CfP: Quantitative Approaches to Areal Linguistic Typology

Harald Hammarström harald at BOMBO.SE
Tue Aug 21 07:10:50 UTC 2012

Title: Quantitative Approaches to Areal Linguistic Typology
Date: 13-14 December, 2012
Location: KNAW, Trippenhuis, Kloveniersburgwal 29, Amsterdam, the


Description: The idea that geographically proximal languages share
structural features due to contact has a long history in
linguistics. Delimiting linguistic areas that arise from contact, and
specifying the linguistics features that define them have, however,
typically depended on relatively subjective judgments regarding the
boundaries of such areas and the significance of particular linguistic
features. Thanks to the increasing availability of large scale
databases of linguistic features, it is now becoming possible to apply
statistical techniques and computational models to systematize and
render more objective the identification and evaluation of linguistic
areal phenomena, and to thereby deepen our understanding of linguistic

The workshop invites presentations including, but not limited to, the
following topics:

* Models for objective and systematic assessment and inference of areality
* Soft versus hard boundaries of language contact phenomena
* Phylogenetics and separating genetic versus areal origins for linguistic
* Stability and importance of areal versus genetic characteristics of
* Macro-areality versus micro-areality
* The role of population movements and social history in areal typology
* Methods and ideas from dialectology applied to areal linguistics and vice

Plenary Speakers (confirmed):

* Will Chang (University of California, Berkeley)
* Balthasar Bickel (ZAS, Zürich)
* Michael Cysouw (Marburg University)
* Mark Donohue (Australian National University)
* Michael Dunn (MPI Nijmegen)
* Tom Guldemann (Humboldt-University, Berlin)

Submission: We invite submission of abstracts for 45-minute
presentations. The desired length for abstracts is 1 page of text
(plus any amount of pages of references or data tables). Abstracts
should be sent to arealquantworkshop at <arealquantworkshop at
*BEFORE OCT 15, 2012*.

Additional Information: The workshop is being held in combination with
the KNAW Conference on Language Dispersal in Africa, South-East Asia,
and South America and the Workshop on Ritual & Secret Languages,
Amsterdam 11-14 December. Participants are encouraged to attend these
events as well.

The organisers foresee the publication of a proceedings as a special
issue of a suitable journal or as a thematic volume with a suitable

Important dates:
-Oct 15, 2012: Deadline for submission of abstracts
-Oct 22, 2012: Notification of acceptance
-Dec 13-14, 2012: Workshop

* Harald Hammarström (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen and MPI EVA, Leipzig)
h.hammarstrom at
* Lev Michael (University of California at Berkeley) levmichael at
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