Conference on Linguistic Geography
Coordinated by François Jacquesson (CNRS: LACITO, Sorbonne Nouvelle)
and Thomas Stolz (University of Bremen, Germany)
2011 January, Friday 28th and Saturday 29th
Maison de la Recherche de l'université Sorbonne Nouvelle (Google Maps)
4 rue des Irlandais 75005 Paris (salle Claude Simon)
From linguistic landscapes to Landscape Linguistics
Differences in manners of speech (be it articulation, vocabulary, prosody, morphology or syntax) are not simply dependent on distance. Intricate effects of NOT superimposed borders affect the life of languages. Dialectology is one of the names of on-going research on this topic, with its very wide array of integrated disciplines, from tonology to sociolinguistics. Linguistic atlases, now more concerned for instance with syntax, have also shown that meaning affects distribution : words for smaller animals and insects show more borders and irregularities than words for big mammals, although taboo may cause disturbance in this paradigm as well.
The constant preoccupation of societies with borders (although this also depends on which and where), the obvious political manipulation of language for unity or dissidence, the now disappearing bilingual practice in many regions of Europe (local speech in the village, official medium in school and « abroad ») - all these features underline the importance of linguistic geography.
More than that. The techniques of comparison and mapping, through geographical indexation and reference, the possibility of « computing » (in its etymological meaning) wider and wider numbers of data, have produced - perhaps not new avenues - but the possibility of a fresh thinking on linguistic geography.
This Bremen University / Lacito conference hopes to give a modest and probably restricted photograph of the situation, a snapshot which, even if a bit blurred, would stimulate a more comprehensive view.
2nd circular letter (29 November 2010)
Here in pdf, you find the 2nd circular letter (also in English) concerning our Linguistic Geography Workshop, to be held in Paris on January 2011, 28-29. Things have greatly improved, as you will see in the letter. If you have not sent the necessary data for your travel to Paris and back, please do it as soon as possible: CNRS adminstration will stop financial operations soon.