International Linguistic Association conference at Rutgers

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A SNARL staffer sends the following report from the International Linguistic Association’s annual conference:

In mid-April, the International Linguistic Association held their annual conference at Rutgers.  The conference was titled “Globalization, Language Contact and Language Vitality: Three days of scholarly conversation about the effects of globalization on language change and survival.”

It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about the achievements of linguists working outside the theoretical and experimental parameters of our department.  One of my favorite talks was about a variety of languages spoken in and around Iran and about how speakers of Iranian vernaculars are developing writing systems through which to contribute to Wikipedia.  The next day, I learned about how immigrants to the US from Hungary think about their homeland and how that expresses itself linguistically.  The last keynote speaker treated us to a nice summary of new and emerging language technologies at Google. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend many talks – see the panel schedule for detail.

The local conference co-chair was Richard V. Simmons, chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.  The event was co-sponsored by the Asian Languages and Cultures Department, the Department of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Linguistics Department.  Linguists in our department volunteered to chair some of the sessions.