An international linguistics conference highlighting cutting-edge research about the way language works, hosted by the University of Ulster’s School of Communication, begins today.
Speakers from all over the UK, as well as scholars of international prominence from the US, Germany, Canada, Greece, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Japan will present their latest work on the relationship between meaning, sound, structure and context at Ulster’s Jordanstown campus.
"Speaking a language requires access to the different aspects of its grammar - semantic, syntactic, phonological, pragmatic, morphological, and phonetic. Knowing how these interact is crucial to understanding the operations of any specific language and to the explanation of how language in general operates in the mind,” said lecturer Dr Christiane Ulbrich.
The conference will also see the launch of an Oxford University Press volume, Interfaces in Linguistics – New Research Perspectives, edited by Dr Ulbrich and Dr Raffaella Folli who are both based at the School of Communication.
"This book explores the interaction of grammatical components in a wide variety of languages, and presents and exemplifies new experimental and analytic techniques for studying linguistic interfaces,” said Dr Ulbrich.
“The new research presented here combines theoretical and experimental perspectives on one of the most productive fields in contemporary linguistics. The book will interest theoretical linguists and all those in linguistics and cognitive science working on the mental operations of language.”
The University’s second conference on Linguistics Interfaces (OnLI II) will run until Saturday.
Dr Folli said: “In 2007, a workshop "On Linguistic Interfaces" (OnLI) was held at the University, bringing together scholars working on a wide range of interface-related issues. OnLI was unique in its focus on the theoretical and empirical issues arising at the interfaces and attracted many distinguished and well-known scholars presented both theoretical and experimental analyses of data from a wide range of languages.
“The success of the first OnLI workshop encouraged our sponsors, particularly the University of Ulster Strategic Fund and the Social and Policy Research Institute to support this, the second OnLI workshop, which would not have been possible without their financial and practical assistance.
“We have been delighted to see that OnLI II has again attracted a high quality of cutting edge research on linguistic interface phenomena - the first OnLI led to the publication of the new book which is made up of selected papers from the workshop. OnLI II promises an abundance of high quality linguistic interface research and we look forward to the debates it will engender.”