LINGUIST List 18.247

Wed Jan 24 2007

Calls: Ling & Literature/USA; Typology/France

Editor for this issue: Ania Kubisz <>

Directory         1.    Claiborne Rice, Division on Linguistic Approaches to Literature
        2.    Melissa Barkat-Defradas, Typology of Modern Arabic Dialects

Message 1: Division on Linguistic Approaches to Literature
Date: 23-Jan-2007
From: Claiborne Rice <>
Subject: Division on Linguistic Approaches to Literature

Full Title: Division on Linguistic Approaches to Literature

Date: 27-Dec-2007 - 30-Dec-2007 Location: Chicago, USA Contact Person: Julia Karolle-Berg Meeting Email:

Current literary theory has largely decided that there is no such thing as literary language, but various sub-fields of linguistics, having developed more sophisticated and sensitive methodologies for categorizing linguistic form and behavior, might disagree. Depending on one's theoretical outlook, literature might be seen as a particular discourse, style, register, speech act, or as playing a role in the socio-political processes of language standardization. We invite papers that take a nuanced look at literature, or some subcategory of literature, as language.

One is normally expected to be an MLA member to present, but exceptions are sometimes made.
Message 2: Typology of Modern Arabic Dialects
Date: 18-Jan-2007
From: Melissa Barkat-Defradas <>
Subject: Typology of Modern Arabic Dialects

Full Title: Typology of Modern Arabic Dialects

Date: 14-May-2007 - 15-May-2007 Location: Montpellier, France Contact Person: Melissa Barkat-Defradas Meeting Email: Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Typology

Subject Language(s): Andalusian Arabic (qaa) Arabic, Algerian Saharan Spoken (aao) Arabic, Algerian Spoken (arq) Arabic, Babalia Creole (bbz) Arabic, Baharna Spoken (abv) Arabic, Shuwa (shu) Arabic, Cypriot Spoken (acy) Arabic, Dhofari Spoken (adf) Arabic, Levantine Bedawi Spoken (avl) Arabic, Egyptian Spoken (arz) Arabic, Gulf Spoken (afb) Arabic, Hadrami Spoken (ayh) Hassaniyya (mey) Arabic, Hijazi Spoken (acw) Arabic, Judeo-Iraqi (yhd) Arabic, Judeo-Moroccan (aju) Arabic, Judeo-Tripolitanian (yud) Arabic, Judeo-Yemeni (jye) Arabic, Libyan Spoken (ayl) Arabic, Mesopotamian Spoken (acm) Arabic, Moroccan Spoken (ary) Arabic, Najdi Spoken (ars) Arabic, North Levantine Spoken (apc) Arabic, North Mesopotamian Spoken (ayp) Arabic, Omani Spoken (acx) Arabic, Sa`idi Spoken (aec) Arabic, Sanaani Spoken (ayn) Arabic, Shihhi Spoken (ssh) Arabic, South Levantine Spoken (ajp) Arabic, Sudanese Creole (pga) Arabic, Sudanese Spoken (apd) Arabic, Ta'izzi-Adeni Spoken (acq) Arabic, Tajiki Spoken (abh) Arabic, Uzbeki Spoken (auz) Mozarabic (mxi)

Language Family(ies): Afroasiatic

Call Deadline: 20-Mar-2007

Meeting Description:

The classification which collects the adhesion of the specialists of the domain consists in classifying all the different Arabic dialects into five principal groups: (1) dialects of Arabian type (i.e. Saudi Arabia, country of the Gulf, Yemen); (2) dialects of Levantine type (i.e. Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine); (3) dialects of Mesopotamian type (i.e. Iraq); (4) dialects of Egyptian type (i.e. Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Nigeria); (5) dialects of "Maghrebi" type (i.e. Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya). In addition to a certain geographical coherence, these five dialectal areas were defined on the basis of some reliable phonological features like (i) the maintenance vs. the loss of the three interdental fricatives and (ii) the nature of the realization of the uvular stop (i.e. voiced vs. unvoiced). These phonological features seem to transcend the regional borders as they also allow a sociological division of dialects into three categories: (1) dialects of nomadic Bedouin type, (2) dialects of sedentary Bedouin type; (3) dialects of urban type.

With the deep social and demographic changes the Arabic countries have known in the course the 20th century, many important urban centres mushroomed. These are undoubtedly important places for language contacts. What linguistic impacts these centres have had - and still have - on the nature of Arabic koines? What is the present value of the phonological features that previously enabled the geographical and sociological classification? What is their role in the processes of linguistic accommodation and dialectal levelling? Does the centrifugal force of the sedentary urban centres reach the surrounding sedentary rural areas? Does the language of urban sedentary type used and conveyed by the media exert any influence on Bedouin nomadic linguistic varieties? If such an influence is conceivable, any classification based on the phonological units quoted above becomes extremely delicate, even inoperable since the same linguistic object could be interpreted as typical of sedentary Bedouin dialects by the ones, or as specifically nomadic by the others and eventually, as the product of the integration (conscious or unconscious) of a prestigious feature at a local, regional, national or cross national level? Did the ancient Arabic dialects that were not worth studying by traditional philologists simply cease to exist after the establishment of the linguistic norm? Was their use reduced to local minorities and specific situations of communication or did these vernacular forms evolve to become the modern dialects that are spoken nowadays? We attribute particular thanks to the process of koinization which develops itself in the great urban centres, to the resurgence of linguistic features with strong diachronic value that are interpreted - sometimes wrongly - like the results of linguistic accommodation and/or levelling. These features - though they entirely belong to the subjects' competence - deeply modify the structural organization of the regional linguistic systems. What is our knowledge about the systems of these dialects? What methodological tools can the researchers use to distinguish between what should be considered as a linguistic fossil from what is a recent element of urban koinization? How should old and new features be arranged in any work of classification? Finally, a set of new classification features will be proposed at the segmental (i.e. consonants, vowels, diphthongs), and the prosodic levels (i.e. stress, rate, rhythm, intonation). These new elements will be explored in isolation or in relation with other linguistic domains (morphology, lexicology, syntax).

All these questions will be tackled by specialists of the domain, during the International Conference on "Typology of Modern Arabic Dialects: features, methods and models of classification" on May 14-15, 2007.