LINGUIST List 30.2249

Wed May 29 2019

Calls: Historical Linguistics, Text/Corpus Linguistics, Writing Systems/Germany

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 27-May-2019
From: Stefan Hartmann <>
Subject: The Evolution of Writing Systems: Empirical and Cross-linguistic Approaches (Theme session of DGfS 2019)
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Full Title: The Evolution of Writing Systems: Empirical and Cross-linguistic Approaches (Theme session of DGfS 2019)

Date: 04-Mar-2020 - 06-Mar-2020
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Contact Person: Stefan Hartmann
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Writing Systems

Call Deadline: 15-Aug-2019

Meeting Description:

The evolution of writing systems: Empirical and cross-linguistic approaches
- Theme session atthe 42nd annual conference of the German Linguistics Society (DGfS) -

Recent years have seen an increased interest in the investigation of graphemic systems both from a linguistic point of view and in a decidedly interdisciplinary perspective. In particular, various projects have set out to investigate how graphic codes emerge, how they change over time, and to what degree the development of writing systems can give clues to the cognitive principles underlying language. This workshop aims at bringing together researchers who investigate the emergence and change of graphemic systems - including ongoing changes - using corpus-based and/or experimental approaches. Apart from empirical studies investigating the writing system of one specific language or variety, we particularly welcome contributions taking a cross-linguistic perspective by comparing the dynamics of spelling principles and the evolution of graphemic codes in different languages and/or across different scripts. Questions to be discussed include - but are not limited to - the following:
- (How) can we detect cross-linguistically widespread principles of graphemic change?
- Do the same or similar principles influence graphemic change in contemporary informal writing in computer-mediated communication? And how do contextual factors (e.g. public vs. private communication) influence graphemic variability?
- How do different (partly conflicting) spelling principles interact in writing systems, and how does the division of labor between these principles change over time?
- Which factors (e.g. medium, mediality; graphical, grammatical, textual, socio-pragmatic, cultural factors) influence the development of writing systems and how do they interact?

Jessica Nowak, University of Mainz
Lisa Dücker, University of Bamberg
Stefan Hartmann, University of Bamberg
Renata Szczepaniak, University of Bamberg

Call for Papers:

We invite abstracts for 30-minute oral presentations (~20 minutes presentation time + discussion) relevant to the theme session. Abstracts should clearly state the research question(s), the methodological approach, and the (expected) results, and they should not be much longer than 500 words.

Please send your abstracts to stefan1.hartmann[at] and nowakj[at] by August 15, 2019. Notifications of acceptance/rejection can be expected in early September.

Please note that the regulations of the German Linguistics Society (DGfS) do not allow that workshop participants present two or more papers in different workshops. Likewise, organizers of other workshops at the same conference are not allowed to present a paper in this workshop.

Page Updated: 29-May-2019