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The Why Linguistics Conference 2015 : The Why Linguistics Conference


When May 7, 2015 - May 9, 2015
Where Tartu, Estonia
Submission Deadline Feb 22, 2015
Categories    linguistics   computational linguistics   natural language processing   psychology

Call For Papers

*Update*: The deadline has been extended to the 22nd of February. We have also composed a FAQ (check our website) addressing potential topics and approaches to the questions posed in the call for papers. We would also like to emphasize once more that the conference is not exclusive to linguists - researchers and industry representatives from any field working on human language are welcome to share their ideas.

Call for Papers:

After decades of seemingly scattered research, the question of how linguistics fits into the bigger picture of the sciences and the world of knowledge in general has surfaced in connection with new methods and technological advances which deal with natural language and communication, attempt to simulate them, or use linguistic knowledge to interpret human behavior.
This conference proposes a constructive take on the question 'Why?', as in, why are we doing what we are doing as linguists, and what is our contribution to knowledge? Or, equally well, what is the contribution of a particular domain of linguistics to other disciplines, and in turn, their contribution to linguistics? To what end do linguistics and any such neighboring fields of research or industry converge in their methods, results and problem setting? This is intended to be the binding theme of this otherwise highly interdisciplinary event.
In order to approach these issues from a variety of angles, we invite papers on the subject of linguistics in and for:
- technology and engineering
- neuroscience, psychology, clinical applications
- endangered communities
- understanding human origins
- didactics and acquisition
- translation and terminology
- solving crimes
- understanding thinking and reasoning
- understanding society
- understanding human communication
Taking into account the interdisciplinary nature of the conference, participants are advised to give a brief overview in their presentation of the "what" and "how" of their research, but nevertheless focus on the "why". For researchers working in the applied and technical domains, the answer may be clear due to the inherently more action- or product-oriented nature of their research. However, we believe that open discussion on this topic is beneficial for the realization of the full potential of theoretical linguistic research and for the interaction of linguistics with other disciplines.
Participants from the more applied fields of research should, therefore, put emphasis on the contribution of theoretical domains of linguistics from the point of view of their research, and conversely, representatives of the theoretical fields should point to the applicability of their research. Both positive and negative assessments are equally welcome, as in why we should or should not invest resources in any particular subdomain of linguistics, its methodology, or its application in another field of research or industry.
The working language of the conference is English. The extended abstract submission deadline is the 22nd of February. For further information, see the conference website:

Invited Speakers:
Dylan Glynn (University of Paris 8)
Andrei Popescu-Belis (Idiap Research Institute; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL))
Mónica Tamariz (University of Edinburgh)

Scientific Committee:
Talis Bachmann (University of Tartu), Jack Chambers (University of Toronto), Jan Engberg (Aarhus University), Dirk Geeraerts (KU Leuven), Dylan Glynn (University of Paris 8), Heiki-Jaan Kaalep (University of Tartu), Päivi Kristiina Jokinen (University of Helsinki; University of Tartu), Elizabeth Lanza (University of Oslo), Kadri Muischnek (University of Tartu), Jurgis Pakerys (Vilnius University), Andrei Popescu-Belis (Idiap Research Institute; EPFL), Arvi Tavast (University of Tübingen; University of Tartu), Tiia Tulviste (University of Tartu), Graham Wilcock (University of Helsinki)

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