Cfp: XXXI. International Colloquium of the “Studienkreis ‘Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft’” (SGdS) on Language and Language Awareness in the History of Linguistics (Flensburg, 18.-20.06.2020)

From June 18th-20th, 2020, the XXXI. International Colloquium of the “Studienkreis ‘Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft’” (SGdS) on Language and Language Awareness in the History of Linguistics will take place at the Europa-UniversitĂ€t Flensburg. The choice of topics may range from antiquity to the present. Since antiquity, there has been a lively debate on questions dealing with language and language awareness. One only needs to think of Plato’s reflections on the role of language as an instrument of knowledge and of Truth Seeking in his Cratylus or on the factional dispute between the Anomalists and Analogists.
Over the centuries, Read more ›

Posted in Conferences and workshops, Uncategorized

Une bonne langue pour chanter ? RĂ©flexions sur les caractĂ©ristiques phonĂ©tiques des langues et sur le chant baroque

Claudia Schweitzer
Histoire des Théories Linguistiques, CNRS, Université de Paris

Dans sa Lettre sur la musique française (1753 : 91), Rousseau dĂ©clare « qu’il n’y a ni mesure ni mĂ©lodie dans la Musique Française, parce que la langue n’en est pas susceptible ». Par consĂ©quent, son « chant n’est qu’un aboyement continuel, insupportable Ă  toute oreille non prĂ©venue ». Le français est une langue inadaptĂ©e pour chanter, ainsi l’opinion souvent exprimĂ©e (comme ici chez Rousseau), et ceci jusqu’à aujourd’hui. La prĂ©fĂ©rence est gĂ©nĂ©ralement donnĂ©e Ă  la langue italienne dont Giambattista Mancini (1776 : 199) fait l’éloge ici : « Toutes les nations sont obligĂ©es, bon grĂ© ou malgrĂ© [sic !], de convenir que la langue italienne est, de toutes les langues, la plus harmonieuse, la plus douce, la plus suave, la plus propre, en un mot, Ă  ĂȘtre adaptĂ©e Ă  une bonne musique. »

Si l’on compare ces constats avec celui de Hermann Finck (1556 : livre 5) au milieu du Read more ›

Posted in 17th century, 18th century, Article, Europe, Uncategorized

Recent publications in the history and philosophy of linguistics – November 2019

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Posted in Announcements, Publications, Uncategorized

Language in and out of society: Converging critiques of the Labovian paradigm

Johannes Woschitz
University of Edinburgh

The following text is based on and is, where appropriate, an elaboration of Woschitz (2019), a paper I have recently published and which is the centrepiece of my PhD thesis. A different title could have been: the structuralist heritage in sociolinguistics. Yet another title could have been: the ongoing clarification of the register concept within sociolinguistics.

Consider the following phenomenon: All throughout North America, a range of sound changes – more specifically, phonological changes – have been reported (Labov, Ash, & Boberg, 2006). Speakers of the Inland North are undergoing the so-called Northern Cities Vowel Shift, Canadians are undergoing the Canadian Vowel Shift, the West merges CAUGHT with COT, Philadelphians show fronting of back vowels, and so on. Similar changes have been studied across the Atlantic Ocean. In Danish spoken in Denmark, for instance, vigorous sound changes have been reported to have happened in the 20th century, which is why Swedes find it increasingly hard to understand their neighbours (see Gregersen, 2003, p. 145).

In their analysis of such phenomena, linguists are faced with at least three challenges. Read more ›

Posted in America, Article, Dialectology, Linguistics, Phonetics, Phonology, Sociolinguistics

Henry Sweet Society Colloquium 2020, London

The 2020 annual colloquium of the Henry Sweet Society for the History of Linguistic Ideas will be held on Thursday 30 April at the University of Westminster, London. Papers are invited on any topic in the History of Linguistics and Linguistic Ideas. We also welcome proposals for panels of papers on a specific topic. Read more ›

Posted in Announcements, Conferences and workshops

SHLP VII Conference, 2020, Canberra

Pacific region

Australian National University, Canberra
3–4 August 2020

Organisers: Bill McGregor, Clara Stockigt & David Moore

SHLP website
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Posted in Announcements, Conferences and workshops

Recent publications in the history and philosophy of linguistics, October 2019

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Posted in Announcements, Publications, Uncategorized

The journal WORD and the structural heritage of usage-based linguistics: Three functional tenets and an overarching principle

Enrico Torre
UniversitĂ  degli Studi di Genova

The first issue of WORD was launched in 1945, announced on its front cover as “the journal of the Linguistic Circle of New York, devoted to the study of linguistic science in all its aspects.” At the time, the only other general linguistics journal published in the United States was Language, the organ of the Linguistic Society of America, which – at least according to the received view – was firmly in the hands of mechanist post-Bloomfieldians. Indeed, under Bernard Bloch’s (1907–1965) editorship, most contributions accepted in Language were either papers on historical linguistics or strictly formal descriptions of linguistic phenomena. As scholars of the mechanist orientation were increasingly perceived as becoming elitist and the field seemed to be narrowing, a sense of discontent began to spread among fellow linguists who did not recognize themselves in that approach (Householder 1978). Read more ›

Posted in 20th century, America, Article, History, Linguistics

Program September–December 2019

As new posts are published, they will be added here.

18 September The journal Word and the structural heritage of usage-based linguistics: Three functional tenets and an overarching principle.
Enrico Torre
University of Genoa
6 November Language in and out of society: Converging critiques of the Labovian paradigm
Johannes Woschitz
University of Edinburgh
19 November Une bonne langue pour chanter ? Réflexions sur les caractéristiques phonétiques des langues et sur le chant baroque
Claudia Schweitzer
Histoire des Théories Linguistiques, CNRS, Université de Paris
Posted in Programs

Recent publications in the history and philosophy of linguistics, September 2019

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Posted in Announcements, Publications, Uncategorized