GramAdapt final Symposium Explores "Language Contact and Linguistic Adaptation"

The GramAdapt team is proud to organise its closing symposium on May 30-31, 2024 at the University of Helsinki. The program features roughly a dozen talks by the GramAdapt team members and invited speakers, many of whom have collaborated with the project for a number of years.

For almost two decades now many researchers on language typology, language contact and change, sociolinguistics, and creoles and pidgins have argued that languages may change in systematic ways as a response to the sociohistorical environment in which they are and have been learned and used. These kinds of changes are examples of how language may adapt to its wider ecology, in this case, sociolinguistic ecology.

In the GramAdapt project our goal has been to advance this research program to a new level. Our particular aim has been to research whether language contact leads to predictable linguistic outcomes depending on the bilingual language ecology. To this end we have developed new typological methodology that enables comparative and quantitative research on language contact. One outcome of the project has been to develop methodology for comparing bilingual ecologies across contact situations and to collect new data on those ecologies that enables principled research on linguistic adaptation.

To discuss these themes and their future development, we organize a two-day symposium at the University of Helsinki on May 30-31, 2024. The event includes talks by invited speakers and project members, who work on language typology, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, and language learning.  A poster session on May 30 also features work done by MA and PhD students whose work relates closely to the project's theme; many of them have also worked for the project.

Sign up for the event by the 20th of May.

The Symposium Program:

Thursday, 30 May

Session 1    Venue: lecture hall 6 (3rd floor)
09.00-09.05    Opening of the Symposium: Kaius Sinnemäki 
09.05-10.05    Keynote I: Rena Torres Cacoullos (Pennsylvania State University), Language contact through the lens of variation: Bilingual grammars and code-switching

10.05-10.30    Coffee/Tea Break, 3B hallway 

Session 2    Venue: lecture hall 4 (2nd floor)
10.30-11.15    Kaius Sinnemäki (University of Helsinki), Reflections on the GramAdapt project’s aims and products
11.15-12.00    Di Garbo, Francesca (Aix-Marseille University - CNRS LPL), Contact effects in nominal number: a world-wide survey based on the GramAdapt sample

12.00-14.00    Lunch Break 

Session 3    Venue: lecture hall 4 (2nd floor)
14.00-14.45    Napoleão de Souza, Ricardo (University of Edinburgh), Contact Effects on Word Prosody Systems

Session 4    Venue: lecture hall 4 (2nd floor) 
14.45-15.45    Poster session & coffee
- Ahola, Noora Inalienably possessed lexical items
- Damnjanović, Bojana Relative markers in language contact situation
- Haakana, Viljami  Corpus-based vs. grammar-based approach to head and dependent marking
- Hyvönen, Anu    Typology and stability of evidentiality in language contact situations
- Kapellis, Panagiotis    Sociolinguistic information from grammar?
- Muheim, Nora Language Contact in the Aka Community
- Pineda, Ricardo An areal-typological study of negation in the indigenous languages of South America
- Sherrill, Kristina Language Contact Effects on Hungarian Possessive Marking
- Sorjonen, Jenna Literacy for whom and for what purpose? Strategies of literacy development across marginalised languages

Session 5    Venue: lecture hall 4 (2nd floor), 
15.45-16.30    Moro, Francesca (University of Naples L'Orientale), Multilingualism in eastern Indonesia: Alorese and the Papuan languages
16.30-17.15    T. Mark Ellison (University of Cologne), Bayesian Causal Graphs in Modelling Contact

Friday, 31 May

Session 6    Venue: lecture hall 4 (2nd floor)
09.15-10.00    Kashima, Eri (University of Helsinki), The view of social contact from the GramAdapt Sociolinguistic Questionnaire

10.00-10.30    Coffee break

Session 7    Venue: lecture hall 4 (2nd floor)
10.30-11.15    Phiri, Admire (University of Porto), Tjwao and Ndebele Social Contact, Zimbabwe

11.15-12.00    Messineo, Cristina & Paola Cuneo (National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) and Buenos Aires University), Exploring Linguistic Syncretism in the Toba (Qom) - Spanish Contact in Argentina

12.00-14.00    Lunch Break

Session 8    Venue: lecture hall 4 (2nd floor)
14.00-14.45    Hartmann, Frederik (University of North Texas) , Geospatial models for analyzing contact effects

14.45-15.15    Coffee Break, 3B hallway

Session 8    Venue: lecture hall 6 (3rd floor)
15.15-16.15    Keynote II: Ad Backus (Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences), Advantages and limitations of structuralist explanations of codeswitching: a usage-based perspective
16.15-17.00    Dedio, Stefan (University of Helsinki and University of Zurich), Extracting linguistic convergence from parallel texts
17.00-17.15    Closing of the symposium: Kaius Sinnemäki 
Snack & bubbles