Workshop on Population Movements, Language Contact in East Asia and Southeast Asia, and Evolutionary Linguistics

Through June 11, 2022
Zoom Webinar

Co-organizers: The University of Chicago, The University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Jun. 8

The purpose of this workshop is to assess the extent to which layers of population movements and language contacts in East and Southeast Asia (ESEA) can account for the specificities of language evolution in the region.

The speakers are experts on language contact and genetic linguists working on language diffusion and contraction in ESEA who have been invited to present their evidence and interpretations that should help us in the following ways: 1) better understand how languages have evolved in the region from the point of view of the intersection of contact linguistics and genetic/genealogical linguistics; and 2) determine ways in which what we learn can help improve our theorizing on differential language evolution as actuated by population movements and language contact. They will discuss topics including language speciation and the emergence of new language varieties, language endangerment and loss, whether developments in ESEA are consistent with what has been observed in other parts of the world (such as West Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific), and what are some specificities of ESEA that we should note.

The event, which is open to the public, is a test of some uniformitarian generalizations about the impact of colonization and worldwide globalization on language evolution.


Salikoko S. Mufwene
Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor and the College
Department of Linguistics
The University of Chicago

Virginia Yip
Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Stephen Matthews
Department of Linguistics
The University of Hong Kong

Kofi Yakpo
Associate Professor
Department of Linguistics
The University of Hong Kong




Please click below for the recordings:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4