Theoretical and Empirical Approaches to Microvariation (TEAM 2020)

Nuova Giornata di Dialettologia

Padua, 19 – 20 November 2020


“More languages than we might have thought. Fewer languages than there might have been.”
(R. S. Kayne, Lectio Magistralis, Honorary Degree in Language Sciences, Venice 18 December 2015).

The third edition of the TEAM conference is centered on micro-comparative studies, which have greatly contributed to theoretical linguistics in recent years.Over the past decades micro-comparative studies have greatly contributed to theoretical linguistics, allowing scholars not only to test hypotheses on language structures and language properties on a much larger empirical basis but also to refine them in a non-trivial fashion. Minimally different related languages offer a valuable test-bed for the identification of the primitive principles of grammar: keeping the major linguistic variables (fairly) coherent across languages, we come closer to the best possible experimental setting and can better single out clusters of correlating properties and how they fit together in terms of inclusion, exclusion, coincidence or intersection. Dialects have been used in recent decades as a magnifying lens to pin down differences and variation patterns that escape us in a broad typological framework which constitutes the other side of the medal of language variation. We intend to capitalize on this amount of research and discuss to what extent macro and micro variation are similar and test the idea that macro and micro variation are different not only quantitatively but also in a qualitative sense. At present we have important tools that allow us to deal with big data and can help us to better understand what the internal mechanisms of variation really are. This conference is set to be a meeting point for scholars who work on micro and macro-variation and compare their methodologies and results to achieve a more precise picture of how the internal mechanisms of variation work.

The third edition of the TEAM conference will be held online at the following link:


   Invited speakers

   Maria Rita Manzini (University of Florence)

   Michelle Sheehan (Anglia Ruskin University)