CfP: The politics of classifying linguistic varieties

13-14 July 2019
Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand

With growing scholarly interest in the process of categorization, it is timely to situate linguistic categorization within the broader history of ideas. This conference invites case studies in the politics of linguistic classification that place linguistic debates within the broader context of political struggles. Selective reading of linguistic evidence can justify fanciful theories: what theories have caught the fancy of scholars? Since the politics of linguistic categorization has many dimensions, its study can be pursued on several levels. Read more ›

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Posted in Announcements, Conferences and workshops

Typology – a new task of linguistics

James McElvenny
University of Edinburgh

In lieu of an introduction

Hypologie – title pageBelow I offer an English translation of the last essay Georg von der Gabelentz (1840–1893) personally submitted for publication, “Hypologie [Typologie] der Sprachen, eine neue Aufgabe der Linguistik”.

This essay is interesting for a number of reasons, not least of all because it would seem to be the first published use of the term Typologie (typology) in a linguistic sense. The term is in fact rendered throughout the published article as Hypologie, but from other sources we can be certain that this is a typographical error, which Gabelentz was unable to correct because he passed away before the final proofs of the article reached him. That the editors of the journal did not notice the error attests to the novelty of Gabelentz’ term.

As in so many of his writings, the program Gabelentz outlines in this essay combines traditional, in many ways outmoded, concerns with innovative, hyper-modern proposals. On the one hand, Gabelentz revisits key themes from nineteenth-century language classification in a conceptual framework that appeals to notions of “race”. On the other hand, he seemingly anticipates ideas and methods that would only come to the fore in twentieth-century efforts at language typology. Read more ›

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Posted in 19th century, Article, Europe, History, Linguistics, Typology

SHLP6 – Program live

The 6th biennial meeting of the Society for the History of Linguistics in the Pacific will be held 12-14 December 2018 at the University of Adelaide in South Australia, in conjunction with the 2018 conference of the Australian Linguistics Society.

SHLP6 features an exciting program with speakers from Australia and Europe. Prof. Otto Zwartjes of Université Paris 7 Diderot will open the meeting with a masterclass on missionary linguistics. The full program can be found here at

Posted in Announcements, Conferences and workshops

Program September–December 2018

[Program updated 21 November 2018]

5 September Typology – a new task of linguistics
Georg von der Gabelentz & James McElvenny
University of Edinburgh
3 October Workshop report: In the shadow of the standard
Olivia Walsh
University of Nottingham
17 October Triangulating the history of science communication: Faraday, Marcet and Smart
Brigitte Nerlich
University of Nottingham
31 October Towards a history of concept list compilation in historical linguistics
Johann-Mattis List
MPI for the Science of Human History, Jena
28 November The Elementa grammaticae Huronicae (1745) of Pierre-Philippe Potier
Zanna Van Loon
KU Leuven
Posted in Programs

Postdoc: MEITS, University of Cambridge

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 12 months in the first instance.

A full-time Research Associate position is available at the University of Cambridge in conjunction with the research project ‘Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies (MEITS)’, funded by the AHRC under the Open World Research Initiative to promote modern languages in the UK. Read more ›

Posted in Announcements, Jobs and funding

MEITS Flexible Funding Call

MEITS is delighted to announce the launch of the second of two calls for funding to encourage other researchers and partners to work in partnership with the project. Read more ›

Posted in Announcements, Jobs and funding

Recent publications in the history and philosophy of linguistics, June 2018

Below is a list of some monographs and collected volumes in the history and philosophy of linguistics that have appeared recently.
Read more ›

Posted in Publications

CfP: The direct method in language teaching

Joint conference of PHELLE, CIRSIL, Henry Sweet Society and SIHFLES.

Granada (Spain), 16–17 May 2019

Deadline for submission of proposals: 15 January 2019

Notification of accepted proposals: 15 February 2019

What exactly is the ‘Direct Method’? In France, the chief inspector of modern languages Firmery answered this question in a very simple way in his 10 October 1902 article in the Revue politique et parlementaire: ‘It is the method by which one teaches a language directly, that is, without the intermediary of the mother tongue’ (in Rochelle 1906: 4; our translation)

In the 1880s a strong movement for reform of modern language teaching arose, principally in Germany and Scandinavia, with the addition of France at the beginning of the 20th century. The starting point for this renewal can be seen to have been the call made by Wilhelm Viëtor in 1882, under the pseudonym Quousque Tandem, in his manifesto Der Sprachunterricht muss umkehren (‘Language Teaching Must Change Direction!’). In 1886 the German Association of Modern Language Teachers was founded; in 1886, also, a group of Scandinavian teachers created a society to promote reform ideas. Similar associations were created across Europe: in France, the Association des Professeurs de Langues vivantes (APLV) and the Société des Professeurs de Langues Vivantes de l’Enseignement Public; in Britain, the Société Nationale des Professeurs de français; in Belgium the Union des professeurs de langues modernes, and so on. Read more ›

Posted in Announcements, Conferences and workshops


“Studienkreis ‘Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft’” (SGdS)

XXIX. Internationales Kolloquium

4. – 7. Juli 2018

Campus am Neuen Palais
Universität Potsdam
Haus 8, Raum 060/61

Organisation: Gerda Haßler & Angelika Rüter

Capture d’écran 2018-06-02 à 22.08.40.png

The program is available here :’18_Prog.pdf

Information :

Posted in Announcements, Conferences and workshops, Uncategorized

New OA book series: history and philosophy of the language sciences

The open access publisher Language Science Press has just started a new book series on the history and philosophy of the language sciences. Proposals are welcome for books that fall within the aims and scope of the series: Read more ›

Posted in Announcements, Publications