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LINGUIST List 21.2721

Fri Jun 25 2010

Calls: Phonetics, Phonology, Typology/Germany

Editor for this issue: Elyssa Winzeler <elyssalinguistlist.org>


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        1.    Heriberto Avelino, Phonetic Universals

Message 1: Phonetic Universals
Date: 23-Jun-2010
From: Heriberto Avelino <heriberto_avelinoeva.mpg.de>
Subject: Phonetic Universals
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Full Title: Phonetic Universals

Date: 29-Oct-2010 - 30-Oct-2010
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Contact Person: Heriberto Avelino Claudia Schmidt
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/conference/10-PhoneticUniversals/index.html

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics; Phonology; Typology

Call Deadline: 30-Jun-2010

Meeting Description:

We invite papers from linguists, as well as from scholars from related
disciplines, who are concerned with universals of human language and phonetic
universals, in particular.

Invited Speakers:
Ian Maddieson (UC Berkeley/U New Mexico)
David Poeppel (New York University)
Christine Shadle (Haskins Laboratories)
John Kingston (University of Massachusetts)
Pascal Perrier (GIPSA Lab, CNRS)

Call for Papers

The Conference on Phonetic Universals, organized by Heriberto Avelino and
Claudia Schmidt (MPI-EVA) will take place at the Max Planck Institute for
Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig), October 29-30, 2010.

Recent research within linguistics as well as from different fields ranging from
cognitive neurosciences to physics to physiology and mathematical modeling
have widened our understanding of the universals of human language, and in
particular the universal properties of the sound patterns of languages.

Historically, it has been recognized that the research on universals of sound
patterns has a special place in the attempt to arrive at empirically valid
generalizations across languages (Greenberg, 1978). While this is widely
accepted, it is not always the case that there is agreement on fundamental
questions such as where do universals of sound patterns come from, what
would be their ultimate explanation, and what are the best approaches to
further studying them.

Traditionally, language universals have been explained either as the result of
an innate language faculty or by the communicative function of language (in
which external factors such as cognitive or anatomical limitations, for
instance, might play a critical role.) Nevertheless, it is not always clear
whether the attested commonalities across languages should be attributed
categorically to either explanation.

We would rather sidestep the issue of whether one explanation has
superiority over the other. Undoubtedly, both approaches are well grounded
and have made complementary and solid contributions to the ultimate goal of
accounting for language universals. We believe that a shift in the question
would be beneficial. We could follow the lead from evolutionary anthropology
or evolutionary biology and ask how and when the two sources of explanation
for language universals interact. At any rate, we firmly believe that a more
comprehensive and fruitful research program will emerge from the empirical
study of individual languages and the comparison of their properties. Only
this approach guarantees that the proposed formal universals-and the
theoretical basis underlying them- would represent and conform to the actual
traits found in the set of known human languages.

With this interdisciplinary perspective to the notion of language universals we
hope that the conference will allow us to make progress by bringing together
scholars from different subfields of linguistics as well as other disciplines who
are concerned with the homo sapiens' language sound structures to present
new insights into the nature of phonetic universals.

If you are interested in participating in the Conference on Phonetics
Universals please send a title and a short (one page) abstract to
phonetic_universalseva.mpg.de. After the abstract is submitted there will
be a selection of papers accepted.

Dates of conference: 29-30 October 2010
Deadline for abstract submission: 30 June 2010
Notification of acceptance: 16 July 2010



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