Thursday, December 20, 2012

CFP: Methods in Biolinguistics Workshop

Methods in Biolinguistics Workshop
at the LSA Summer Institute
Ann Arbor, MI - July 12, 2013

In conjunction with the LSA Special Interest Group on Biolinguistics, we invite the submission of abstracts for a workshop on methodology in biolinguistics, to be held on July 12, 2013 at the LSA Summer Institute at the University of Michigan.

The goal of biolinguistics is to explore theories of language that are biologically plausible as part of an effort to explain how the faculty of language arises both ontogenetically (over the course of an individual’s lifetime) and phylogenetically (on an evolutionary timescale). The LSA Special Interest Group on Biolinguistics, founded in 2009, seeks to explore these questions as well as to help the field of biolinguistics define itself by, as stated in the SIG description, “helping to identify what makes biolinguistics ‘bio’ (and ‘linguistic’), initiate discussions on how it differs from previous models of generative grammar (and how it doesn’t), debate whether generative grammar is actually a prerequisite […] and so on.”

In this workshop, we will foster dialogue on biolinguistic methodology. This topic emerged as a topic of interest and concern during the roundtable discussion at the end of the Workshop on Biolinguistics Organized Session at the LSA Annual Meeting in Portland, January 2012. Specifically, we aim with this workshop to field presentations about how biolinguists (both practicing and aspiring ones) can contribute to interdisciplinary dialogue and be informed consumers of data and literature from fields such as genetics, archaeology, and evolutionary biology. We will also feature morning and afternoon roundtable discussions with the speakers.

Invited speakers:      Noam Chomsky, MIT (T.B.C.)
                                 Norbert Hornstein, University of Maryland

Abstracts for 30-minute oral presentations should be anonymous and between 200-500 words. Please, no more than one single-authored and one joint-authored abstract per person.

Abstracts are due March 1, 2013.
Please send abstracts, preferably in .PDF format, to both:
Kleanthes Grohmann –
Bridget Samuels –

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. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Publication changes for Biolinguistics journal

From the editors of Biolinguistics:

"Open access, the next step: Publication changes in BIOLINGUISTICS"

Over the past year or so we have received many excellent submissions, so much so that we found ourselves in an uncomfortable situation: We had to tell some authors that their accepted submissions would not come out until 2014. We felt that this was a departure from our ideal for the journal -- the dual promise of fast review and fast publication --, and that we had to do something about it. As a result, we have decided to follow the example of other Open Access, online-only journals, and publish accepted submissions as soon as they are accepted and properly formatted, instead of waiting to compile entire issues. This change will make it possible for us to publish more material and in a more speedy fashion. Beginning with volume 7 (2013), there will be no more issues; rather, each piece gets published when it's ready, with consecutive page numbering within each given annual volume.