-2008
Location: Albany, New York, USA
Contact Person: Juan Antonio Thomas
Meeting Email: wss4albany.edu
Web Site: http://www.albany.edu/~jt0048/wss4.html

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

Subject Language(s): Spanish (spa)

Call Deadline: 30-Nov-2007

Meeting Description

The 4th International Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics (WSS4) will be held
at the University at Albany on April 17 and 18, 2008.

Fourth International Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics

April 17-18, 2008

University of Albany, State University of New York, Albany NY

Keynote speaker:
Shana Poplack (University of Ottawa)

Invited speakers:
José Luis Blas Arroyo (Universitat Jaume I)
Gregory Guy (New York University)
Jonathan Holmquist (Temple University)

Second Call for Papers

Abstract Deadline: November 30, 2007

The 4th International Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics (WSS4) will be held
at the University at Albany on April 17 and 18, 2008. Abstracts for
presentations based on original sociolinguistic research analyzing Spanish data
or data from contact situations between Spanish and other languages are
requested for 20 minute presentations and poster sessions. Abstracts should be
attached to an email message sent to the following address (wss4albany.edu);
they must be anonymous and should not exceed 500 words in length. Papers and
presentations can be delivered in Spanish or English. Please include the name
and the affiliation of the author(s) in the body of the email message. Authors
should indicate whether they would like to be considered for a presentation,
poster, or both. The deadline for abstract submission is November 30, 2007.
Notice of acceptance or rejection will be sent shortly thereafter. Selected
papers will be published by Cascadilla Proceedings Project.
Message 2: Dialects as a Testing Ground for Theories of Change
Date: 01-Oct-2007
From: Gunther De Vogelaer <gunther.devogelaerugent.be>
Subject: Dialects as a Testing Ground for Theories of Change
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Full Title: Dialects as a Testing Ground for Theories of Change

Date: 04-Aug-2008 - 08-Aug-2008
Location: Leeds, United Kingdom
Contact Person: Gunther De Vogelaer
Meeting Email: gunther.devogelaerugent.be

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Linguistic
Theories

Call Deadline: 01-Dec-2007

Meeting Description
Much theorizing in language change research is made without taking into account
dialect data. However, we believe that the study of dialect variation has the
potential to play a central role in the process of finding answers to the
fundamental questions of theoretical historical linguistics. Unlike most
cross-linguistic and diachronic data, dialect data are unusually high in
resolution, and they seem to be superior data to build a theory of linguistic
change on.
In the present one-day workshop we invite contributions which relate a clearly
formulated theoretical question of historical linguistic interest with a
well-defined, solid empirical base. The following provides a (non-exhaustive)
list of suggested research questions:
- Which is the contribution of current linguistic theory for the explanation of
spatial variation and variant spread?
- Which is the contribution of dialect data for the further development of
theories of linguistic change?
- What are the driving forces of variant selection? Are these factors social or
linguistic?
- Is variation the result or the cause of change, or both?

We welcome papers dealing with all domains of grammar (phonology, morphology,
syntax, semantics), and we intend to cover a wide variety of languages. In
particular, we encourage papers adopting a dialect geographical approach.

In recent years, historical linguists have highlighted the importance of
grammatical variation and variant spread for our understanding of the
fundamental mechanisms of linguistic change. Many approaches distinguish between
the emergence of novel variants vs. the selection of variants in the course of
speakers' use (cf., e.g., Weinreich, Labov & Herzog's 1968 distinction between
the 'actuation' and 'transition problem'). This is most obvious in evolutionary
inspired approaches. But the perhaps most central ingredient of a model for
linguistic change is still relatively little understood, and therefore
controversial: Which factors are responsible for variant selection and spread?
For instance, Croft (2000) assumes language-internal factors to be relevant only
for the emergence of novel variants, but variant selection is claimed to be
guided exclusively by social, extra-linguistic factors. Others (Haspelmath 1999,
Seiler 2005, De Vogelaer 2006) have claimed that language-internal factors play
a role in variant selection, too.

Much theorizing in language change research is made without taking into account
dialect data. However, we believe that the study of dialect variation has the
potential to play a central role in the process of finding answers to the
fundamental questions of theoretical historical linguistics. Unlike most
cross-linguistic and diachronic data, dialect data are unusually high in
resolution. In addition, they seem to be superior data to build a theory of
linguistic change on, for a couple of reasons: First, dialects are relatively
free of standardization and therefore more tolerant against variant competition
in grammar. Second, variants gradually spread not only on the temporal, but also
on the spatial dimension. By a careful study of subtle dialect differences in
space we therefore might expect to uncover the minimal differences of
implementational steps that have taken place in the course of linguistic
history. Dialectology indeed seems to be privileged to find answers for a number
of questions raised by modern theories of linguistic change, and thus has a rare
chance to play a leading role in the further development of linguistic theory,
historical linguistics and language typology (see Kortmann 2002, Horvath 2004,
and Filppula et al. 2005:vii for similar observations). Furthermore, we think it
is the right time for dialectologists to engage in debates on variation and
change since there are several large research projects on dialect variation
being conducted in a number of European countries (see Barbiers, van der Ham,
Koeneman & Lekakou, to appear, for an overview; cf. also the recently launched
website http://www.dialectsyntax.org/).

In particular, we encourage papers adopting a dialect geographical approach.
Additional questions that emerge when taking a dialect geographical approach
have to do with the existence of transitional zones, where competing variants
co-occur. This poses a potential problem for many models of grammar: what does
the existence of transitional zones mean for our modeling of linguistic
competence, i.e., can the linguistic competence of individuals living in
transitional zones best be described in terms of competing grammars, the
interaction of categorical rules or constraints, or do we need a probabilistic
model? Other relevant questions include the following:
- Do geolinguistic data provide evidence for and/or against particular models of
change?
- What can we conclude from the mechanisms of variant spread with regard to our
understanding of linguistic competence?
- Can we find a speaker-based explanation for the fact that some variants spread
at the expense of others?

Organizers
Gunther De Vogelaer (FWO Flanders / Ghent), Guido Seiler (Konstanz / Zurich)

Publication
Since it is our intention to publish a volume with papers from the section, we
will prefer unpublished research over papers presenting data that have been
published elsewhere.

Format
Presentations are allotted 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion. Abstracts
should be as specific as possible, with a statement of topic, approach and
conclusions, and may be at most 400 words (not including data and references,
which may be placed on an optional second page). Please submit your abstract
anonymously as an email attachment (only Microsoft Word or PDF formats) to
Gunther De Vogelaer (gunther.devogelaerugent.be) or Guido Seiler
(gseilerds.unizh.ch). The body text of the email message must contain the
following information:
(1) paper title
(2) name(s) of author(s)
(3) affiliation(s) of author(s)
(4) address where notification of acceptance should be sent
(5) phone number for each author
(6) email address for each author
(7) subfield (syntax, phonology, etc.)

Important Dates
The submission deadline is December 1st, 2007. Notification of acceptance will
be sent by January 20th, 2008.



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