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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"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: Towards a History of Sound-Symbolic Theories

Short Title: THOSST2014
Location: Dijon, Bourgogne, France
Start Date: 20-Feb-2014 - 21-Feb-2014
Contact: Luca Nobile
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL: https://sites.google.com/site/thosst2014/
Meeting Description: Towards a History of Sound-Symbolic Theories
Traditions of the linguistic iconicity and Charles de Brosses’ contribution

International conference - Dijon (France), 20-21 February 2014
University of Burgundy - Burgundy Regional Council

A significant part of the recent research in cognitive neuroscience nowadays seems to support the assumption of an originally motivated relationship between phonetics and semantics (Rizzolatti and Arbib 1998, Ramachandran and Hubbard 2001, Gentilucci et al. 2001, Maurer et al. 2006, Rizzolatti and Craighero 2007, Imai et al. 2008, Ozturk et al. 2012). Given the distrust of most modern linguists on this topic and the scarcity of books of linguistics on it (exceptions are Hinton et al. 1994, Hamano 1998, Voeltz and Kilian-Hatz 2001, Bohas and Dat 2007), these scientists have sometimes been forced to mobilize authors of a bygone era to articulate a discourse around the experimental data they have. So Rizzolatti and Craighero cite repeatedly Condillac (1715-1780), while Ramachandran and Hubbard use, without quoting, a famous argument of Nigidius Figulus (98-45 BC.). If, on the one hand, this indicates a weakness of the current research in linguistics facing the challenge of natural sciences, it suggests, on the other hand, that the history of theories on language, through the epistemological hindsight it allows, could provide a valuable ground of mediation to initiate a fruitful exchange between these two disciplinary fields.
Linguistic Subfield: History of Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Philosophy of Language; Phonology; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: None
LL Issue: 24.2411

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