The conference “Language Contact and Language Change in Western Asia” focuses on multilingualism in Western Asia. Within Western Asia, we aim at focusing the Kurdish-populated areas in the regions of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and the neighboring countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. In this area, several Indo-European varieties are spoken, including Armenian, Kurdish varieties, and Persian. A number of non-Indo-European languages are spoken as well, such as Azeri Turkic, Arabic, Neo-Aramaic, and Turkish. Finally Georgian and other Caucasian languages are also spoken in the region. Most of the above-mentioned languages exhibit a suprastratum of Semitic, Iranian and Turkic languages due to their close contact for centuries.
The conference explores the use of corpus methods in descriptive and theoretical analysis of word order change of natural languages in a multilingual area like Western Asia. Focal areas of interest include, but are not limited to language contact and language change in word order, information structure, and prosody. Furthermore, we are interested in theoretical and methodological issues pertaining to corpus-oriented research in language contact, i.e. tools, methods, and techniques in corpus assembly, annotation and analysis, the interaction between corpus linguistics and computational linguistics, the relevance of corpus linguistics and linguistic theory, the use of statistical and quantitative methods in detecting patterns of language change, as well as the impact of corpus-based vs. corpus-driven approaches on our view and understanding of morphosyntatic change in languages.