24.4880, Calls: Indo-European, Typology, Sociology, Historical Ling, Genetic Classification, General Ling/Italy

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LINGUIST List: Vol-24-4880. Mon Dec 02 2013. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 24.4880, Calls: Indo-European, Typology, Sociology, Historical Ling, Genetic Classification, General Ling/Italy

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Monica Macaulay, U of Wisconsin Madison
Rajiv Rao, U of Wisconsin Madison
Joseph Salmons, U of Wisconsin Madison
Mateja Schuck, U of Wisconsin Madison
Anja Wanner, U of Wisconsin Madison
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Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2013 13:34:19
From: Artemij Keidan [artemio.keidan at gmail.com]
Subject: Toward Branch-Crossing Isoglosses in Indo-European

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Full Title: Toward Branch-Crossing Isoglosses in Indo-European 

Date: 22-May-2014 - 23-May-2014
Location: Rome, Italy 
Contact Person: Artemij Keidan
Meeting Email: artemij.keidan at uniroma1.it
Web Site: http://asiatica.wikispaces.com/Branch-crossing+isoglosses+in+Indo-European 

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Genetic Classification; Historical Linguistics; Sociolinguistics; Typology 

Language Family(ies): Indo-European 

Call Deadline: 15-Feb-2014 

Meeting Description:

Invited Speaker:

Alexander Lubotsky, Leiden University

Panel Abstract:

The foundational theory of historical linguistics remains the 'tree model' (Stammbaumtheorie), championed by Neogrammarians in the late 19th century, which posits a genetic relationship between languages and explains linguistic phenomena in terms of inheritance from or divergence from common ancestors. The isogloss is the stock-in-trade of this theory, where it represents a linguistic phenomenon that was inherited from a common ancestor and is shared by a subset of its descendants. The isoglosses, therefore, define the divergent branches of the genetic tree of such family of languages. But there is another kind of isogloss, which we can call a 'convergent isogloss' in contrast to the 'divergent isogloss' of the tree model. The 'convergent isogloss' is a linguistic phenomenon that has not been inherited from a common ancestor, but nevertheless appears in several branches of the tree. This kind of isogloss is more closely associated with the 'wave model' (Wellentheorie), once promoted as an alternative to the tree model by dialectologists, which is concerned with contact between languages rather than their slow divergence from a common source. The tree model has provided Indo-European studies, in particular, with its primary methodology and basic concepts and problems, but it is nevertheless clear that there has been contact between the Indo-European languages throughout their history and that some isoglosses must be considered the effects of contact (convergence) rather than inheritance (divergence). These 'branch-crossing isoglosses' must be included in a general analysis of the development of the Indo-European family of languages. 

The present workshop therefore aims at discussing this issue in a programmatic and methodological way. How do we recognize branch-crossing isoglosses? What differentiates them from divergent isoglosses? What role do they have in linguistic reconstruction? Do they have any broader methodological significance for historical linguistics? Can we arrive at a general typology, or even theory, of these isoglosses?

For the complete abstract refer to: https://www.academia.edu/5285488/Abstract_and_CfP_for_CBC5_Branch-Crossing_Isoglosses.

A registration fee of 20 euros, to be paid on arrival, is requested.

Call for Papers:

The Organizing Committee of the CBC5 is happy to take into consideration whatever paper proposal that falls within the topics exposed in the present abstract. Long abstracts (up to ca. 10,000 characters, spaces included) are welcome. Papers will be allotted 25 minutes for the presentation and 25 minutes for the discussion. Proposals from young scholars are welcome. 

Depending on the availability of funds and other conditions, the Organizing Committee will provide some help for those scholars who cannot afford the expenses of travel and/or accommodation.


Papers may address any issue relating to convergence and branch-crossing isoglosses. The following themes are listed in anticipation of the areas of general discussion:

- General theoretical discussion of the applicability of the contact-oriented approach to the diachronic analysis of historical languages, including some of the terms and models that have been offered so far: 'substrate', 'language drift', Wellentheorie, and so on.
- Theoretical discussion and formal definition of the notion of the convergent isogloss. Discussion of second-generation IE languages (including definitions thereof) and the associated 'linguistic areas'.
- Presentation of branch-crossing isoglosses within second-generation IE languages, or proposals for reconsidering divergent isoglosses as convergent isoglosses.
- Theoretical discussion of the typology, classification and origin of the already known branch-crossing IE isoglosses.

Important Dates:

15 February 2014: Deadline for abstract submission
28 February 2014: Acceptance notification
30 April 2014: Deadline for the definitive revision of the accepted abstracts that will be consequently published as a book of abstracts to be used during the conference

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