This is a collection of papers prepared within the framework of the
research project Communications, Contacts and Barriers in Different
Cultures and Regions of Europe and Africa (IFSC / IZV, Charles University,
Prague, Grant Agency of the Czech Republic Project No 403/96/0787).
The major part of the papers published within this volume was presented
either at the international workshop 'Language and its Stratification in
Space and Time' held in Prague in 1996, or at various disciplinary
(linguistic) and multidisciplinary (sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic)
round-tables organized in 1996 and 1997 by this research group in
cooperation with the Charles University and the Prague Linguistic Circle.
The multidisciplinary character of the project offered even outlooks in
philosophical and cognitive aspects of the linguistic expression of
existence and its location in space and time.
That is why the present volume was prepared in cooperation with a
philosopher and a participant from the Max Planck Institute for
Sociolinguistics. In spite of the fact that language data and situations
dealt with by these papers involve different omance language types,
families and areas deserving different cultures in several regions of two
continents, the original versions of certain papers were subject to
discussions, and a sort of coordination and homogenisation was attempted.
As several authors of the present team are also members of the Groupement
de Recherche Européen No 1172 of the Centre National de la Recherche
Scientifique (Paris) "Diffusion Lexicale" (Caron, Cyffer, Jungraithmayr,
Nicolaï, Zima), the main focus of most papers was on languages of the
Sahel-Sahara region of Africa. However, contrasting with data from
languages of other regions both in Africa (Bantu) and in Europe
(Indo-European in general, and Romance or Baltic languages in particular)
proved very useful and offered opportunities for attempting more universal
Papers presented by Eleonore Adwiraah, Thomas Bearth, Siegmund Brauner,
Cecile Canut, Bernard Caron, Norbert Cyffer, Nella Vladimirovna Gromova,
Tomáš Hoskovec, Herrmann Jungraithmayr, Robert Nicolaï, Eric Pederson,
Zdenek Pinc, Jan Šabršula, Petr Zima.