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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Conference Information

Full Title: Workshop on the Grammar of Mimetics

Location: London, United Kingdom
Start Date: 10-May-2013 - 11-May-2013
Contact: Noriko Iwasaki
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL: http://www.soas.ac.uk/linguistics/events/grammar-of-mimetics/
Meeting Description: We are pleased to announce a workshop on the ‘Grammar of Mimetics’, to be held on 10-11 May 2013 at SOAS, University of London. Mimetic or ‘sound-symbolic’ words in Japanese (giongo/giseigo/gitaigo) constitute a significant lexical category. Due to the prominent non-arbitrary relationships between form and meaning, their sound symbolism has been extensively studied, especially from phonological and semantic perspectives. Mimetic words appear to exist as a grammatical sub-system in all languages, but their scope and productivity varies greatly. They play a central role in the grammar of Japanese, featuring very early in children’s language. The workshop aims to focus on these grammatical aspects, using Japanese as a model or starting-point for analyses of mimetics in other languages.

Keynote speakers for the workshop are: Professor Keiko Murasugi (Nanzan University, Nagoya), Professor Kiyoko Toratani (York University, Toronto) and Professor Natsuko Tsujimura (Indiana University, Bloomington). We aim to publish an edited volume in English from the workshop proceedings.

The workshop organisers are Noriko Iwasaki (SOAS, University of London), Mika Kizu (SOAS, University of London) and Peter Sells (University of York). The workshop is generously supported through a Meiji Jingu Research Grant, a Daiwa Foundation Small Grant, and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.
Linguistic Subfield: General Linguistics
LL Issue: 24.1630

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