Thursday, June 12, 2008

CALL FOR PAPERS: Directions in Oceanic Research (DOR)

Call for Papers Directions in Oceanic Research (DOR)

Call Deadline: Friday 15 August 2008
Dates: 9-11 December 2008
Location: University of Newcastle, Central Coast Campus,
New South Wales
Contact: Bill Palmer
Meeting email:
Meeting website:

Meeting Description:

In recent years research attention in linguistics has to some extent
moved away from Oceanic languages, towards eastern Indonesia and Formosa
in Austronesian, and towards Papuan. While these are significant areas
for research, this trend raises questions about the extent to which
Oceanic languages retain continuing significance for wider linguistic

This conference explores the place of Oceanic language research in the
wider agenda of linguistics by focusing on two themes. One is concerned
with aspects of Oceanic, from broad issues in Oceanic grammar to
specific phenomena in individual languages, that hold continuing
significance in informing a wider understanding of language. The second
theme relates to the interaction and integration of successive layers of
linguistic research in investigating Oceanic, particularly the core
layers of documentation, description, typology and formal theory.

The interaction and successful integration of these layers is crucial to
linguistics’ core research agenda of modelling the language faculty.
Modelling language is the function of formal theory, but to successfully
do so, formal theory depends on thorough descriptions of individual
languages and broadly based typologies of phenomena to model. Typology
in turn also depends on detailed descriptions, while descriptive
linguistics depends on adequate documentation. These four successive
layers of research activity are interdependent and each essential to the
overall research program. This conference explores the interaction and
integration of multiple layers in investigating Oceanic.

To address these themes the conference brings together key scholars
representing each of these core layers of research within Oceanic.

The conference will be hosted by the newly-formed Pacific Languages
Research Group at the University of Newcastle (Australia). It will be
held at the Central Coast Campus of the University of Newcastle, in
Ourimbah, New South Wales.

Invited speakers:
Frantisek Lichtenberk (Auckland) Description
Diane Massam (Toronto) Formal theory
Claire Moyse-Faurie (LACITO-CNRS, Paris) Typology
Nick Thieberger (Hawai’i) Documentation
René van den Berg (SIL PNG) Integrating research

Call for papers:
Abstracts are invited for 30 minute talks (20 minute presentations + 10
minute discussion) on any topic relating to Oceanic, in the following
overlapping areas:

• The interaction and integration of multiple layers of linguistic
research in the field of Oceanic languages.
• Aspects of Oceanic languages with continuing wider significance.

We welcome papers in one or more of the following areas, particularly
those integrating more than one area:

• documentation;
• description;
• typology;
• formal theory.

We also welcome papers relating to the wider significance of Oceanic in
other subdisciplines, including:

• language change;
• language and prehistory;
• language, culture and cognition;
• anthropological linguistics;
• language endangerment;
• language maintenance;
• language acquisition.

Abstracts should not exceed one A4 page with a 2.5cm margin on each side
and in 12 pt. Times New Roman font, with one additional page for data
and references. IPA data should use Doulos SIL font if possible.

Abstracts should be submitted in two versions. One version should be in
Word, consisting of the title, followed on separate lines by the
author(s) name(s), affiliation(s), and email contacts. The second
version should be fully anonymized, and submitted preferably as a pdf,
or in Word.

All abstracts should be sent as email attachments to Submission deadline is Friday 15


Registration details will be announced in due course. Registration will
be A$100, or A$50 for students/unwaged.

Dr Bill Palmer
Pacific Languages Research Group
School of Humanities and Social Science
University of Newcastle
Central Coast Campus
Chittaway Rd
Ourimbah NSW 2258
ph 02 4348 4050

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