* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
LINGUIST List logo Eastern Michigan University Wayne State University *
* People & Organizations * Jobs * Calls & Conferences * Publications * Language Resources * Text & Computer Tools * Teaching & Learning * Mailing Lists * Search *
* *
LINGUIST List 22.202

Thu Jan 13 2011

Calls: Historical Linguistics, Linguistic Theories/Japan

Editor for this issue: Amy Brunett <brunettlinguistlist.org>

New! Multi-tree Visit LL's Multitree project for over 1000 trees dynamically generated from scholarly hypotheses about language relationships:

LINGUIST is pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new feature: Easy Abstracts! Easy Abs is a free abstract submission and review facility designed to help conference organizers and reviewers accept and process abstracts online. Just go to: http://www.linguistlist.org/confcustom, and begin your conference customization process today! With Easy Abstracts, submission and review will be as easy as 1-2-3!
        1.     Evie Coussé , Usage-Based Approaches to Language Change

Message 1: Usage-Based Approaches to Language Change
Date: 10-Jan-2011
From: Evie Coussé <evie.cousseugent.be>
Subject: Usage-Based Approaches to Language Change
E-mail this message to a friend

Full Title: Usage-Based Approaches to Language Change

Date: 25-Jul-2011 - 30-Jul-2011
Location: Osaka, Japan
Contact Person: Evie Coussé
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://www.ichl2011.com/

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics; Linguistic Theories

Call Deadline: 15-Jan-2011

Meeting Description:

Most approaches to language (change) have principally in common that they locate the main explanandum of language in the human mind and that they operate with categories. Change is, implicitly or explicitly, seen as a shift of a linguistic form from one category to another - whether across discrete or fuzzy boundaries. A well-know example of this view is the importance of reanalysis in explaining language change in mainstream historical linguistics. Reanalysis is considered to be the underlying mechanism that motivates changing patterns in usage such as contextual extension and increasing generalization / abstraction in meaning.

However, alternative views have also been expressed, in which linguistic structure is seen as subject to constant negotiation in communication. Hopper's (1998) Emergent Grammar or Keller's (1994) Invisible Hand are prominent examples. Without denying the share that cognition has in the production of utterances and the usefulness of categories for linguistic description, structure is seen as epiphenomenal in these approaches. Structure is in a constant flux across time, area and social strata and, therefore, language use or actual communication are the loci of structure formation and hence of change.

In line with this usage-based perspective of language and language change, an alternative for reanalysis has been proposed in which (changing) discourse patterns are directly related to meaning without referring to changes in abstract structures (e.g. Bybee e.a 1994, Haspelmath 1998, De Smet 2009). However, a larger coherent vision of the relation between language usage and language change is still largely missing.

The workshop aims at discussing possibilities for such a usage-based framework on language change. We wish to combine case studies with theoretical contributions that help setting up a comprehensive model on language change, in which language use is in the focus and in which the core properties of language are seen in its dynamics rather than in its states.


Bybee, J., R. Perkins & W. Pagliuca (1994) The evolution of grammar. Tense, aspect, and modality in the languages of the world. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

De Smet, H. (2009) Analysing reanalysis. In: Lingua 119, 1728-1755.

Haspelmath, M. (1998) Does grammaticalization need reanalysis? In: Studies in Language 22, 315-351.

Hopper, P.J. (1998) Emergent grammar. In: M. Tomasello (ed.) The new psychology of grammar: cognitive and functional approaches to language structure. Mahwah: Erlbaum: 155 176.

Keller, R. (1994) On language change. The invisible hand in language. London: Routlegde.

Final Call for Papers:

Abstracts are hereby invited for papers to be presented in one of the general sessions of the conference. A wide range of topics on historical linguistics, language change, and related fields would be welcome. The presentation time will be 20 minutes with a 10 minute discussion period. Please restrict your abstract to no more than 300 words, including literature references.

Papers submitted for the general session may be recommended to be included in a workshop by the Conference Organizer.

If you want your paper to be included in a workshop, please specify which one.
(The workshop titles will be announced on the conference website by November 15 at the latest.)

New! Multi-tree Visit LL's Multitree project for over 1000 trees dynamically generated from scholarly hypotheses about language relationships:

Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Page Updated: 13-Jan-2011

Supported in part by the National Science Foundation       About LINGUIST    |   Contact Us       ILIT Logo
While the LINGUIST List makes every effort to ensure the linguistic relevance of sites listed on its pages, it cannot vouch for their contents.