LINGUIST List 24.1810

Wed Apr 24 2013

Confs: Cognitive Science, Typology/Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Anna Belew <>

Date: 24-Apr-2013
From: Anna Maria Di Sciullo <>
Subject: Workshop: Advances in Biolinguistics
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Workshop: Advances in Biolinguistics

Date: 25-Jul-2013 - 26-Jul-2013 Location: Geneva, Switzerland Contact: Anna Maria Di Sciullo Contact Email: < click here to access email > Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Typology

Other Specialty: Biolinguistics

Meeting Description:

This workshop focuses on advances on the understanding of the biological basis of language (Lenneberg 1967, Jenkins 2000, 2004, Chomsky 2002, 2005, 2011, Piattelli-Palmarini et al. 2009, Larson et al 2010, Di Sciullo et al. 2010, Di Sciullo and Boeckx 2011). The workshop invites discussion where specific biolinguistic hypotheses are substantiated by theoretical linguistics evidence, empirical data and biological/natural world evidence. The workshop includes the following thematic sessions:

1. Language and biology
2. Language typology and language universals
3. The effects of natural laws

Session 1 Language and biology, addresses the question of how studies in language and genetics, language and the brain contribute to our understanding of the nature of syntax, morphology, the lexicon, and their interfaces with the other cognitive systems.

Session 2 Language typology and language universals, considers how biolinguistic studies on language evolution and variation shed new light on language typology, and the study of language universals. The questions raised in this session are the following: how is variation and change in the natural world related to language variation and change, and how the biolinguistic perspective may lead to new approaches to language typology and universals.

Session 3 The effects of natural laws, discusses recent proposals on the effect of natural laws, such as prominence, symmetry breaking, reaction-diffusion, preservation of shape etc. on language derivations and representations, on language variation and evolution, and on language acquisition. How do these laws interact with natural language?

A special session on language and mathematics targets the configurational and semantic properties of complex numerals and the acquisition of numbers. The central questions asked in this special session bare on the emergence of language and the development of complex numerals in the individual as well as the nature of the relations between language and mathematics.

Preliminary Program, July 25-26, 2013

July 25

Section 1: Language and biologyAngela Friederici, Max Plank Institute (Invited Speaker)
Syntax and prosody in the human brain

Evie Malaia, University of Texas at Arlington, Josua Borneman, Ronnie Wilbur, Purdue UniversityBioinformatic properties of sign language motion: Fractal complexity of optical flow


Lluis Barcelo-Coblijn, Universitat de les Illes Balears Antonio Benitez-Burraco, University of Huelva, Cedric Boeckx, ICREAVariation, speciation, and the development of Sapiens’ language ready brain

Antonio Benitez-Burraco, University of Huelva
Since the linguistic genotype has proven to be (highly) polymorphic, should we expect a variable Faculty Language?


Section 2: Language typology and language universalsGiuseppe Longobardi, York University (Invited Speaker)
Towards Historical Biolinguistics

Joao Costa, Universidade Nova de LisboaThe Robustness of language development: the role of cross population and cross linguistic studies


Section 3: Effects of natural Laws
Lyle Jenkins, Boston Biolinguistic Institute (Invited Speaker)
Natural laws and biolinguistics

Anna Maria Di Sciullo, Marco Nicolis, Stanca Somesfalean, UQAMEvo-devo language Universals and whether Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny


July 26

Special session on Language and mathematics
Anna Maria Di Sciullo, A.M., UQAMThe great lead forward and the emergence of complex numerals

Akira Watanabe, University of TokyoMental representation of natural numbers and acquisition of numerals

Koji Arikawa, St. Andrew’s UniversityVariable elimination in Language system and Mathematics


Page Updated: 24-Apr-2013