LINGUIST List 26.4842

Mon Nov 02 2015

Calls: Historical Ling, Socioling/Italy

Editor for this issue: Ashley Parker <>

Date: 02-Nov-2015
From: Paola Cotticelli <>
Subject: Diachronic Contact and Change in Ancient and Modern Languages
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Full Title: Diachronic Contact and Change in Ancient and Modern Languages

Date: 31-Aug-2016 - 03-Sep-2016
Location: Naples, Italy
Contact Person: Paola Cotticelli
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics; Sociolinguistics

Call Deadline: 15-Nov-2015

Meeting Description:

Convenors: Paola Cotticelli-Kurras (Università di Verona), Eugen Hill (Universität Köln)


The workshop aims at promoting the discussion among linguists who are interested in the phenomena of contact and interference between languages, on the different levels on which such interactions may occur (phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicon, semantics, pragmatics). We expect the discussion to provide new insights into the various issues of linguistic change as a result of contact, therefore we will focus on the diachronic perspective of contact investigation.

Motivations and Aims:

Language contact is one of the main mechanisms triggering and influencing linguistic change (Weinreich 1953; Gusmani 1993; Thomason 2001; Winford 2003; Aichenvald, Dixon 2006; Deumert, Durrleman 2006; Berruto 2009). It manifests irself on several different levels: in lexical loans, of course, (e.g. Bombi 2005; Mauri, Giacalone-Ramat, Molinelli 2013), but also in the innovation of grammar (Myers-Scotton 2002; Heine, Kuteva 2005; Bakker, Hekking 2012, Hill 2013 and Hill 2015) or at the phonological level (Schrijver 2014). In the domain of historical languages, it also plays an important role in translation texts (e.g. Cotticelli-Kurras 2006; Cotticelli-Kurras et al., ed., 2012). The aim of the Workshop is to bring together scholars dealing with several aspects of language contact from different perspectives, comparing the methodologies applied to the study of ancient (written) as well as modern languages.

From the perspective of language change, (epi)phenomena of (diaphasic, diamesic, diastratic, diatopic and diachronic) variation will be investigated, as they emerge in ancient and modern languages. They may be highlighted through the assessment of graphic, morpho-phonological and lexical indicators, as well as from the perspective of bilingualism, diglossia and code-switching, evaluating the possible implications with respect to language mutation.

Processes of linguistic assimilation, dissimilation or suppletion will be investigated, as they are operated by groups who aim at defining and proclaiming the existence of a linguistic boundary. This phenomenon is also visible in the case of text translations, which may reveal unexplored dynamics in the relationship between two (or more) cultures and languages.

As far as the diachrony of ancient language contact is concerned, the theoretical correlate of all these objectives is the elaboration of interpretative models to assess the text sociolinguistically, verifying the possibility to inherit such models from the framework of modern languages, that offer a rich and varied documentation on the diastratic, diamesic and diaphasic level, whereas the ancient ones are known only through written documents.

Analyzing ancient language corpora, but also modern ones, with a quantitative and qualitative integrated approach, one of the goals is certainly observing phenomena such as frequency and saliency, used to explain the processes of mutation. In other words, this means assigning a crucial role to the dynamic relationship between synchrony and diachrony. A detailed analysis of the texts on both the philological and the linguistic levels - in the context of their socio-historical implications - may provide interpretative keys to explain the complexity of synchronic variation. At the same time, it enables an analysis of linguistic mutation, which can be examined from the perspective of its socio-cultural environment.

Call for Papers:

We invite you to submit abstracts up to 300 words (references not included) describing original, unpublished research related to the topic described above. Abstracts should be in English. Files must be in an editable format (e.g. .odt, .doc, .docx or .rtf; pdfs will not be considered), and should be sent to both the organizers:

The deadline for the submission of the short abstract is November 15, 2015. Abstracts will be evaluated by the convenors, and selected abstracts will accompany the workshop proposal. We will notify you of inclusion in the workshop proposal when we submit it on November 25. Note that if the workshop has been accepted, you will also have to prepare a full abstract and submit it to be reviewed by the SLE scientific committee. The deadline for the submission of full abstracts is January 15, 2016. For further information, please refer to the SLE meeting webpage at


Aickhenvald, Alexandra, Dixon, Robert M.W. (2006), Grammars in Contact: a cross-linguistic typology. Oxford, OUP.

Bakker, Dik, Ewald Hekking (2012), Constraints on morphological borrowing: Evidence from Latin America, in: Johanson, Lars Martine Robbeets (eds.). Copies versus Cognates in Bound Morphology. Leiden - Boston: Brill, pp. 187–220.

Berruto, Gaetano (2009), Confini tra sistemi, fenomenologia del contatto linguistico e modelli del code switching, in La lingua come cultura, a cura di G. Iannaccaro & V. Matera, Torino, UTET, pp. 3-34, 212-216.

Bombi, Raffaella (2005), La linguistica del contatto. Tipologie di anglicismi nell’italiano contemporaneo e riflessi metalinguistici, Roma, Il Calamo.

Cotticelli Kurras, Paola (2006), Aspetti del contatto linguistico nella traduzione della Bibbia lituana di Bretke, in Studi linguistici in onore di Roberto Gusmani, R. Bombi, G. Cifoletti, F. Fusco, L. Innocente, V. Orioles , Edizioni dell´Orso, pp. 487-505

Cotticelli-Kurras, Paola et al. (2012) FS CARRUBA

Deumert, Ana, Durrleman, Stephanie (2006), Structure and Variation in Language-Contact, Amsterdam, Benjamins.

Gusmani, Roberto (1993), Saggi sull’interferenza linguistica, Firenze, Le Lettere.

Mauri, Caterina, Giacalano-Ramat, Anna, Molinelli, Piera (2013) Synchrony and Diachrony: a Dynamic Interface, Amsterdam, Benjamins.

Myers-Scotton, Carol (2002), Contact linguistics. Bilingual encounters and grammatical outcomes, Oxford, Blackwell.

Heine, Bernd, Tania Kuteva (2005), Language Contact and Grammatical Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hill, Eugen (2013), Sprachkontakt und die Flexionsmorphologie bei der Ausbreitung des Indogermanischen, in Indogermanischen Forschungen 118, 169-192.

Hill, Eugen (2015), Suppletion replication in grammaticalization and its triggering factors, in Language Dynamics and Change 5: 52-91.

Norde, Muriel, de Jonge, Bob, Hasselblatt, Cornelius (2010), Language Contact: new perspectives, Amsterdam, Benjamins.

Schrijver, Peter (2014), Language contact and the origin of the Germanic languages, Routledge Studies in Linguistics, New York, Routledge.

Thomason, Sarah G. (2001), Language contact, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press.

Weinreich, Uriel (1953), Languages in contact. Findings and problems, New York.

Winford, Donald (2003), An introduction to contact linguistics, Malden (Mass.), Blackwell.

Page Updated: 02-Nov-2015