LINGUIST List 26.4049

Mon Sep 14 2015

Confs: General Ling, Historical Ling, Ling & Lit, Philosophy of Lang, Semantics/Germany

Editor for this issue: Anna White <>

Date: 13-Sep-2015
From: Gerda Haßler <>
Subject: Competence – Function – Variation. Linguistica Coseriana V
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Competence – Function – Variation. Linguistica Coseriana V
Short Title: LingCos

Date: 08-Oct-2015 - 10-Oct-2015
Location: Potsdam, Germany
Contact: Gerda Haßler
Contact Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Ling & Literature; Philosophy of Language; Semantics

Meeting Description:

Competence – Function – Variation. Linguistica Coseriana V. International Conference at the University of Potsdam, October 8-10, 2015

In recent years, four international conferences have taken place that were dedicated to the language-theoretical legacy of Eugenio Coseriu: 2007 in Aix-en-Provence (France), 2009 in Cluj (Romania), 2011 in Almería (Spain) and 2013 in Udine (Italy). We not only take up the concerns of these conferences, but rather want to stimulate the discussion on the present research in the field of the concepts ‛competence’, ‛function’ and ‛variation’.

The term competence not only includes the knowledge of the system of a single language, but in addition to this idiomatic knowledge also the general-linguistic, elocutional knowledge and the expressive knowledge of discourse competence. Inspired by generative theory, Coseriu coined the term competence, which is essential in linguistics of parole. Linguistic knowledge was defined by Coseriu in the Leibnizian sense as cognitio clara distincta inadaequata, i.e. it explained the object of knowledge not as reflective, but as clear and identifying the object distinctly.

Many directions of linguistics claim to describe the function of linguistic units, often without being aware of each other or without developing an awareness of the polysemy of the word function in linguistics. For Coseriu, functions are based on structures, and additionally he is interested in functional categories and functions of forms. The concept of a 'functional language' combines the language-internal functions of structures of the langue with the language-external, communicative functions of functional languages in the parole.

With his model of diatopic, diastratic, diaphasic and diachronic variation, Coseriu created a starting point for variation-linguistic research, which was widely taken up and developed further. In particular, with the assumption of transitional forms between oral and written language and language of nearness and distance, distinct forms, but intertwining as gradata, the possibilities of a differentiated analysis of linguistic variation increase.

Venue: Campus at the New Palace of the University of Potsdam


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