3–5 March 2020
Universidad Nacional de La Pampa
Instituto de Linguistica
Coronel Gil 353, 3º piso
L6304DWP Santa Rosa
La Pampa, Argentina
Abstract deadline: 1 November 2019
General description of the conference
The International Conference on Missionary Linguistics focuses on older texts (colonial, postcolonial, mainly from missionaries) with the following objectives: the history of linguistics, linguistic documentation, translation studies and sociocultural analysis. The aim of historical linguistics is to describe older stages of languages as well as (processes of) language change, while the history of linguistics studies early thinking on languages, linguistic typologies and structures. These studies are often interrelated with those of the cultural context in which colonial and postcolonial societies developed. Non-Western languages are our main focus.
The cognitive appropriation of foreign cultural givens and the transcultural processes such as transference and translation implicated in these processes (based on intercultural encounters and interactions between the European missionaries and the speakers of the various indigenous languages and cultures in the Americas, Asia or Africa can be considered activities of one party colonizing or only influencing the other party. Within this framework, the learning, recording and studying of the ‘local’ languages by the missionaries can be described as complex processes of perception of the language and culture (semantics and pragmatics) of the other party and of the one in confrontation with the other, processes at the interface between subjective and socially constructed knowledge.
In the field of the history of applied linguistics, the perspective of language study, documentation, and teaching was radically changing during the age of the great discoveries. In Europe, grammars and dictionaries of the vernacular language appeared, and in the Americas the colonization and evangelization of the indigenous tribes went hand in hand with linguistic studies, which often antedate the documentation of many European “national” languages. These pioneering works contain many innovative aspects on all levels: phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics and even beyond (translation theory and practices, rhetoric, stylistics, cultural studies, anthropology), since the languages they encountered often did not share the same features the Westerners were familiar with.
Further information: https://missionarylinguistics2020.wordpress.com/