Call for papers: Workshop on Advances in Biolinguistics


Call deadline: 15 July 2012

Event: International Congress of Linguists
Event date: 22-27 July 2013
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Contact Person: Anna Maria Di Sciullo

This workshop focuses on advances on the understanding of the biological basis of language (Lenneberg 1967, Jenkins 2000, 2004, Chomsky 2002, 2005, 2011, Piattelli-Palmarini et al. 2009, Larson et al 2010, Di Sciullo et al. 2010, Di Sciullo and Boeckx 2011). The workshop invites discussions where specific biolinguistic hypotheses are substantiated by theoretical linguistics evidence, empirical data and biological/natural world evidence. The workshop includes the following thematic sessions:

1. Language and biology
2. Language typology and language universals
3. The effects of natural laws

Session 1: Language and biology, addresses the question of how studies in language and genetics, language and the brain contribute to our understanding of the nature of syntax, morphology, the lexicon, and their interfaces with the other cognitive systems.

Session 2: Language typology and language universals, considers how biolinguistic studies on language evolution and variation shed new light on language typology, and the study of language universals. The questions raised in this session are the following: how is variation and change in the natural world related to language variation and change, and how the biolinguistic perspective may lead to new approaches to language typology and universals.

Session 3: The effects of natural laws, discusses recent proposals on the effect of natural laws, such as prominence, symmetry breaking, reaction-diffusion, preservation of shape etc. on language derivations and representations, on language variation and evolution, and on language acquisition. How do these laws interact with natural language?

The invited speakers are Lyle Jenkins, Angela Friederici, and Giuseppe Longobardi.

See the workshop website for the call for papers (abstracts due 15 July 2012)!

EvoLang9: Plenary Videos

Videos of (most of) the plenary lectures from the conference are now available to view online at the following address:

Plenary lectures of EvoLang9 were given by the following researchers:

  • Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini
    Three Models (and a Half) for the Description of Language Evolution
  • Minoru Asada
    Towards Language Acquisition by Cognitive Developmental Robotics
  • Cedric Boeckx
    Homo Combinans
  • Simon Kirby
    Why Language Has Structure: New Evidence from Studying Cultural Evolution in the Lab and What It Means for Biological Evolution
  • Jenny Saffran
    Out of the Brains of Babes: Domain-general Learning Mechanisms and Domain-specific Systems
  • Simon Fisher
    Molecular Windows into Speech and Language
  • Russell Gray
    The Evolution of Language Without Miracles
  • Rafael Núñez
    The Irreducible Semantic Communicative Drive
  • Tetsuro Matsuzawa
    Outgroup: The Study of Chimpanzees to Know the Human Mind
  • Tom Griffiths
    Neutral Models for Language Evolution
  • Terrence Deacon
    Neither Nature nor Nurture: Coevolution, Devolution, and Universality of Language

Enjoy yourself with the videos! Special thanks to the EvoLang9 organization committee for their very nice work!

Feedback on EvoLang9 in Kyoto

The international Conference EvoLang9
took place from 13. to 16. March 2012. This conference is held
every two years and was this time in Kyoto, Japan. The main session
included eleven lectures of plenary speakers, five talks of invited
speakers, several talks and poster presentations of the conference
participants. In adittion to this main session, there was five
workshops on the first day. EvoLang9 provided
a very wide view of language evolution by considering topics from
variable research areas of cognitive science. Mainly discussed
topics were:

  • Biological evolution vs. Cultural
  • Different models on language
    evolution: FLN vs. Protolanguages
  • Neuroscientific evidences on language
  • Tool use and language
  • Comparative research: species
    (human, primate and bird) and domains (language, music and visual
  • Language changes

Discussions were carried both from theoretical and
empirical perspectives, so that they had highly interdisciplinary
characters. In this conference, one noticed that the dialogue
between several approaches would be a key development of the
current research on language evolution. Next EvoLang10 will be held
in 2014 in Vienna. Official site of EvoLang conferences: <div
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EvoLang conferences”
Homepage of EvoLang9: Here you can get detailed information about
the previous conference!




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