Workshop: “Continuity and Change: Grammars of the Pacific” (27-28 October 2012)

27-28 October 2012, Coombs Extension Building Room 1.04, ANU.
Hosted by Linguistics, School of Culture, History and Language, ANU
[Program and abstracts for workshop].

An understanding of grammatical change in language provides a window to understanding broader issues relating to language and society, including the linguistic outcomes of social and cultural interaction, the areal distribution of linguistic structures and the social and cognitive motivations of linguistic change. Much of the previous research on grammatical change in the Pacific tends to focus on specific changes within particular regions and/or language groups. This has resulted in careful analyses of grammatical change that have greatly expanded our understanding of the history of Pacific languages.

This workshop is a unique opportunity to focus on this research from a new perspective: to begin to compare findings from individual studies and discover what these Pacific case studies contribute to general theories of grammatical change. That is, are there common trends or striking patterns of divergence in grammatical change across the Pacific that warrant explanation? And how does broadening the empirical basis of our understanding of grammatical change to incorporate Pacific case studies alter our general view of it?

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