DGfS 2006 typology/description workshop

Martin Haspelmath haspelmath at EVA.MPG.DE
Mon May 23 15:31:07 UTC 2005

Call for Abstracts:
The Tension between Language Description and Language Typology

Workshop at the 28th annual meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Sprachwissenschaft (DGfS),
Bielefeld, 22-24 February 2006

Organized by

* Walter Bisang (Universität Mainz)
* Martin Haspelmath (Max-Planck-Insitut für evolutionäre Anthropologie)


Typological insights about variation and invariance in linguistic
structures depend on the systematic exploitation of descriptions of
particular languages, many of which are now endangered.
Language-particular grammars in turn take recourse to
typologically-based abstractions. There is thus a mutual interaction
between description and typology, which is, however, not without its
problems. Typologists complain that descriptive grammars often fail to
provide the information that happens to interest them, while grammar
authors criticize typologists for ignoring language-internal
generalizations. This tension is unfortunately approached too rarely in
a constructive manner, but it is of crucial importance for progress in
linguistics, since new insights can grow primarily at the interface of
detailed language-particular analysis and broader theories. Despite the
difficulties, both language description and language typology have made
enormous progress over the last two decades by profiting from each other.
This workshop is intended both for descriptive linguists and for
typologists. The organizers expect that the general issue will be
considered in light of concrete (possibly even highly specific)
phenomena. Talks on all levels of language structure are welcome
(phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics).


All talks should touch upon these central questions in one way or another:
• Which features should language descriptions have to be particularly
useful for typological questions?
• How can language descriptions profit best from typological insights?
• Which kind of language typology does best justice to features that
seem unique to a particular language?
• What should typology do to be particularly useful for the practice of
descriptive linguists?

Call for Abstracts

Send your one-page abstract to the workshop's e-mail address
desctyp at eva.mpg.de, either by email (in plain text or in PDF format) or
as a hard copy. Please do not include your name on the abstract itself.
Abstracts will be evaluated anonymously by the two organizers. The
abstract should arrive no later than August* 31st, 2005*. Notification
of acceptance is by September 15th, 2005.

Note that the workshop will be part of the DGfS conference
<http://www.spectrum.uni-bielefeld.de/DGfS/>. All participants must
register for that conference (and note that you can present only in one
of the 14 parallel workshops).
To keep in sync with the rest of the conference programme, the normal
time allotted for workshop presentations is 20 minutes plus 8 minutes
for discussion.

Further information

Walter Bisang
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Institut für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft
D-55099 Mainz
Tel./Fax: +49 6131 39-22778/39-23836
E-mail: wbisang at mail.uni-mainz.de

Martin Haspelmath
Max-Planck-Institut für evolutionäre Anthropologie
Deutscher Platz 6
D-04103 Leipzig
Tel./Fax: +49-341-3550 307/3550 333
E-mail: haspelmath at eva.mpg.de

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list