Beyond Lexicon: diachronic language contact on the structural and systemic level


BPV Conference Room, via San Cosimo 10, 37121 Verona. April, 21-22, 2016.

Linguistic interference on the micro-phenomenic levels of lexical loans and calques (cf. Gusmani 1993) is the most evident type of contact, and was easily identified in both modern and historical languages. Contact, however, can affect human languages in deeper and more complex ways (cf. Myers-Scotton 2002; Oksaar 1996, pp- 3-5). Morphology, morphosyntax and syntax can be involved (cf. Hill 2013 and 2015; Schrijver 2014), with unidirectional or mutual alterations on the structural and systemic levels. Structural interference can be limited to patterns occurring in single linguistic acts – be they ancient linguistic materials such as bi- or multilingual inscriptions, or locally limited cases of code-switching in limited geo-linguistic areas – but it can also represent a step towards a systematic diachronic change (cf. Consani 2015; Haspelmath 2001) – from the mutual influence of neighbouring languages on the levels of morphology and morpho-syntax up to the instantiation of proper areal systems.

Aim of the workshop is to discuss historical language-contact in its systemic implications, either by facing its theoretical aspects or by presenting and discussing specific cases, including (but not limited to):

  • diachronic morphological interference
  • diachronic morphosyntactic interference
  • diachronic syntatic interference
  • the socio-linguistic patterns of diachronic interference
  • theoretical modeling of language contact in ancient and modern languages
  • identification and description of language contact in ancient and modern languages

The workshop is organized within the framework of the project SLUW, that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under the MARIE SKLODOWSKA-CURIE Grant agreement no. 655954.



Consani, C. ed. 2015. Contatto interlinguistico fra presente e passato. Milano: Led

Gusmani, R. 1993. Saggi sull’interferenza linguistica, Firenze: Le Lettere.

Haspelmath, M. 2001. “The European linguistic area: Standard Average European”, in Language Typology and Language Universals (Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft vol. 20.2). Berlin: De Gruyter, pp. 1492–1510.

Hill, Eugen (2013), “Sprachkontakt und die Flexionsmorphologie bei der Ausbreitung des Indogermanischen”, in Indogermanischen Forschungen 118, pp. 169-192.

Hill, Eugen (2015), “Suppletion replication in grammaticalization and its triggering factors”, in Language Dynamics and Change 5, pp. 52-91.

Myers-Scotton, C. 2002. Contact Linguistics: Bilingual Encounters and Grammatical Outcomes, Oxford University Press.

Oksaar, E. 1996. “The history of contact linguistics as a discipline”, in Goebl, Hans et al. (eds.): Kontaktlinguistik/contact linguistics/linguistique de contact: ein internationales Handbuch zeitgenössischer Forschung/an international handbook of contemporary research/manuel international des recherches contemporaines. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 1–12.

Schrijver, Peter (2014), Language contact and the origin of the  Germanic languages, Routledge Studies in Linguistics, New York, Routledge.

Download the flyer in PDF.

Download the program.

Formal Representation and Digital Humanities: text, language and tools

Some live tweets on the #SLUWorkshop, courtesy of @DH_FBK


BPV Conference Room, via San Cosimo 10, 37121 Verona. June, 28-29, 2016.

The label “digital humanities”, especially in the case of linguistic and philological sciences, ended up indicating a number of different approaches, that range from the digital publication of materials (e.g. how to effectively annotate an online corpus) to the development of advanced formal representations aiming at investigating specific features of texts and languages that were previously studied using a standard, pre-computational approach (e.g. how to use software to help answering a scientific question). Both the “instrumental” and the “heuristic” approach to the use of new technologies are of the utmost importance for the philological and linguistic sciences in the 21st century.
The international workshop “Formal Representation & Digital Humanities: text, language and tools”, organized within the framework of the MSCA project “SLUW: A Computer-Aided Study of the (Morpho-)Syntax of the Luwian Language”, will take place at the University of Verona (Italy) on June 28-29, 2016.

No fee must be paid to attend the conference.


Conference Program

Tuesday, June 28,
Opening and
Welcome by the University Authorities
Introduction by P. Cotticelli Kurras and Federico Giusfredi
(Key-paper) A. Sideltsev, Formal Syntax for Hittite?
Session 1: Formalism and Language
Coffee Break
H.A. Fellner and B. Koller, On Sonority and Accent in Tocharian B Nominal System
R. Lühr, SubjectsTopics and the Notion of Salience in Indo-European
Lunch Break
(Key-paper) M. Frank and Zs. Simon, The “Digital Philological-Etymological Dictionary of the Minor Ancient Anatolian Corpus Languages” and its contribution to the advancement of digital online encyclopedias
Session 2: Lexica, Corpora and Tools
C. Zanchi, E. Sausa and S. Luraghi, A digital resource for Greek linguistics: the Homeric Dependency Lexicon
G. Inglese, Annotating the syntax of fragmentary texts: the case of Hittite
Coffee Break
C. Posani, The Lexicon of the Neo-Hittite Royal Inscriptions as A Tool for the Analysis of Political Ideology in South-eastern Anatolian States in the First Millennium BC
L. D’Alfonso and A. Payne, Digital Initiative: The Palaeography of the Anatolian Hieroglyphic Stone Inscriptions
A. Schachner, M. Marazzi, N. Bolatti Guzzo and L. Repola, Reconstructing and Representing: New 3D scanning experiments on monumental hieroglyphic inscriptions of Hattusha (Turkey)
Social Dinner
Wednesday, June 29, 2016 
(Key paper) M. Passarotti, WellIt Depends. Theoretical and Practical Aspects of the Dependency Turn in Computational Linguistics
Session 3: Computational Linguistics
E. Litta Modignani Picozzi, Morphology beyond inflection. Building a word-formation based dictionary for Latin
Coffee Break
M. Speranza and R. SprugnoliAnnotation of Temporal Information on Historical Texts: a Small Corpus for a Big Challenge
K. Zupan and T. Erjavec, Generating Critical Transcriptions with Character-Based Statistical Machine Translation
Lunch Break
F. Kahn, J.E. Díaz-Vera, M. Monachini, Representing Machine Change in Computational Lexical Resources: the Case of Shame and Embarassment Terms in Old English
C. Russo, Addestramento parallelo di TreeTagger e RFTagger con dati linguistici di italiano in CMC asincrona: risultati parziali e sfide future
Coffee Break
Round Table

Download the Program of the Workshop as PDF.
Download the Book of Abstracts and the flyer as PDF.