CALL FOR PAPERS [deadline: November 8, 1999]



Conference: T H E E V O L U T I O N O F L A N G U A G E


Paris April 3-6, 2000

Ecole Nationale Superieure des Telecommunications

Paris - France


ORGANISED BY: Professor Jean Aitchison (Oxford University),

Dr. Jean-Louis Dessalles (ENST Paris), Professor Jim Hurford

(Department of Linguistics, University of Edinburgh),

Dr. Chris Knight (Department of Sociology, University of

East London), Professor Luc Steels (Sony CSL and Vrije

Universiteit Brussel).

LOCAL ORGANISATION: Jean-Louis Dessalles (ENST Paris), Laleh Ghadakpour

(CREA), Frederic Kaplan (Sony CSL), Luc Steels (Sony CSL and Vrije Universiteit

Brussel), Francois Yvon (ENST Paris).

This will be the third conference in a series concerned with the evolutionary emergence of speech. From a wide range of disciplines, we seek to attract researchers willing to integrate their perspectives with those of modern Darwinism.

The aim is to bring together linguists, computer scientists, anthropologists, palaeontologists, ethologists, geneticists, neuroscientists, and other scientists who are concerned with the question of the origin and evolution of language.



Frans B. M. de Waal (Emory University), Bernd Heine (Universitat zu Koln), Ray Jackendoff (Brandeis University), Paul A. Mellars (University of Cambridge), Sue Savage-Rumbaugh (Georgia State University), Herbert Terrace (Columbia University), Michael Tomasello (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology).



Jean Aitchison (Worcester College), Robert C. Berwick (M.I.T.), Derek Bickerton (Univ. Hawai), Ted Briscoe (University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory), Rene Carre (ENST), Bernard Comrie (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig), Jean-Louis Dessalles (ENST Paris), Jean-Marie Hombert (MSH Rhone-Alpes), James R. Hurford (University of Edinburgh), Michel Imbert (Universite de Toulouse), Judy Kegl (University of Southern Maine), Simon Kirby (University of Edinburgh), Chris Knight (University of East London), Andre Langaney (Musee de l'Homme),

Frederick J. Newmeyer (University of Washington), Michael Studdert-Kennedy

(Haskins Laboratories), Luc Steels (Sony CSL & Vrije Universiteit Brussel),

Bernard Victorri (Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris).

Sponsored by

- Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications

- Sony Computer Science Laboratory Paris

- Fondation Louis Leprince-Ringuet


Some of the issues that will be discussed are:

origin of language

. origin of phonetic abilities

. origin of syntax

. origin of symbolic representation semantic abilities

. evolutionary significance of language, compatibility with natural


. language and the origin of culture

. chronology of the spread of mankind, and its relationship to language

. the continuity/discontinuity of the language faculty with nonhuman

communication systems.


dynamics of language evolution

. evolution of phonetic systems

. evolution of the lexicon

. evolution of grammar structures


Submission Instructions

Prospective authors are invited to submit extended abstracts or short

Papers (from 1 to 4 pages, max. 2000 words).

Submitted papers will be refereed and selected for oral presentation

(25/30 min) on the basis of quality and relevance to the Conference


Accepted abstracts and papers will be included in the Conference

Proceedings and will be made accessible through the web. Copies of the proceedings

will be available at the Conference. Authors of accepted contributions will be asked to submit full length papers for a volume to be published after the Conference by an international publisher.

The deadline for submission is November 8th, 1999.

Authors are strongly encouraged to submit their papers electronically (MS Word preferred, but most formats will be recognised).

Please email your submission to

Don't forget to include the submission form (see below) in your message.

If you are planning to submit a paper or abstract, or if you simply plan to attend the Conference, please send a mail to

You will be kept informed through e-mail of further useful information.


If you cannot send your submission through email, please send four copies

(and the submission form) to:

J-L Dessalles

ENST / Dep. InfRes

46 rue Barrault

F-75013 Paris - France



Submission Form

[ The first author should fill in the submission form and e-mail

it to ]


Last NAME :

First Name :

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Paper title :





Conference web site:

Call for papers: