[Lingtyp] Cfp: SLE 2018 workshop "Circum-Baltic languages: varieties, typology and change"

Helle Metslang helle.metslang at ut.ee
Sun Nov 5 14:47:01 UTC 2017

Call for abstracts

Workshop proposed for the 51th Annual Meeting of the /Societas 
Linguistica Europaea/, Tallinn, 29th August -- 1st September 2018


*Circum-Baltic languages: varieties, typology and change *

**Convenors: Liina Lindström (University of Tartu), Helle Metslang 
(University of Tartu), Andra Kalnac(a (University of Latvia)

The languages of the Circum-Baltic region belong primarily to the 
Indo-European (Baltic, Slavic, Germanic) and Uralic (Finnic, Saami) 
families. These languages have historically developed common features 
which have triggered discussions over a possible /Sprachbund/ (see 
e.g.Stolz 1991). The University of Stockholm research project "Language 
typology around the Baltic Sea" (1991--1996) yielded the 2001 compendium 
"The Circum-Baltic languages" (Dahl, Koptjevskaja-Tamm 2001a, 2001b), in 
which it was concluded that the region is more properly regarded as a 
contact superposition zone (Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Wälchli 2001). The 
Indo-European languages of this region are considered close to Standard 
Average European (SAE) languages, while the Uralic languages fall on the 
periphery of SAE or outside of it entirely (Haspelmath 1998, 2001). The 
area as a whole forms part of a buffer zone between SAE and Central 
Eurasia (Wälchli 2011).

Language comparison and typological generalizations have thus far been 
based overwhelmingly on studies of standard language. It has been 
observed that the SAE features are more typical of the standard forms of 
European language than their non-standard variants (Fiorentino 2007, 
Seiler 2016). If a language lacks an established standard form, studies 
rely on other available material, primarily from dialects. Thus a single 
language form is often taken to represent the language as a whole. In 
order to obtain a more accurate picture, it is necessary to analyze the 
languages of this region in all their variety, to compare different 
forms of the same language as well as similar/analogous forms of 
different languages. Without including non-standard language varieties, 
the resulting picture is coarse and one-sided, from both a static and a 
dynamic perspective (Kortmann 2010, Murelli, Kortmann 2011, Auwera 2011, 
Wälchli 2011, Szmrecsanyi, Wälchli 2014).

The rapid development of corpora in the 21^st century creates better 
opportunities for comparison of language variants. Corpora may represent 
different registers, regional dialects, idiolects, communication 
channels (verbal, written, online) etc. Such diverse corpus material is 
well-suited for identifying characteristic features of particular 
language variants. Direct comparisons of usage in different languages 
are made possible by parallel corpora of texts translated into many 
languages, such as European Parliament and United Nations texts, popular 
fiction texts, the Bible, etc. (Cysouw, Wälchli 2007, Dahl 2007). The 
use of parallel corpora also highlights the need to consider different 
registers: these corpora offer comparisons of one written register, 
which may in different languages reflect very different sociolinguistic 
factors and which may differ considerably from other variants of the 
same language.

The Circum-Baltic language area has developed as a result of historical 
contacts between historical language forms. In the modern world, 
language contact is no longer as dependent on geography; interaction 
takes place online and English has become the /lingua franca/. Changes 
are being observed which are bringing languages on the periphery of SAE 
closer to typical SAE languages (Heine, Kuteva 2006, see also Lindström, 
Tragel 2010, Metslang 2009). The boundaries of language areas may not be 
stable, and they may be formed by shared or diverging trends of language 
change rather than by the presence or absence of stable features (see 
Campbell 2016).

We welcome presentations which bring new data and knowledge regarding 
the common and distinctive features of Circum-Baltic languages:

-concerning standard or non-standard varieties of Circum-Baltic 
languages using data reflecting actual language use (e.g. corpora)

-concerning different levels of language (phonetics and phonology; 
morphosyntax; (lexical) semantics and pragmatics) from typological 

-pointing out the changes taking place in this region both in terms of 
individual language features as well as in the delimitation of the 
language area itself.

Please send your provisional abstract to Helle Metslang (metslang at ut.ee 
<mailto:metslang at ut.ee>) and/or Andra Kalnac(a (kalnaca at latnet.lv 
<mailto:kalnaca at latnet.lv>). Abstracts must not exceed 300 words 
excluding references. Deadline: *Sunday, 12 November 2017*.

