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LINGUIST List 24.103

Wed Jan 09 2013

Calls: Typology/Germany

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <alisonlinguistlist.org>

Date: 09-Jan-2013
From: Harald Hammarström <h.hammarstromlet.ru.nl>
Subject: Quantitative Linguistic Typology: State-of-the-Art and Beyond
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Full Title: Quantitative Linguistic Typology: State-of-the-Art and Beyond

Date: 15-Aug-2013 - 18-Aug-2013
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Contact Person: Harald Hammarström
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/conference/2013_ALT10/files/theme_sessions.html

Linguistic Field(s): Typology

Call Deadline: 15-Jan-2013

Meeting Description:

There is increasing awareness that the only strict yes/no language universals to be found in the languages of the world are trivial (Evans & Levinson 2009) and that most of the interesting variation comes in the form of tendencies and patterns. While not everything in language can be weighted and measured, many aspects do lend themselves to a quantitative analysis.

Coupled with the recent explosion of data in digital form (a trend punctuated by the appearance of WALS), the field of Linguistic Typology is now fully equipped - and perhaps required - to address its fundamental questions quantitatively.

The proposed theme session aims to cover quantitative approaches to linguistic typology ranging from the use of basic statistical techniques (such as regression analysis, or constructing a stratified typological sample, Cysouw 2005) to full-fledged models for explaining diversity and similarity of the languages of the world:

- Methods and models for discovering and measuring dependencies between structural features of languages
- Methods and models for separating the effects of genealogy, areality, universal tendencies and randomness in the make-up of languages
- Methods and models for hypothesis testing in linguistic typology
- Methods and models for studying the interaction of linguistic and non-linguistic features
- Empirical results of contrasting different (quantitative or non-quantitative) approaches to typology

In particular, the proposed theme session aims to offer the typological community a state-of-the-art snapshot (by the convenors) of what quantitative methods can (and cannot) do, as well as presentations (by external submissions) advancing the state of knowledge in the field.


Cysouw, Michael (2005). Quantitative methods in typology. In Altmann, G., Köhler, R., and Piotrowski, R., editors, Quantitative Linguistik: ein internationales Handbuch, pages 554–578. Mouton de Gruyter.

Evans, Nick and Levinson, Stephen (2009). The myth of language universals: Language diversity and its importance for cognitive science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 32(5):429–492.

Call for Papers:

Send your abstract as an email attachment to: ALT10 AT eva.mpg.de.

Subject header: (your name) ALT 10 abstract

Include these things in the body of the email:

- Authors’ names
- Abstract title
- Contact information: email, phone, fax

Note: One individual may be involved in a maximum of two abstracts (maximum of one as sole author), regardless of category (oral, poster, theme-session talk).

Maximum length: 500 words or 1 single-spaced page

Please put this information at the top of your abstract:

- Abstract title
- Abstract category (oral, poster, oral/poster)
- Theme session

Format: If at all possible, please send your abstract as a pdf.

Name: Give your pdf a filename similar to the subject header.

Anonymity: Abstracts must be anonymous: do not put your name or other identifying information on the abstract. Also, please anonymize your pdf by removing identifying information.

Further Information:


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