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Dernière modification : 5 décembre 2017

Meaning in space and time


par Michael Dunn


Mardi 28 novembre 2017 - 17h
Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle – Maison de la Recherche, salle du Conseil


Organisation : Benjamin Fagard (Lattice)

A big part of understanding why languages are like they are is understanding how they got that way. Linguistics has been good at uncovering the history of the more tangible aspects of language — systems of sounds, forms of words — but the explanations of variation in the more abstract levels of language are less satisfactory. The description and explanation of semantic variation remains a major challenge. Speakers of different languages divide up the world in different ways, and some of the basics of human experience, such as the colours or the parts of the human body, can be categorised and labelled according to surprisingly different principles. The Evolution of Semantic Systems project takes up this challenge by combining recent advances in semantic typology, the systematic cross-linguistic analysis of meaning variation, with new evolutionary methods for understanding cultural variation in time and space. Taking the Indo-European language family as a case study we examine how systems of meaning have evolved in an area ranging from Iceland to Sri Lanka.


Michael Dunn is the Professor of General Linguistics at Uppsala University, Sweden. He carries out research in historical linguistics, language description, linguistic typology and language evolution. He is one of the principle investigators of the Evolution of Semantic Systems project, along with Prof Asifa Majid (Radboud University Nijmegen) and Prof Fiona Jordan (University of Bristol).


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    28 novembre 2017 - 17h00
    Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle - Maison de la Recherche
    4 rue des Irlandais, 75005
    salle du Conseil

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