The colloquium brings together prominent empirically oriented linguists working on synchronic and diachronic variation with experts in quantitative and computational linguistics.
True progress on the question of language diversity requires the integration of data-oriented approaches and computational modelling with theoretical and experimental linguistics. Taking discourse interaction to be the crucial setting of language variation and change, where speakers and hearers negotiate meaning and create new meaning, we need linguistic theories that account for the way meaning as encoded in language structure arises from language use in communication.
Corpus data of all kinds reflect actual language use in concrete communication settings, and inspire hypotheses about linguistic competence.
In order to test these hypotheses, we need to investigate the limits of possible language use. The larger aim of the colloquium is thus to operationalise the interfaces of linguistics with information theory and cognitive science.
Prof. A. van Kemenade (Radboud University) and prof. H. de Swart (Utrecht University)