LINGUIST List 8.1741

Thu Dec 4 1997

Confs: Constructivism

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  1. am004, conference on constructivism

Message 1: conference on constructivism

Date: Thu, 04 Dec 1997 11:47:09 -0800
From: am004 <am004rs1.rrz.Uni-Koeln.DE>
Subject: conference on constructivism


The interdisciplinary conference 'Ways of Worldmaking. The Reality of
Constructivism II' will be held in Heidelberg from April 30- May 3,
1998, featuring a linguistics section and workshops on 'Universals and
constraints in language construction'.

Constructivism is a philosophical approach dealing with the problem
how human beings construct a reality they are ready to agree on. Major
issues are the creation of rules, the emergence of behaviour in
self-organizing systems, and the (possibly universal) order in the
acquistion of 'knowledge' in the sense of Piaget.
In linguistics, Saussure's conception that human beings are able to
construct a 'langue' from 'parole' as an 'agreement' without there
being any inherent necessity for regularity in language (1916/1967:
12, 108, 110), and that both the construction of a langue as well as
of parole are concrete, physical activities (l.c.18) differs drastic-
ally from the allegedly similar concept of linguistic competence as an
a priori set of rules from which performance can be derived. In this
context, the section 'Universals and constraints in language
construction' devotes itself to different facets of the evolution and
acquisition of language, the problem of reference and cognitive
'representation', the social relevance of language, the formation of
text structure, and the simulation of linguistic behaviour in
self-organizing neural networks.
The conference will be an interdisciplinary event with the participa-
tion of neurobiologists (Francisco Varela, Wolf Singer), computer
scientists (Valentino Braitenberg), philosophers (Hilary Putnam, Peter
Janich, Thomas Metzinger), and many others. For details concerning the
programme see The programme of
the linguistics section is:
Thursday, April 30, 1998
Introductory course: Konstruktivismus und Linguistik (14.30-17)
(Juergen Broschart, Cologne)

Friday, May 1, 1998
Section A: (10-12)
The Problem of Universals in Linguistic Theory
(Juergen Broschart, Cologne)
Language Systems as the Outcome of Human Activity
(Daniel Nettle, Oxford)
Intrinsic Constraints on Language: Grammar and Hermeneutics
(Mark Bickhard, Lehigh)
Gender Construction in Language, Society, and Linguistics
(Ulrike Claudi, Cologne)
Plenary lecture (12-13)
On Language Acquisition
(Melissa Bowerman, Nijmegen)
Workshop A (15-17) on the topics of section A
Saturday, May 2, 1998
Section B (10-12)
Representation, Signification, and the Construction of Language
and Subjectivity (Chris Sinha, Aarhus)
The Construction of Space and Time in Discourse
(Fritz Serzisko, Cologne)
Linguistic Selection and the Emergence of Structure
(Simon Kirby, Edinburgh)
Acquisition of Inflectional Morphology in a Constructivist
Neural Network (Gert Westermann, Edinburgh)

Workshop B (15-17) on the topics of section B
General conference organizer:
c/o Birgit Vey
Kussmaulstrasse 10, D-69120 Heidelberg
Tel. +49-(0)6221-406417, Fax. +49-(0)6221-406422

Information on the linguistics section:
Dr. Juergen Broschart
Institut fuer Sprachwissenschaft
Universitaet zu Koeln
D-50923 Koeln
Tel. +49-(0)221-470-2323, Fax. +49-(0)221-470-5947
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