Sprache | Language - Part 7

posted by nedad on 2006/03/21 15:20

[ Sprache | Language ]

The 39th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE) takes place from August 30 to September 2, 2006 in Bremen, Germany. The general theme of this international meeting is Relativism and Universalism in Linguistics. The deadline for submitting the topics is April 1, 2006.

Throughout the history of linguistics, two opposing views on linguistic facts have been competing with each other. Simplifying, a crude version of relativism takes the structural diversity of human languages to be evidence of the differential determination of language structures by non-linguistic factors (most prominently, culture-dependent world-views, etc.). An equally crude universalism, on the other hand, denounces the very same facts as secondary and thus largely unimportant phenomena behind which the "real" language is hidden. This supposed real language, then, is organized in such a way that it obeys universally valid rules (which may be innate).

SLE2006 wants to tackle the question of whether and how a reconciliation of the two standpoints can be achieved. Therefore, we especially welcome papers and workshop proposals which explicitly invite the discussants to weigh the pros and cons of the two vistas on language. Empirically-minded and theory-oriented contributions are equally welcome as long as they directly address the Relativism vs. Universalism dichotomy. This topic is relevant for all areas of grammar and practically all other disciplines subsumed under linguistics (from diachronic linguistics via language contact to ethnolinguistics).

Suggested topics are recommended, but not limited to the following areas:

  • Historical linguistics
  • All areas of grammar (phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicon)
  • Typology and universals research
  • Cognitive linguistics
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Language contact/Areal linguistics
  • History of linguistics
  • Other areas relevant to the general topic of the conference.

The conference is organized by the Department of Linguistics and the Institute of General and Applied Linguistics (IAAS) at the University of Bremen.

For detailed information on this Annual Conference, please visit the SLE-Home Page.


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