Evolution of Language
Lecturer(s):Regine Eckardt (ZAS and HU Berlin)
Type:Advanced Course
Section:Logic and Language
Time: 9.00-10.30 (Slot 1)
Room:EM 3.36


This advanced course will address students and scholars with working
knowledge in syntax and truth conditional semantics. It offers an overview
over recent formal approaches to language change, and a thorough
introduction to the major techniques and topics of prominent strands of
research. Special emphasis will be laid on the weighing of theories
against real data. The preliminary curriculum includes the following

The shorter the better. Zipf’s law and cousins.
OT, BiOT, and the quest for optimal languages. Blutner, Jäger.
The evolution of the ABC of binding theory. Keenan, Levinson, Mattausch.
Pragmatics, unbacked cheques, and semantic reanalysis. Eckardt
Other recent evolutionary approaches to language. Novak, Kirby, Briscoe
The challenge of real facts. Overview over some observations in typology,
grammaticalization theory and creolization that show what speakers really
find optimal.


© ESSLLI 2005 Organising Committee 2004-12-01