LINGUIST List 26.5324

Mon Nov 30 2015

Calls: Discourse Analysis, Historical Ling, Pragmatics/USA

Editor for this issue: Ashley Parker <>

Date: 30-Nov-2015
From: Sean Roberts <>
Subject: Language Adapts to Interaction
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Full Title: Language Adapts to Interaction
Short Title: LATI

Date: 21-Mar-2016 - 21-Mar-2016
Location: New Orleans, USA
Contact Person: Sean Roberts
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Historical Linguistics; Pragmatics

Call Deadline: 15-Jan-2016

Meeting Description:

This is a workshop that will be hosted alongside the Evolution of Language conference.

Language has been shown to be adapted to constraints from many domains such as production, transmission, memory, processing and acquisition. These adaptations and constraints have formed the basis for theories of language evolution, but arguably the primary ecology of language is interaction – face-to-face conversation (Levinson, 2006). Taking turns at talk, repairing problems in communication and organising conversation into contingent sequences seem completely natural to us, but are in fact highly organised, tightly integrated systems (Sacks et al., 1974) which are not shared by any other species. Therefore, the infrastructure for interaction may provide an insight into the origins of our unique communicative abilities (Mills, 2014a; Micklos, 2014).

Indeed, recent studies on interaction have shown that an approach that emphasises interaction can sharpen our understanding of linguistic universals (Kendrick et al., 2014; Dingemanse et al., 2015), ontogeny and acquisition (Hilbrink, et al. 2015; Vogt, 2014), on-line processing constraints (Bögels et al., 2015) and animal signalling (Levinson & Holler, 2014).

The emerging picture is that the infrastructure for interaction is an evolutionary old requirement for the emergence of a complex linguistic system, and for a cooperative, cumulative culture more generally. These issues are also being integrated into computational models of the cultural evolution of linguistic systems (Vogt and Haasdijk, 2010; Roberts, & Levinson, 2015) and are being explored through studies of experimental semiotics (Mills, 2014b; Christensen et al., 2016).

This workshop is interested in addressing the following questions:

-How did the infrastructure for interaction emerge and how did it shape the emergence of language?
-What evidence is there that language structures show adaptation to interaction?
-How do interactional constraints interact with other domains such as processing?
-What are the limits of interactional abilities in non-human animals?

Please visit the workshop website for more details:

Call for Papers:

We invite researchers to submit abstracts for talk presentations. Submissions should be up to 4 pages in the main conference style. There is no need to make the submissions anonymous.

Submission templates are available in the following formats:


Submissions should be sent by email to the organisers: Sean Roberts ( and Gregory Mills (

The deadline for submission is January 15. If you are planning to submit, the organisers would like to be informed of your intention before this date.

If accepted, the papers will be hosted online, alongside the main conference papers.

Please visit the workshop website for more details:

Page Updated: 30-Nov-2015