Call for abstracts: Language diversity and prehistory (A workshop adjacent to ALT)

Søren Wichmann wichmann at EVA.MPG.DE
Wed Apr 10 13:14:29 UTC 2013


Language diversity and prehistory (A workshop adjacent to ALT)


Date: August 19, 2013

Venue: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Organizers: Søren Wichmann and Willem Adelaar

Invited speakers:

Chiara Barbieri (MPI-EVA)
Mark Donohue (ANU)
Alex Geurds (Leiden University)
Johanna Nichols (UC-Berkeley)

The purpose of this workshop is to discuss how the use of linguistic 
data may shed light on prehistory and to continue a still relatively new 
dialogue with genetics and archaeology. A central concern is to avoid 
fitting findings from one discipline to that of another and then 
concluding, circularly, that a given scenario is supported by two 
different disciplines. Instead, we need to evaluate evidence "from 
inside" each discipline, and when we try to compare results we should 
not only look out for matching results but also expect and try to 
understand discrepancies. The invited speakers not only include 
interdisciplinarily oriented linguists (Donohue, Nichols), but also an 
archaeologist (Geurds) and a geneticist (Barbieri).

The workshop is organized under the auspices of the ERC project "The 
linguistic past of Mesoamerica and the Andes: A search for early 
migratory relations between North and South America" 
(, and some of the invited talks will address the 
prehistory of the Americas. Nevertheless, papers do not have to focus on 
this particular geographical area.

We welcome submissions of abstracts (around 1/2 page, single-spaced, 12 
pt) on the general topic of the workshop.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: May 1, 2013; notification of 
acceptance: May 15, 2013.

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