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LINGUIST List 18.3527

Mon Nov 26 2007

Confs: General Linguistics, Mande/Russia

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        1.    Valentin Vydrin, The 2nd International Conference on Mande languages

Message 1: The 2nd International Conference on Mande languages
Date: 24-Nov-2007
From: Valentin Vydrin <vydrinehotmail.com>
Subject: The 2nd International Conference on Mande languages
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The 2nd International Conference on Mande Languages
Short Title: MandeL-II

Date: 15-Sep-2008 - 17-Sep-2008
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Contact: Maria Konoshenko
Contact Email: eleiteriagmail.com

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Language Family(ies): Mande
Meeting Description:

The Conference is Organized by the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography
(Russian Academy of Sciences). Full range of topics concerning Mande language
family (Niger-Congo) will be discussed.

The Department of Africa at the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Russian
Academy of Sciences) announces
The 2nd International Conference
Mande Languages and Linguistics
which is scheduled to take place on September 15 to 17, 2008 in St. Petersburg

Since the first conference that took place in 1989 in Paris, the field of Mande
language studies has changed enormously. The amount of knowledge about the
languages of the family has increased considerably. A shift of interest to small
languages can be observed. For example, research on small and hitherto little
known Southern Mande languages in Ivory Coast, was realized as a Russian/Swiss
joint research project financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation over
two periods (2000-2004, 2005-2008). Great progress has been achieved in every
branch of linguistic theory in relation to the languages of the family. It is
time for the Mandeist linguists to meet and to strike the balance of two decades
of hard work.

We invite specialists in all Mande languages, of any generation, from any
country, of any theoretical persuasion, to participate in the Conference. We
invite also specialists in the languages of other families with long-established
contacts with Mande languages to take part in the Conference in order to discuss
external links of the Mande language family.

The work of the Conference will proceed in the form of both regular panel
sessions and round table discussions. The panel sessions can be organized
according to ''traditional'' lines (''Phonology'', ''Morphology'', ''Syntax'',
''Discourse study'', ''Lexicology and lexicography'', ''Comparative historical
studies'', ''Sociolinguistics'', etc.). However, initiatives to organize panels
on more special topics are also welcome. The final list of panels will be
established on account of the initiatives of the participants.

Round tables will deal with topics on open questions, both theoretical and
practical. Very preliminarily, we could suggest the following subjects as round
table topics:

Internal and external classification of the Mande languages
The areal and the genetic in Mande languages
Grammatical and lexical tones
Insights on/from South Mande languages phonology/tonology and their Relevance to
Mande comparative studies
Perspectives of ''Mandenkan'', currently sole periodical of the community of
Mande linguists

All participants are invited to express their opinion on the relevance of the
topics suggested for the round-table discussion, and to suggest other topics.
The final list of round-table subjects will be established in accordance with
this informal ''vote'' of the participants.

The working languages of the Conference will be English and French.
It is intended to publish a volume of the proceedings of the Conference (either
a special issue of Mandenkan or a separate publication).

The following deadlines are proposed:
March 31: Proposal of panels.
April 30: Submission of paper proposals to the panel chairs and to the organizers.
May 31: Proposal of topics for round-tables.

Everybody is invited to express as early as possible one's willingness (or
unwillingness) to participate in the Conference.

To visit Russia, non-Russian nationals will need to obtain a visa. We can send
you an official invitation that will serve you a ground for obtaining the visa.
For the citizens of the Schengen states, the procedure is now rather easy (and a
visa for those who travel for academic purposes must be free of charge). Please,
inform us in advance if you need an invitation for your visa; we'll give further

Finances: An application for sponsorship was submitted to the ''Russian
Foundation for Human Studies'' (RGNF), the result will be known by March-April
2008. Unfortunately, according to the regulations of the RGNF, its grants cannot
be spent for the travel costs and accommodation of foreign participants, but it
will relieve us of the necessity to establish a participation fee.

The organizers will do their best to find good and relatively inexpensive
accommodation facilities (St. Petersburg is not a cheap city, so, one should
count on the fares of the range of 50 Euro per night).

As for the cheap travels, one should take into account a possibility to fly to
Helsinki with Finnair (this Summer, there were tickets to most European capitals
for about 200 Euro to and fro, if bought in advance), then a mini-bus for 20 to
30 Euro to St. Petersburg (about 6 hours ride).

Please, for any question concerning the Second International Conference on Mande
Languages and Linguistics, address Maria Konoshenko, eleiteriagmail.com.

You may also write to Valentin Vydrin (vydrineyandex.ru or vydrinehotmail.com).

If you do not receive any answer in 3-4 days, it means that your message or our
answer has been lost by the server; in this case, please, repeat the message.

We are looking forward for your reaction to this call and we hope to see you all
in September 2008 in St. Petersburg.

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