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LINGUIST List 18.2926

Sun Oct 07 2007

Confs: General Linguistics/USA

Editor for this issue: Stephanie Morse <morselinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Naonori Nagaya, 12th Biennial Rice University Symposium on Language

Message 1: 12th Biennial Rice University Symposium on Language
Date: 07-Oct-2007
From: Naonori Nagaya <nagayarice.edu>
Subject: 12th Biennial Rice University Symposium on Language
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12th Biennial Rice University Symposium on Language

Date: 27-Mar-2008 - 29-Mar-2008
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Contact: Matt Shibatani
Meeting URL: http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~eivs/sympo/

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Meeting Description:

The 12th Biennial Rice University Symposium on Language, co-organized
by Matt Shibatani (Rice University) and T. Givón (University of Oregon),
will be held in the Farnsworth Pavilion of the Ley Student Center on March
27th-29th, 2008. The topic of the symposium is 'the genesis of syntactic

The topic-''The genesis of syntactic complexity''-in part builds on the
success of the 11th biennial symposium on complex verb constructions and
explores the genesis and nature of syntactic complexity from an
interdisciplinary perspective. Structural complexity may be defined broadly
as the ''chunking'' of linear-sequential structure into hierarchic one (cf.
Herbert A. Simon 1962 ''The architecture of complexity''). The creation of
such hierarchic structure is a common process language shares with motor
control, vision, memory, and music. It is often associated with the move
from attended to automated processing. Our symposium will focus on one
particular type of syntactic complexity, that of clauses ('propositions')
embedded inside other clauses-under a unified intonation contour. We
examine two syntactic domains in which such embedding structures are
generally found to cluster: (i) in the verb phrase (complex predicates,
clause-union, verb complementation), and (ii) in the noun phrase (relative
clauses and noun complementation). The symposium will concern itself
primarily with the genesis of these complex structures, comparing the three
main developmental trends of language: Diachrony, child language
development, and evolution. For all three, we will explore the linguistic,
cognitive, neurological and biological aspects of the genesis and
development of complex syntax. The symposium is open to the public.

Further information will be posted shortly in the webpage:


1. Diachronic development:
B. Heine (Koeln) & T. Kouteva (Duesseldorf)
A. Pawley (Canberra)
O. Dahl (Stockholm)
G. Deutscher (Leiden)
M. Mithun (Santa Barbara)
C. Bowern (Rice)
M. Hilpert & C. Koops (Rice)
M. Shibatani (Rice)
T. Givón (Oregon)

2. Child development:
H. Diessel (Jena)
C. Rojas (UNAM)
T. Givón (Oregon)

3. Cognitive and & neurological aspects:
B. MacWhinney (CMU)
D. Fernandez-Duque (Villanova)
F. Pulvermuller (Cambridge)
E. Pederson & M. Barker (Oregon)
D. Tucker (Oregon)

4. Biology and evolution:
D. Bickerton (Hawaii)
N. Tublitz (Oregon)

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