Call for papers
Linguistic universals and language in use
For the 11th edition of the conference, we will be focusing on the diversity of languages and of their uses as this gives rise to many issues extending beyond the scope of linguistics. This call for contributions is deliberately broad as it aims at exchanging ideas from different points of view on issues that are highly multidisciplinary.
The observation of variation between languages on various levels (pragmatics, semantics, syntax, phonology) not only emphasises the features which are specific to each language but also questions the existence of features common to all languages. In the light of the huge number of examples of variation, how can one reconcile the diversity evident across languages and theories of language universals?
The increasing importance and use of massive corpora today sheds a new light on language diversity: data gathered in corpora in many languages allow detailed linguistic analyses. It is then interesting to compare them with the theoretical models describing universal features as well as specific constructions (such as metaphors or expressions of implicit meanings).
The theme of the conference will be of interest to researchers in various fields closely related to linguistics (translation, psycholinguistics, anthropology, sociolinguistics, language teaching, natural language processing…). Field researcher experiencing the diversity of languages are particularly invited to present ‘their work at the conference. Their concrete experience will provide meaningful contributions to the discussion on both universality and diversity of languages.
Masters and PhD students, as well as early-stage researchers, are very much welcome to participate and to present their ideas on this topic based on their own practice and research, including research in progress.
Presentations are invited to answer questions including, but not limited to, the following:
- Do languages conceal universal patterns? How can they be described?
- To what extent can we consider a language as a specific system?
- Do compromises in translation always betray the original meaning?
- Does teaching foreign languages simply consist in teaching lexis along with phonological and syntactic systems?
- How can one solve the problems raised by the translation of implicit meanings? How can metaphors be translated?
- Are there any universal tendencies in the general evolution of languages? (e.g. grammaticalisation, loss of inflection)
- What can massive data and multilingual aligned corpora reveal about universal aspects of language?
- How can ethnocentric bias be avoided while doing plurilingual research?
- Are there any syntactic / semantic / phonological universal categories? What would they be?
- Which tools can be used to analyze the similarities and differences in phonology, syntax, semantics and discourse between two languages?
- Which models should be adopted to classify languages? Models based on linguistic typology or those based on language families?
- How important are universal (or specific) structures of a given language in the process of child language acquisition?