Theoretical and Empirical Approaches to Microvariation (TEAM 2018)

Nuova Giornata di Dialettologia

Padua, 14 – 15 June 2018


“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 second edition of the TEAM is centered on micro-comparative studies, which have greatly contributed to theoretical linguistics in recent years. In the tradition of our Giornata di dialettologia we invite papers coming from all linguistic families and on all domains of grammar provided they analyze minimally homogeneous linguistic areas.

Comparison between genetically related languages can offer new insights into the way language variation works which require going beyond the classic parametric, or even the micro-parametric view towards new formal ways to model grammatical divergence. In order to account for the peculiar ways variation distributes across genetically  homogenous areas we have a powerful heuristic tool at our disposal, i.e. geographical distributional patterns can  show us whether apparently distinct phenomena are actually related or not at a higher abstraction level. 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, but they can be used for much more and bring us to still unexplored paths.

This year we also organize a round table on experimental methods used in bidialectal as well as bilingual language acquisition. Whereas a lot of research has been carried out on different types of bilingual population (successive bilinguals, heritage speakers, second language learners, etc.), the field has just started exploring the acquisition of two or more closely related varieties. The question we address in this round table is whether we find the typical phenomena of bilingualism in bidialectalism or whether bidialectalism is qualitatively different from bilingualism from both a linguistic and a cognitive perspective. 

Invited speakers

              Peter Svenonius (CASTL, University of Tromsø)

              Sjef Barbiers (Leiden University)

Roundtable: “Dialects meet acquisition”

              Kristine Bentzen (CASTL, University of Tromsø)

              Maja Roch (Università di Padova)