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LINGUIST List 22.2804

Fri Jul 08 2011

Confs: Cog Sci, Psycholing, Ling History, Syntax, Philosophy of Lang/UK

Editor for this issue: Zac Smith <zaclinguistlist.org>

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        1.     Michelle Sheehan , The Past and Future of Universal Grammar

Message 1: The Past and Future of Universal Grammar
Date: 08-Jul-2011
From: Michelle Sheehan <m.l.sheehandurham.ac.uk>
Subject: The Past and Future of Universal Grammar
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The Past and Future of Universal Grammar

Date: 16-Dec-2011 - 18-Dec-2011
Location: University of Durham, United Kingdom
Contact: Wolfram Hinzen
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL: http://www.dur.ac.uk/conference.booking/details/?id=97

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; History of Linguistics; Philosophy of Language; Psycholinguistics; Syntax

Meeting Description:

Grammar is universal in human populations, pathologies aside. A theory of grammar should thus be a universal theory in this sense. Yet it is widely contended today that it need not be the theory of Universal Grammar (UG), in the sense of its early generative formulations, which have taken UG to be a linguistically specific and species-specific biological endowment consisting of functionally arbitrary formal rules. Theories of universal grammar have also been formulated in a number of different ways in the past, with far from identical underlying axiomatic assumptions. Furthermore, the modern theory of UG itself is currently undergoing a significant reformulation, following the development of Minimalism. This conference aims to provide a forum for assessing and (re-)directing the course that research on universal grammar and the biological foundations of language should take over the coming years and decades, bringing together linguists, psychologists, philosophers, and biologists.

The Past and Future of Universal Grammar

Thursday 15th December - arrival date and registration in Calman Learning
Centre, accommodation in Durham Business School.

Friday 16th December
Main conference in Calman Learning Centre, Science Site
Session 1: The past of UG
Wolfram Hinzen, University of Durham
Three traditions of Universal Grammar

Elisabeth Leiss, University of Munich
Part-whole-relations in the Universal Grammar of the Modistae

Coffee break

Session 2: The future of UG
Guglielmo Cinque, University of Venice
In search of Universal Grammar: the hidden structure of natural language

Anders Holmberg, Newcastle University and Ian Roberts, University of Cambridge
Past and future approaches to linguistic variation

Lunch (in Calman building)

Session 3: No need for UG
Ewa Dabrowska, Northumbria University
What exactly is Universal Grammar, and who has seen it?

Nick Chater, Warwick Business School
Language is shaped by the brain; but not the reverse (abstract)

Coffee break

Session 4: The evolution of grammar
Maggie Tallerman, Newcastle University
Is the syntax rubicon more of a mirage? A defence of pre-syntactic protolanguage

Ian Tattersall, American Museum of Natural History
A context for the emergence of language (abstract)


Public Lecture in Union Society
Tom Roeper, University of Massachusetts
The image of mind in the grammar of children

Saturday 17th December
Main conference in Calman Learning Centre
Session 5: The Grammaticalisation of the brain

Tim Crow, University of Oxford
The origins of psychosis in the breakdown of deixis

Nathalie Tzourio-Mazoyer, University of Bordeaux
Neural basis of the hemispheric specialization for language

Coffee break

Gavin Clowry, Newcastle University
Human specific aspects of cerebral cortex development

Lunch (Calman building)
Session 6: Thinking without grammar

Wolfram Hinzen, University of Durham
The grammar of thought

Tom Roeper, University of Massachusetts

Coffee break

Rosemary Varley, Sheffield University
Reason without grammar (abstract)

Jill de Villiers, Smith College
Which concepts need the human language faculty? (abstract)


Conference Dinner

Sunday 18th December
UG: the minimum workshop in Union Society

Hagit Borer, University of Southern California T.B.C.

Halldor Sigurdsson, Lund University T.B.C.

Coffee break

Daniel Seely, Eastern Michigan University T.B.C.

Michelle Sheehan, University of Cambridge T.B.C.

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