Conference on Language Contact and Morphosyntactic Variation and Change

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sat Oct 7 16:24:13 UTC 2006

Language Contact and Morphosyntactic Variation and Change

Date: 20-Sep-2007 - 24-Sep-2007
Location: Paris, France
Contact Person: Isabelle Leglise
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Call Deadline: 15-Dec-2006

Meeting Description:

International workshop on:

Language Contact and Morphosyntactic Variation and Change


September 20th, 21st and 24th, 2007

At the occasion of the 7th conference of the Association for Linguistic
Typology (ALT VII) organized by the Federation Typologie et Universaux du
CNRS [French National Centre for Scientific Research] a 3 day workshop on
morphosyntactic variation and change in situations of language contact
will be held.

The workshop investigates the mechanisms of linguistic variation and
change in the light of current research on language contact with a focus
on variation and typological change in the area of morphosyntax. It
explores the connections between work on language variation and change,
which traditionally focuses on innovation and reorganization within a
single system, and research in contact linguistics, which deals with
linguistic change resulting from the interaction between different
grammatical systems.

The following questions will be at the centre of the discussion:
- In situations of language contact, do the mechanisms of linguistic
change differ from those that have 'typically' been invoked in work on
language evolution?
- In language contact, is morphosyntactic change always preceded by
variation? Is the period of variation longer or shorter than in cases of
language-internally motivated change?
- Are the linguistic results and processes of language contact different
from those of internal linguistic change (grammaticalization, reanalysis)?
- How can contact-induced variation and change be differentiated from
language-internally motivated variation and change in settings involving
- How do the findings from current contact linguistic research affect
current frameworks and methodological approaches to language-internally
motivated variation and change? Can these two lines of research be
integrated or is it necessary to devise a new model?

Topics for the plenary talks are as follows:
- Sarah Thomason (Michigan) - on internal and external processes of change
in contact situations from a diachronic perspective.
- Yaron Matras (Manchester) - on the influence of sociocultural and
typological factors in contact-induced change.
- Miriam Meyerhoff (Edinburgh) - comparing syntactic variation and
language change in the variationist framework and in contact linguistics.
- Zarina Estrada (Sonora, Mexico) - on contact-induced change involving
closely related languages.

Talks will be 30 minutes long followed by 10 minutes for discussion.
Submissions are also invited for posters.

Preference will be given to papers dealing with a diachronic and/or
	dynamic synchronic perspective presenting:
- morphosyntactic data showing linguistic variation or change, either
	completed or in process, leading, in particular, to typological
- analyses of linguistic processes at work
- critical discussion of existing theoretical frameworks (language
	variation and change, typological change, etc.)
- proposals for (new) models about the nature of linguistic change in
	situations of language contact.

Selected papers and posters from the conference will be published in a
volume dealing with issues of variation and change in situations of

Abstracts should present the data and outline the analysis and the
research questions (500 words followed by a maximum of 5 bibliographical
references) and should be sent as attachments (.doc or .rtf) by December
15th 2006 to:

leglise at and claudine at

In the body of your message please indicate the name and address of the
author(s), title of the presentation, affiliation and whether you intend
to give a talk or poster.

Abstracts will be reviewed anonymously.

Notification of acceptance: March 5th, 2007.

Workshop languages: French, English, Spanish.


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