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Summer School "Limits of Variability in Language"

18. - 22. June 2018

The summer school is organized by the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre SFB 1287 “Limits of Variability in Language: Cognitive, Grammatical, and Social Aspects“. The school will bring together leading international experts from different subfields of linguistics, covering the span from modern sociolinguistics, via dialect research, to grammar theory and the formal study of African languages.

The school’s central topic is the empirical study and theoretical modelling of variability and its constraints at various levels of language. The more practical objective of the school is to bring together graduates with different empirical, methodological, and theoretical backgrounds, and to create a platform for mutual exchange and joint learning. Individual courses will introduce new empirical methods for diagnosing (in-)variability in language systems and language use; and they offer novel ways for the theoretical modelling of (in-)variability in language. Graduates can learn about and exchange ideas on Formal approaches to social meaning, variation and identity construction (Heather Burnett, Paris), Linguistic variation and change in social context (Sali Tagliamonte, Toronto), Morphophonemic and morphosyntactic variation in Bantu (Larry Hyman, Berkeley & Jenneke van der Wal, Leiden), and Discovering parameters: from micro- to macro-variation (Marjo van Koppen, Utrecht & Jeroen van Craenenbroeck, Leuven). This is complemented by lectures of Sjef Barbiers (Leiden), who is a Mercator Fellow in the SFB.

With its wide array of topics that address young linguists from all sub-fields, the school aims at contributing to the overall goals of the SFB 1287: A better understanding of how constraints on individual language use and (social) constraints on communication between speakers interact in shaping individual mental grammars; how individual mental grammars change over time; and how they are stabilized and aligned through inter-speaker communication, resulting in externalized language systems that are indicative of the limits of variability.

Deadline for a binding registration is the 15. May. Late applicants might be considered. Please send an E-Mail with the header “Summer School” stating your name and affiliation to SFB1287@uni-potsdam.nomorespam.de. Please state the morning session (A or B) that you want to attend. Due to limited space the applications will be dealt with on a first-come-first-serve basis. The participation fee is 20 €.

Here is the link to the summer school schedule (updated 18.04.2018) and a list of accommodations.