The CNRS 2020 Summer School on “Semantic shifts from lexicon to grammar – diachronic and typological perspectives” will be held on the island of Porquerolles in the south of France from 14th to 25th September 2020.

The main objective of this Summer School is to explore the crossover between two different traditions of research in semantics  –  grammaticalization and  lexical semantics – from a range of perspectives such as language contact, areal linguistics, lexical typology and diachronic semantics, as well as corpus linguistics and computer-assisted methodologies. 

This interdisciplinary perspective will benefit from an integrative approach that has been designed for the groundbreaking French excellence clusters (Labex EFL, ASLAN, TRANSLITTERAE), many of whose associated researchers will be presenters at the School in addition to international scholars. To this end, three priority areas in linguistics are to be covered: (i) major semantic fields analysed in terms of lexical typology and diachronic change such as body part terms and associated motion constructions; (ii) areal linguistics with respect to the phenomena of semantic change, lexicalization and grammaticalization (Australian, Melanesian and Ethiopian linguistic areas, Amerindian languages,Creoles) and (iii) hands-on workshops to familiarize participants with the use of databases for reconstruction and typology. With the aid of sophisticated databases and the tools of corpus linguistics, semantic evolution can thus be examined in novel ways in quest of patterns of semantic change that may recur crosslinguistically.

Details and abstracts of the courses and their accompanying schedule can be found below under the rubric Programme, while information on registration and fees is given under the rubric Registration and about the means of transport to and from Porquerolles under Practical Information.

This year’s summer school has opted for a plenary format: Participants will be able to attend all twelve courses and workshops –no parallel sessions are scheduled. Note also that courses will be presented in English. Two afternoons have also been set aside for discussion between the participants who, apart from the presenters, will comprise master and doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers and scholars.


The Organizing Committee:

Hilary Chappell, Benjamin Fagard, Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Martine Vanhove & Jeanne Zerner

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