Symposium: Linguistic Diversity and Language Theories update

Zygmunt Frajzyngier Zygmunt.Frajzyngier at COLORADO.EDU
Mon Jan 20 17:31:29 UTC 2003

ear Colleagues,

We would like to update you on the International Symposium on Linguistic
Diversity and Language Theories, to be held May 14-17, 2003 at the
University of Colorado at Boulder.

The following is a list of confirmed participants:

Greville Corbett, University of Sussex
Michael Cysouw, Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin
Matthew Dryer, University of Buffalo
Nick Evans, University of Melbourne
Zygmunt Frajzyngier, University of Colorado
David Gil, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
Ferdinand de Haan, University of Arizona
Claude Hagège, Collège de France, Paris
Gilbert Lazard, Collège de France, Paris
Frank Lichtenberk, University of Auckland
Marianne Mithun, University of California, Santa Barbara
Robert Nicolaï, University of Nice
Regina Pustet, University of Múnchen,
Stephane Robert, CNRS-LLACAN, Villejuif, France
Anders Soegaard, University of Copenhagen
Liang Tao, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
Farzad Sharifian, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia
Gil’ad Zuckerman, Churchill College, University of Cambridge

There are still a few presentation spots available, and we are accepting
abstracts until February 15.  We are looking for papers dealing with
language phenomena that need to be accounted for by linguistic
theories, and
issues detailed in the conference themes below.

You are welcome to attend even if you are not presenting a paper.  The
registration fee is $30.  The conference program will be available
March 15.
Please visit our Web site for more information,

The purpose of the Symposium is to identify hitherto unstated or
fundamental issues in linguistic theories taking into account the rich
variation of forms and functions observed in the languages of the
world. The
symposium will examine the goals of both theories of language structure
theories of language evolution. One of the expected outcomes of the
symposium will be a new set of questions to be addressed by language
theories. Some of the questions to be put before the participants with
respect to the theories of language structure are:

o       What should be the proper object for theories of language structure?
o       What should a theory of language structure explain?
o       Should there be common formal elements in the theories of language
o       Should there be common functional elements?
o       What elements should a theory of language structure contain?
o       What should be the relationship between theories of language
structure and
the theories of cognition?

Some of the questions with respect to theories of language change are:

o       What are motivations for language change and grammaticalization?
o       What are the roles and properties of functions in language change?
o       What are the roles and properties of forms in language change?
o       Does human conscious choice play a part in language change?
o       Is there a role for adaptability in language change? What would such a
role be?

Zygmunt Frajzyngier
David S. Rood
Adam Hodges

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