LINGUIST List 24.2722

Fri Jul 05 2013

Calls: Historical Linguistics, Cognitive Science, Phonetics, Phonology/Austria

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <>

Date: 05-Jul-2013
From: Bart de Boer <>
Subject: Workshop on Evolution of Signals, Speech and Signs
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Full Title: Workshop on Evolution of Signals, Speech and Signs
Date: 14-Apr-2014 - 14-Apr-2014 Location: Vienna, Austria Contact Person: Bart de Boer
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:
Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Historical Linguistics; Phonetics; Phonology

Call Deadline: 10-Oct-2013

Meeting Description:

This workshop is part of the workshop program before Evolang 2014 in Vienna.

We are looking for research that addresses the evolution of modern humans’ abilities to produce, perceive and learn the extended range of (combinatorial) signals that form the physical basis of human language. Signals in our definition form the physically observable manifestation of language, and they can exist either in the articulatory-acoustic modality (speech) or in the gestural-visual modality (signs) and perhaps in other modalities.

The event is intended to be complementary to the main conference in the sense that we look for contributions that explicitly focus on future research. We therefore seek contributions that not only present research results, but that for example also explore possibilities of interaction between fields, that pose new research questions or that make an inventory of areas in which research may be lacking. We welcome discussions that are based on work presented at the main conference, but workshop presentations should be extended by explicitly addressing the issues mentioned above. We do want to stress that workshop presentations have to be based on concrete work, using solid empirical or modeling methods, and that purely speculative work will not be accepted.

More information can be found on the website:

Call for Papers:

We welcome contributions on topics such as:

- The evolution of physical and physiological adaptations for dealing with linguistic signals, and especially of fossil evidence for this
- The transition from innate, holistic and continuously varying systems of signals (such as found in other primates) to acquired, combinatorial and discrete/categorical systems of signals
- The evolution of cognitive adaptations for dealing with acquisition, production and perception of linguistic signals
- The interaction between cultural and biological evolution in the emergence of linguistic signals

Of course, other related topics can be proposed as well.

A few examples of specific research questions are: what evidence is there for evolution of the vocal tract, what primate signals are comparable to those of humans (gestures, vocalizations, lipsmacks)? What learning biases do modern humans have for dealing with speech? How does the emergence of new (signed) languages shed light on the cognitive adaptations that humans have for dealing with complex communicative signals? Contributions that combine research questions and show how these issues can interact or that take an interdisciplinary approach are especially welcome.

Contributions should be fully referenced four-page extended abstract in the Evolang-format (see They should be sent as pdf files to:

Important Dates:

Submission deadline: October 10, 2013Notification of acceptance: November 11, 2013
Final version due: December 12, 2013

Page Updated: 05-Jul-2013