LINGUIST List 18.1706

Tue Jun 05 2007

Calls: Lang Acquisition,Phonology/USA; Historical Ling/UK

Editor for this issue: Ania Kubisz <>

Directory         1.    Timothy Face, Current Approaches to Spanish & Portuguese Second Language Phonology
        2.    Anne Breitbarth, Continuity and Change in Grammar

Message 1: Current Approaches to Spanish & Portuguese Second Language Phonology
Date: 01-Jun-2007
From: Timothy Face <>
Subject: Current Approaches to Spanish & Portuguese Second Language Phonology

Full Title: Current Approaches to Spanish & Portuguese Second Language Phonology

Date: 22-Feb-2008 - 23-Feb-2008 Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA Contact Person: Timothy Face Meeting Email: Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition; Phonology

Subject Language(s): Portuguese (por) Spanish (spa)

Call Deadline: 15-Sep-2007

Meeting Description:

Current Approaches to Spanish and Portuguese Second Language Phonology February 22-23, 2008 Minneapolis, MN USA

Second Call for Papers

Current Approaches to Spanish and Portuguese Second Language Phonology is a conference that aims to include a wide range of approaches to the study of second language phonology, as well as a wide range of contexts, from acquisition of Spanish phonology by English speakers to the acquisition of Portuguese phonology by Spanish speakers, from classroom-based learning to full immersion in the culture of the second language, and more. By focusing on the breadth of approaches that scholars are taking to the study of second language phonological acquisition in Spanish and Portuguese, this conference aims to represent the state-of-the-art in second language phonological acquisition.


Abstract submission deadline: September 15, 2007
Message 2: Continuity and Change in Grammar
Date: 01-Jun-2007
From: Anne Breitbarth <>
Subject: Continuity and Change in Grammar

Full Title: Continuity and Change in Grammar

Date: 18-Mar-2008 - 20-Mar-2008 Location: Cambridge, United Kingdom Contact Person: Anne Breitbarth Meeting Email: Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics

Call Deadline: 01-Oct-2007

Meeting Description:

We are pleased to announce an international conference on Continuity and Change in Grammar, which will take place from 18-20 March 2008 at the University of Cambridge. The focus will be on theoretical and methodological aspects of morphosyntactic change and conservatism.

The aim of the conference is to bring together researchers working on different aspects of linguistic transmission in order to enhance our understanding of what makes languages change and what in turn prevents them from changing.

Factors that are thought to play a role in the diachronic development of languages include first and (imperfect) second language acquisition, the latter typically under conditions of language contact. The role of language contact and resulting (biased) bi- or multilingualism in morpho-syntactic change, and the question of whether in fact there can be any entirely language-internal change are topics that have gained much interest recently. If language contact has a role in triggering change, can it equally be shown to play a role in preventing it? What other factors can prevent or inhibit a change that might be expected on the basis that other languages show a comparable change under comparable conditions?

A particular focus of the conference will be syntactic continuity, that is, cases where syntactic change fails to happen, or at least is delayed, even though change would be expected on the basis of parallel changes in other languages. An example is Jespersen's Cycle, which occurred in a continuum of languages beginning in early Old Norse in northern Europe, and giving the appearance of spreading south from Scandinavia via German, English, Dutch, Welsh, Breton, French and northern Italian dialects. In Jespersen's Cycle as it is found in several European languages, a preverbal negation marker is first reinforced and later replaced by a postverbal one. As Jespersen's Cycle seems to have spread geographically (essentially from north to south) in the course of the last millennium and to affect languages from different subgroups of Indo-European, it has been suggested that this might be a contact phenomenon or even a manifestation of a more general western European convergence area (Ramat and Bernini 1990, Bernini and Ramat 1996, Haspelmath 1998, 2001). However, Polish and especially Czech, which have been in very close contact with German (and Yiddish) for centuries, have never undergone a change of this sort in their negation systems, even though their preverbal negation markers have undergone considerable weakening (in Czech, for example, ne behaves like a verbal prefix). Such resistance to change appears to cast doubt on the role of contact in the spread of postverbal adverbial negation. A topic that belongs to this general field of syntactic changes that are expected, but fail to happen, are changes which occur in some dialects of a given language but are delayed in others. The conference aims at encouraging discussion on what might cause syntactic continuity in general. This is an entirely novel perspective, as previous research has exclusively focused on explaining linguistic change.

Topics addressed at the conference may be from a range of perspectives, theoretical linguistic as well as a language acquisitional, contact linguistic and sociolinguistic, and the conference aims at creating discussion and exchange between researchers with generative and non-generative backgrounds and also beyond (historical) linguistics itself. Longstanding points of dispute have been the perceived directionality and the gradualness of syntactic change. Directionality seems to conflict with generative models of linguistic change, which localise abrupt reanalyses or parameter resetting in individual speakers. However, long-term pathways and cycles do seem to be observable as well. How can this clash be reconciled? Much research has been devoted to accommodating gradualness within a generative conception of syntactic change, such as the grammar competition approach (Kroch 1989 etc.). However, problems with grammar competition approaches have not remained unnoticed, and invite reconsideration.

We particularly invite submissions addressing the following questions:

- contact-induced language change - first language acquisition and syntactic change - bilingualism and syntactic change - directionality, gradualness and long-term developments - absence of syntactic change / syntactic conservatism - general theoretical models of syntactic change and continuity, theoretical or computational - empirical case studies discussing instances of continuity and/or change in grammar - change in the expression of negation - linguistic and cultural contact in the Middle Ages

We invite anonymous submissions for 20+10 minute presentations, which will be reviewed by an international committee of referees. Abstracts should be submitted in .pdf format via EasyChair. Go to, create an account if you do not yet have one and login as an author. The text of the abstract itself must be anonymous; you will be asked to fill in your name, affiliation and email address when you create your EasyChair account. This ensures a fair and unbiased review procedure. Abstracts should not exceed one page of A4, with one-inch margins on all sides, with the possibility of one additional page for graphs, figures, examples and references. Deadline for submissions is 1 October 2007. Notification of acceptance is around 1 November 2007.

Invited Speakers:

Jan-Terje Faarlund (Oslo) Richard Ingham (Birmingham) John Sundquist (Purdue) Sarah Grey Thomason (Michigan)