[Lingtyp] CfP: Workshop "The history of Papuan languages and their speakers" at ICHL24

Don Daniels don.r.daniels at gmail.com
Thu Oct 4 16:36:16 UTC 2018

The history of Papuan languages and their speakers
Workshop at the 24th International Conference on Historical Linguistics,
Canberra, July 1–5, 2019
Workshop convenors:
Bruno Olsson
Don Daniels
Bethwyn Evans

Deadline: October 12, 2018
Please submit abstracts here
<https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/d87118a698694681ab0d6520e6584765> <

This workshop aims to bring together scholars investigating the prehistory
of New Guinea from a variety of disciplines, to try to achieve a more
holistic understanding of the island's human past. Abstracts should be
submitted through the general conference call
<http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/ichl24/call-for-papers/>, and should
conform to the conference's guidelines. As you submit, you will be given
the option to have your abstract considered for this workshop.

Workshop description:
Explanations for the incredible linguistic diversity among the Papuan, or
non-Austronesian, languages of the New Guinea region are often underpinned
by evidence of: (a) historical connections between different
ethnolinguistic groups; (b) human interactions with the New Guinea
landscape and environment; and (c) the nature and dynamics of different
patterns of social organization. That is, successful explanations often
place language diversity and linguistic histories within the broader
context of human history. This workshop aims to create more detailed
reconstructions of the history of Papuan languages and their speakers by
addressing the question of how historical-linguistic analyses can best be
embedded within interdisciplinary approaches to the human past.

We are currently seeing a second wave of advances in Papuan historical
linguistics, which builds on the ground-breaking survey work and language
classifications of Wurm, Voorhoeve, McElhanon and Laycock in the 1960s and
1970s (see, for example, Wurm 1975). This wave is grounded in the on-going
documentation and description of Papuan languages across Wallacea, New
Guinea and Island Melanesia, as well as more nuanced methods and models of
interpreting language histories. Today the state of the art of Papuan
historical linguistics includes:

   - smaller-scale traditional historical linguistic analyses that aim to
find robustly-supported genealogies of Papuan languages
   - typological investigations of particular linguistic structures that
provide a window on genetic and contact histories
   - ‘big picture’ linguistic histories that model connections and
relationships across the broader New Guinea region

An exciting opportunity afforded by this new wave of research is the chance
to begin making connections between small-scale reconstructions of
individual subgroups (as found, for example, in Smallhorn 2011, Holton et
al. 2012, Schapper et al. 2012, Wester 2014, Daniels 2015, Usher & Suter
2015, Suter & Usher 2017, Evans et al. 2017) and large-scale histories of
Melanesia (Schapper 2015, Golson et al. 2017, Pawley & Hammarström 2017).
In addition, whether implicitly or explicitly, historical-linguistic
research usually relies on understandings of contemporary patterns of
language use and social organization, genetic variation within and across
current populations, past and present distributions of agricultural
practices, past spread of aspects of material culture, and evidence of past
changes to the environment.

The aim of the workshop is to stimulate discussion about the points of
connection between these various approaches: between small-scale and
large-scale historical linguistics, on the one hand, and between historical
linguistics and other perspectives on the human past, on the other. How can
different kinds of evidence be combined to discover the history of Papuan
languages and their speakers? How should details from small-scale work be
incorporated into larger stories? How should those stories be amended when
such details are incorporated?

Our workshop aims to address these questions from several different
perspectives. First, by bringing together scholars working on small-scale
historical linguistic studies from different parts of New Guinea, the
workshop will provide an opportunity for detailed discussion of methods for
and challenges in establishing robust genealogies of historical connections
among Papuan languages. This is the stepping-off point for exploring how
such linguistic analyses can be combined with evidence of the
non-linguistic past. Second, the small-scale studies are also the starting
point for larger narratives about the New Guinea region’s past, including
broad patterns of migration and dispersal.

Daniels, Don. 2015. A reconstruction of Proto-Sogeram: Phonology, lexicon,
and morphosyntax. University of California, Santa Barbara Ph.D.
Evans, Nicholas. Wayan Arka, Mattew Carroll, Yun Jung Choi, Christian
Döhler, Volker Gast, Eri Kashima, Emil Mittag, Bruno Olsson, Kyla Quinn,
Dineke Schokkin, Philip Tama, Charlotte van Tongeren and Jeff Siegel. 2017.
The languages of Southern New Guinea. In Bill Palmer (ed.), The Languages
and Linguistics of the New Guinea Area: A Comprehensive Guide. Berlin: De
Gruyter Mouton, 641-774.
Golson, Jack, Tim Denham, Philip Hughes, Pamela Swadling & John Muke
(eds.). 2017. Ten thousand years of cultivation at Kuk Swamp in the
highlands of Papua New Guinea (Terra Australis 46). Canberra: ANU Press.
Holton, Gary, Marian Klamer, František Kratochvil, Laura C. Robinson and
Antoinette Schapper. 2012. The historical relations of the Papuan languages
of Alor and Pantar. Oceanic Linguistics 51(1):87-122.
Pawley, Andrew & Harald Hammarström. 2017. The Trans New Guinea family. In
Bill Palmer (ed.), The Languages and Linguistics of the New Guinea Area: A
Comprehensive Guide. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 21-195.
Schapper, Antoinette. 2015. Wallacea, a linguistic area. Archipel 90:99-151.
Schapper, Antoinette, Juliette Huber, Aone Engelenhoven. 2012. The
historical relation of the Papuan languages of Tmor and Kisar. In Harald
Hammarström and Wilco van der Heuvel (eds) History, contact and
classification of Papuan languages. Port Moresby: Linguistic society of New
Guinea, 192-240.
Smallhorn, Jacinta. 2011. The Binanderean Languages of Papua New Guinea:
Reconstruction and Subgrouping (Studies in Language Change 9). Canberra:
Pacific Linguistics.
Suter, Edgar & Timothy Usher. 2017. The Kamula-Elevala language family.
Language and Linguistics in Melanesia 35:106–131.
Usher, Timothy & Edgar Suter. 2015. The Anim languages of southern New
Guinea. Oceanic Linguistics 54(1):110–142.
Wester, Ruth. 2014. A Linguistic History of Awyu-Dumut: Morphological Study
and Reconstruction of a Papuan Language Family. Vrije Universiteit
Amsterdam Ph.D. dissertation.
Wurm, Stephen A. (ed.) 1975. Papuan languages and the New Guinea linguistic
scene. Canberra: Pacific linguistics.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lingtyp/attachments/20181004/4f826ac9/attachment.htm>

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list