*ReferencesF ABSTCTS BOOK OF *2016

*Auwera, Johan 2011,*Standard Average European. -- Bernd Kortmann, Johan 
van der Auwera (eds.), The Languages and Linguistics of Europe: A 
Comprehensive Guide, Volume 1. (World of Linguistics, vol. 1. Ed.: Hans 
Heinrich Hock.) De Gruyter Mouton, 291--306.

*Campbell, Lyle 2016,*Why is it so Hard to Define a Linguistic Area? - 
R. Hickey (ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Areal Linguistics. (Cambridge 
Handbooks in Language and Linguistics, pp. 19-39). Cambridge: Cambridge 
University Press.

*Cysouw, Michael & Wälchli, Bernhard 2007,*Parallel texts: using 
translational equivalents in linguistic typology. -- STUF -- 
Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung, 60 (2), 95--99.

*Dahl, Östen 2007, *From questionnaires to parallel corpora in 
typology*. - *STUF -- Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung 60 (2), 

*Dahl, Östen & Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria 2001a,*The Circum-Baltic 
Languages, vol. 1. Past and present. (Studies in Language Companion 
Series 54.) Amsterdam/Philadelphia, Benjamins.

*Dahl, Östen & Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria 2001b,*The Circum-Baltic 
Languages, vol. 2. Grammar and Typology. (Studies in Language Companion 
Series 55.) Amsterdam/Philadelphia, Benjamins.

*Fiorentino, Giuliana 2007*, European relative clauses and the 
uniqueness of the relative pronoun type. -- Rivista di Linguistica 19.2, 

*Haspelmath, Martin 1998,*How young is Standard Average European? - 
Linguistic Sciences, 20 (3), 272-287.

*Haspelmath, Martin 2001, *The European linguistic area: Standard 
Average European. - Martin Haspelmath, Ekkehard König, Wulf 
Oesterreicher, Wolfgang Raible (eds.), Language typology and language 
universals: An international handbook. Vol. 2. (Handbücher zur Sprach- 
und Kommunikationswissenschaft, 20.2.) New York: Walter de Gruyter, 
1492--1510*. *

*Heine, Bernd, Tania Kuteva 2006, *The changing languages of Europe. 
Oxford: Oxford University Press. Amsterdam/Philadelphia, Benjamins,

*Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria & Wälchli, Bernhard 2001*, The Circum-Baltic 
languages: An areal-typological approach. - Östen Dahl, Maria 
Koptjevskaja-Tamm (eds.), The Circum-Baltic Languages, vol. 2. Grammar 
and Typology. Amsterdam/Philadelphia, Benjamins, 615-750.

*Kortmann, Bernd 2010*, Areal variation in syntax. -- Peter Auer, Jürgen 
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*Murelli, Adriano & Bernd Kortmann 2011*, Non-standard varieties in the 
areal typology of Europe. - Bernd Kortmann, Johan van der Auwera (eds.), 
The Languages and Linguistics of Europe: A Comprehensive Guide, Volume 
1. (World of Linguistics, vol. 1. Ed.: Hans Heinrich Hock.) De Gruyter 
Mouton, 525-544.

*Lindström, Liina & Ilona Tragel, 2010, *The possessive perfect 
construction in Estonian. -- Folia Linguistica, 2, 371-400.

*Metslang, Helle 2009,*Estonian grammar between Finnic and SAE: some 
comparisons. -- STUF - Language Typology and Universals, 62 (1-2), 49-71.

*Seiler, Guido 2016*, Variation as a window to the past: On the origins 
of Standard Average European. -- Book of abstracts. 49th Annual Meeting 
of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, 31 August -- 3 September 2016, 
University of Naples Federico II, Naples (Italy), 248--249.

*Stolz, Thomas 1991*, Sprachbund im Baltikum? Estnisch und Lettisch im 
Zentrum einer sprachlichen Konvergenzlandschaft. Bochum: Brockmeyer.

*Szmrecsanyi, Benedikt & Wälchli, Bernhard (eds.) 2014*, Aggregating 
Dialectology, Typology, and Register Analysis: Linguistic Variation in 
Text and Speech. (Linguae & Litterae 28.) Berlin / Boston, Walter de 
Gruyter.Federico II, les ()

*Wälchli, Bernhard 2011*, The Circum-Baltic languages. -- Bernd 
Kortmann, Johan van der Auwera (eds.), The Languages and Linguistics of 
Europe: A Comprehensive Guide, Volume 1. (World of Linguistics, vol. 1. 
Ed.: Hans Heinrich Hock.) De Gruyter Mouton, 325--340.

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