Greetings to the participants of the Uralic Typology Database Project. As you will have noticed, the project, which we initiated and which many colleagues joined enthusiastically at and after the Finno-Ugric Congress in Yoshkar-Ola, has been dormant recently. This prompted some of us to organise a kick-off conference, whose goal is to give shape to the Uralic Typology Database Project and to make it operable so that we can present it to the 11th Finno-Ugric Conference coming up in 2010.
The event will take place on 26-27 September, 2008 (note: one day later than announced previously!), and professor Johanna Laakso has been kind enough to offer the Finno-Ugric Department of Vienna University as the venue. This being a workshop-like conference, the only speakers will be those personally invited to contribute on previously specified topics. The outlines of the provisional programme are the following. In the first part of the workshop, general typologists will present existing typological databases and give their opinions on how these could be possibly applied to Uralic languages. The second part will consist of thematic “twin talks” in which the typology of certain grammatical phenomena (we envisage e.g. possessive structures, cases and adpositions, negation, verbal conjugation) will be discussed first from a general cross-linguistic, then from a specifically Uralic perspective. The goal of these twin presentations is to determine, through a discussion of concrete issues, to what extent the knowledge accumulated in, and the principles of, general typology can be of use in the creation of the Uralic Typology Database; and also to see what an understanding of the Uralic languages has to offer in addition or as correction, so that the future database will be truly informative for Uralic linguistics as well as for general typology. Since both parts of the workshop are geared towards the creation of the database, the talks are expected to offer practical results rather than original research, and we do not intend to publish them. At the end of the workshop we would like to set up operative groups whose task will be the elaboration of the framework, in both its general and methodological terms, and also to find potential sources of funding.
Although several experts have already agreed to contribute on a variety of topics, the finalised and detailed programme will be made public only in a few months' time. Since the time frame is small and we definitely want to get work done, the range of speakers is limited. If somebody has a specific proposal for a contribution in mind, he/she should approach any of the organisers (Marianne Bakró-Nagy, Johanna Laakso or myself – for contact details you can also follow the email-list link). Furthermore, all those interested are invited to take part in the discussions following the presentations and in the shaping of the project. However, we want it to be clear to everyone that those who are not invited speakers will have to cover their own expenses and arrange everything for themselves.
This home page will naturally give detailed information on what is happening at the conference as well as its outcome.
The organisers of the 11th International Congress of Finno-Ugric Studies (CIFU11) have agreed to include in the programme a half-day or full-day typological symposium. At this symposium we will give detailed information on the project as it has taken shape at, as well as following, the Vienna workshop. We will launch the project in the hope of entering on practical and fruitful international collaboration.
With kind regards,
(As of 1 August 2008, changes withheld!)
Friday, 26th September
Saturday, 27th September
The conference will take place in the premises of the Department of Finno-Ugrian Studies of the University of Vienna, at the University Campus (Altes AKH), a complex of former hospital buildings beautifully renovated a stone’s throw from the Ringstraße and the Inner City. The institute has standard AV facilities (data/video and overhead projector, DVD/VCR), guests can use the wireless Internet connection by means of a temporary user ID (contact Johanna Laakso for more information).
For more information about Vienna – city map, transportation, etc. – see the homepage of the City of Vienna. More detailed information about the accommodation of the invited speakers and getting there will be available by July-August.
The organizers wish to thank the following institutions for their generous support:
Updated 2 March 2009
Web-hostessing: firstname.lastname@example.org, EVSL Abteilung Finno-Ugristik