LINGUIST List 24.4675

Fri Nov 22 2013

Confs: Historical Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Syntax, Semantics/Belgium

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <>

Date: 22-Nov-2013
From: Timothy Colleman <>
Subject: Taal & Tongval 2013: Constructions in Variation and Change
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Taal & Tongval 2013: Constructions in Variation and Change

Date: 06-Dec-2013 - 06-Dec-2013 Location: Ghent, Belgium Contact: Timothy Colleman Contact Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics; Semantics; Sociolinguistics; Syntax

Subject Language(s): Dutch

Meeting Description:

Taal & Tongval: Language Variation in the Low Countries is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the study of language variation in the Netherlands and Flanders, in neighbouring areas and in languages related to Dutch, which organizes an annual one-day colloquium on a current topic in variational linguistics (cf. The 2013 edition of the annual Taal&Tongval colloquium takes place in Ghent on December 6 and is on the topic of ‘Constructions in Variation and Change’.

Recent years have seen a noticeable increase in studies combining a construction-based view of grammar as consisting of a structured network of conventionalised form/meaning-pairings with an interest in issues of language variation and change. This can be related to two broader tendencies in current linguistic research: (i) the incorporation of constructionist views on the organization of grammar in work on grammaticalization (e.g. Traugott 2008a,b; Trousdale 2010, 2012; Gisborne & Patten 2011) and (ii) the emergence of ‘cognitive sociolinguistics’, i.e. the integration of methods and models from cognitive linguistics (including cognitive construction grammar) on the one hand and variational sociolinguistics on the other (Geeraerts, Kristiansen & Peirsman 2010; Gries in press). Topics of interest include:

- The role played by constructions, at various levels of abstraction, in processes of grammaticalization or degrammaticalization (e.g. Traugott 2008a,b; Trousdale & Norde 2012);
- ‘Constructionalization’, i.e. the way(s) in which ‘new’ constructions come into existence (Traugott & Trousdale in press) - also see the interactional perspective on the emergence of constructions in Auer & Pfänder (2011) and the evolutionary perspective in Verhagen (2012);
- The interactions and conflicts between different constructions in language change (e.g. Petré 2012; Van de Velde et al. to appear; De Smet & Van de Velde to appear);
- The diffusion of grammatical changes in the constructional network and/or in the language community (e.g. Rutten & Van der Wal to appear);
- The sociolinguistic determinants of grammatical alternations (e.g. Speelman & Geeraerts 2009; Szmrecsanyi 2011);
- Synchronic lectal variation and diachronic shifts in the semantics of schematic constructions (e.g. Barđdal et al. 2011; Colleman 2010; Colleman & De Clerck 2011; Colleman & Noël 2012);
- Constructional innovation as a result of extensive language contact (e.g. Dogruöz & Backus 2009);
- The syntax and semantics of constructions in non-standard varieties (e.g. Webelhuth & Dannenberg 2006).

These and other topics will be further explored in the colloquium, which will host invited talks by Graeme Trousdale (University of Edinburgh), Arie Verhagen (Leiden University), Benedikt Szmrecsanyi (University of Manchester/University of Leuven) and Ad Backus (Tilburg University). In addition, there are a number of slots on the program for regular 20-minute conference presentations.


Timothy Colleman (Ghent University)
Freek Van de Velde (University of Leuven)

Invited Speakers:

Ad Backus (Tilburg University)
Benedikt Szmrecsanyi (University of Manchester/University of Leuven)
Graeme Trousdale (University of Edinburgh)
Arie Verhagen (Leiden University)

The programme includes four invited talks:

Graeme Trousdale (University of Edinburgh) - The way-construction from a Sign-Based Construction Grammar perspective: Present-day variation as a result of constructionalization

Ad Backus (Tilburg University) - Rethinking Weinreich, Labov & Herzog from a usage-based perspective: Contact-induced change in Dutch Turkish

Benedikt Szmrecsanyi (University of Leuven) - Exploring cross-constructional variation and change

Arie Verhagen (Leiden University) - 'Vreemde talen', 'foreign languages', and 'Fremdsprachen': Investigating factors underlying crosslinguistic variation in the use of constructions in Dutch, English, and German

as well as eight more talks on aspects of diachronic and/or synchronic variation in the formal or semantic properties of constructions from Dutch and related languages, selected after an open call.

For a full programme, see:

Participation is free of charge, but participants are kindly requested to register in advance via:

Page Updated: 22-Nov-2013