Sunday, December 16, 2012

CFP: Ways to Protolanguage 3

Ways to Protolanguage 3
Call deadline: 1 March 2013
Event Dates: 25-26 May 2013
Event Location: Wrocław, Poland 
Event URL:

Plenary speakers

Prof. Robin Dunbar is an anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist specialising in the study of primate behaviour. Particular interest has been generated by his hypothesis that language evolved as a substitute grooming mechanism (Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language) and Dunbar’s number hypothesis, whereby 150 constitutes the approximate cognitive limit on the number of individuals with whom a person can maintain stable relationships. He is currently the chair of the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford.

Prof. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh is a psychologist and primatologist, best known for her work with the bonobos Kazni and Panbanisha, investigating their linguistic and cognitive abilities through the use of lexigrams and computer-based keyboards. Originally based at Georgia State University’s Language Research Center), she now acts as the Executive Director and Head Scientist at Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa.  

Prof. Tomasz P. Krzeszowski
 is a cognitive linguist and a full professor at the University of Warsaw. A scholarship-holder of universities in Albany, New York and Oxford, he is also a member of Neophilological Committee and Linguistic Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Currently based in the School of English at the University of Social Sciences, Warsaw. He authored over seventy original publications home and abroad, including continuously reissued English teaching handbooks. 

Prof. Peter Gärdenfors represents cognitive science; his research interests include problems related to the evolution of thinking and language (Conceptual Spaces, How Homo Became Sapiens, The Dynamics of Knowledge). His proposals regarding intentionality and imitation have received considerable attention among language evolution researchers. He is Professor of cognitive science at the University of Lund, Sweden, and member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Prof. Josep Call is a comparative psychologist specializing in the study of cognitive as well linguistic abilities of non-human great apes. He has authored more than a hundred research papers, mostly experimental studies on primate cognition. Since 1999 he has been based at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, where he is director of Wolfgang Köhler Primate Research Center.

Thematic scope

Ways to Protolanguage is a biennial conference organised by the Department of English, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Committee for Philology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Wroclaw Branch and Philological School of Higher Education in Wroclaw. One of the primary goals of this conference is bringing together researchers representing a variety of areas in order to gain a multidisciplinary perspective on the range of currently available evidence relevant to early language evolution. The focus of the conference is on the early stages of the emergence of symbolic, language-like communication in hominids. The conference will reflect the inherently interdisciplinary nature of research into the evolution of language. We invite papers from a wide range of subjects related to language evolution, including:

- anthropological linguistics,
- general evolutionary theory,
- evolutionary psychology,
- comparative psychology,
- pleistocene archaeology,
- palaeoanthropology,
- genetics of language disorders,
- cultural anthropology,
- speech physiology,
- contact linguistics,
- history of writing,
- gesture studies,
- neuroscience of language,
- computational modelling,
- primatology,
- animal cognition,
- animal communication.

We invite presentations in English. However, papers in other languages are also welcome. 

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