This year, our special session theme will be Diversity and universals: The role of typology and linguistic universals in linguistic theory.
Inspired by recent debates triggered by Evans and Levinson's (2009) "The Myth of Language Univerals" in Brain and Behavioural Science, and similar articles in Nature and Science, we invite abstracts for our special session theme that focus on exploring these issues from a theoretical perspective. These recent debates have highlighted the role of typology in the formulation of linguistic theories, and questioned the meaning of "linguistic universals" in linguistic theory. Rather than a new iteration of these debates, these workshops will focus on exploring, within current theoretical frameworks, answers to the following questions: 1) What is the role of typology in linguistic theory? What contributions does the study of language typology contribute to theoretical linguistics? 2) What do we mean when we posit "linguistic universals"? What is the empirical basis of these universals, and how does the search for such universals contribute to our understanding of linguistic diversity?
We will have one workshop focusing on this theme in theoretical linguistics broadly, and a second workshop focusing specifically on these issues in the empirical domain of aboriginal languages of North America, especially Canada. Either of these workshops can host talks focusing on any sub-discipline of linguistics (i.e. syntax, semantics, phonology, phonetics, morphology, etc.) as long as they address the theme.
When submitting an abstract, please indicate whether you would like to be considered for one of the following workshops, or for the General Session. Submissions to the workshops may also be considered for the General Session.
Connected to these themes, we are pleased to announce our invited speakers: