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CLS Talks - Luis Miguel Rojas Berscia (Seminar)

Thursday 16 February 2023Add to my calendar
16:00 to
E9.14 / Zoom
Luis Miguel Rojas Berscia
Languoids in layers (or as a layer?)

The “language” static and unchanging reification is not only omnipresent in linguistics, but in all fields within the language sciences: from psycholinguists recruiting speakers of language x and sociolinguists analysing language varieties, to historical linguists reconstructing proto-languages and descriptive linguists writing grammars of x, y, z languages. Some alternative models have attempted to incorporate the processual nature of linguistic phenomena into their explanatory machinery (e.g. the early Polylectal Competence model (Bailey, 1973), Seuren’s Internally Variable Competence model (Seuren, 1982), or the latest Hybrid Grammars model (Aboh, 2015)). Yet, their claims are still awaiting application in a larger number of linguistic ecologies.

In this talk I will argue that a processual model of linguistic competence, i.e., Dynamic Linguistics, allows us to go one step further in the understanding of (1) linguistic history, (2) linguistic obsolescence/language death, and (3) the place of so-called (city)dialects in the European context. The ideas are informed by case studies from Peruvian North-western Amazonia (Shawi), Australia’s Great Sandy Desert (Kukatja), West-Africa (Wolof), and Nijmegen (Nimwèègs).


  • Aboh, E. O. (2015). The Emergence of Hybrid Grammars: Language Contact and Change. Cambridge University Press.
  • Bailey, C.-J. N. (1973). Variation and Linguistic Theory. Center for Applied Linguistics.
  • Seuren, P. A. M. (1982). Internal variability in competence. Linguistische Berichte, 77, 1–31.

CLS Talks take place once a month on Thursdays at 16:00. These colloquia will showcase research done within the CLS, with the aim to increase awareness of the ongoing research in the CLS, and to facilitate discussions and collaborations between researchers. In addition, we have invited a number of external speakers to share their work with us. If you cannot make it in-person you are welcome to join us via Zoom. By registering via the button below, you will receive the link.