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LINGUIST List 18.880

Fri Mar 23 2007

Calls: Gen Ling/Netherlands;Neuroling/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.    Ans van Kemenade, Transmission and Diffusion
        2.    Kate Dobson, Association of Latinoamerican Linguistics


Message 1: Transmission and Diffusion
Date: 21-Mar-2007
From: Ans van Kemenade <A.v.Kemenadelet.ru.nl>
Subject: Transmission and Diffusion


Full Title: Transmission and Diffusion

Date: 17-Jan-2008 - 19-Jan-2008
Location: Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
Contact Person: Ans van Kemenade
Meeting Email: tranmission.diffusionlet.ru.nl

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Call Deadline: 01-Sep-2007

Meeting Description
The title 'Transmission and Diffusion' is inspired by Labov's recent paper in
which he attempts to fit together the family tree model of language change with
the wave model into a general framework based on changes in language learning
ability across the lifespan. The general argument is that the divergence of
branches of family tree is based on the stable transmission of language
structure from adults to children, and the incrementation of change in progress
by children. The diffusion of language contact across branches of the tree is
primarily the work of adults who do not preserve structural conditions with the
same fidelity (as adult second language learning is to varying degrees
imperfect), which accounts for the limitations on borrowing of structure.
The theme of the conference can be approached on various levels of scale.
- the macro-level of (sub-)continental transmission and diffusion patterns, as
in historical-comparative work on larger language families such as Amerind,
Austronesian and Trans-New Guinea Phylum, or Semitic within Afro-Asiatic
- the meso-level of language contact, acquisition, and pidgin and creole studies
- the micro-level of more fine-grained (historical) dialectological research,
e.g. within the Germanic language area

Labov illustrates the issues of divergence of branches of family tree by case
studies on recent and ongoing changes in the sound system of North-eastern
American city dialects based on the American Dialect Atlas. The overall model
proposed opens a number of perspectives and at the same time raises a number of
interesting larger questions that set the theme for this conference.

We welcome theoretically informed papers on the following intersecting issues
and perspectives:

- Issues of convergence vs. divergence: the view that incrementation of change
in progress by children is primarily responsible for divergence is relatively
well-supported by the shape of the Indo-European family tree. Is the converse
also possible, i.e. can relative homogeneity within language branches arise out
of original diversity by convergence fuelled by incrementation during first
language learning? Such questions can be approached on various scales: the
perspective might span the time frame involved in the shaping of a language
family tree, but is equally useful when considering the level of dialects,
dialect contact resulting from urbanization and so on. Case studies on the role
of first and second language learning in convergence and divergence are
especially welcome, particularly if they move beyond the realm of sound
correspondences and address topics in morpho-syntax as well.
- Questions concerning processes involved in first language learning and second
language learning: why should first language learning necessarily lead to
incrementation of change in progress? One issue with respect to second language
learning is whether more drastic language contact and less drastic dialect
contact involve the same kinds of processes.
- Evidence for first and second language learning, or: making the best of bad
data (another notion coined by Labov). There is recent major progress in
quantitative research tools tracking down relatively diffuse patterns in
historical data, concerning phonological as well as morpho-syntactic diversity.
Thus, it is now possible to distinguish typical effects of first and of second
language learning, even at considerable historical depth, and including
grammatical properties. As a result, sophisticated quantitative methodologies
are rapidly being developed to allow more refined research into language/dialect
relationships resulting from transmission and/or diffusion than has hitherto
been possible. As a research tool, such methodologies may cut both ways: they
may serve to separate the effects of stable transmission and of diffusion
through language contact in histories of language families; on the other hand,
they may help in tracing deeper relationships that may exist with isolated
languages that seem typologically remote. Similarly, such methodologies may
serve to reveal the superficially rather diffuse effects of dialect contact in
situations of urbanization such as arose in Western Europe during the late
Middle Ages. Case studies developing and using such research tools based on
historical corpora and on typological databases are particularly invited.

Invited speakers
Lyle Campbell (Utah)
Russell Gray (Auckland)
William Labov (Penn)
April McMahon (Edinburgh)
J├╝rgen Meisel (Hamburg)
Jonathan Owens (Maryland)
Fred Weerman (Amsterdam)
Donald Winford (Ohio)

Abstracts are solicited for 45 minute papers (including 10 minutes discussion).
Please send in an abstract of max. one page, single spaced, Times New Roman pt.
12 or equivalent font (excluding references). Abstracts should be sent by 1
September 2007 to transmission.diffusionlet.ru.nl. Notification of acceptance
can be expected by 15 October 2007.

The conference is organised by the research programme Language in Time and Space
at the Centre for Language Studies (CLS) Radboud University Nijmegen,
Netherlands, (http://www.ru.nl/cls/). This group comprises researchers in
various departments in the Radboud Faculty of Arts and at the Max Planck
Institute, Nijmegen. Working on a variety of languages, they share a common
interest in the forces that shape various types of language variation and
change, with a strong methodological commitment.
Message 2: Association of Latinoamerican Linguistics
Date: 20-Mar-2007
From: Kate Dobson <kate.dobsonling-phil.ox.ac.uk>
Subject: Association of Latinoamerican Linguistics



Full Title: Association of Latinoamerican Linguistics
Short Title: ALFAL-NE

Date: 21-Jun-2007 - 22-Jun-2007
Location: Oxford Oxon, United Kingdom
Contact Person: Paloma Garcia-Bellido
Meeting Email: Paloma.garcia-bellidomod-langs.ox.ac.uk
Web Site: http://odur.let.rug.nl/dejonge/alfal/congres3eng.htm

Linguistic Field(s): Neurolinguistics

Subject Language(s): Portuguese (por)
Spanish (spa)

Language Family(ies): Romance

Call Deadline: 09-Mar-2007

Meeting Description:

Linguistic theories and the biological foundations of human language: a dialogue

III Conference of the Association of Latinoamerican Linguistics and Philology of
Northwest Europe

This 3rd meeting intends to focus on encouraging a dialogue among researchers
who are interested in understanding how language functions in the human brain.
There are basically two types of methods of analysis which are being used. One
looks at how the Language Function expresses itself in the brain at a biological
level. The other looks at whether this functioning can be encapsulated using a
representational approach.

1. Presentations will focus on the following problems
Language disorders
Language development
Plurilingualism
Language processing
Special consideration will be given to papers which use data from Spanish,
Portuguese or Latinoamerican Indian languages.
2. In order to have access to the selection process, an abstract is required.
Abstracts should be sent in two formats: PDF and Word (.doc), one page long,
DIN-A4 size with the title, the author's name or authors' names, affiliation(s)
and email(s) on the top of the page. They should be sent via e-mail by 9th April
2007 to: alfal.neiiimod-langs.ox.ac.uk
3. Each paper will have 25 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for discussion
4. Any author who wishes to present a paper at the conference should become a
member of the Association. One year membership, 2007 to 2008, ($33) is possible.
Please visit http://odur.let.rug.nl/dejonge/alfal/index.htm for inscription
information.

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