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One-Day Symposium: Language, Music, and Interaction

9 November 2012

Time: 9:45am - 9:30pm
Host: The Interaction, Media and Communication (IMC) Group of EECS QMUL, together with The Philological Society Location: Arts One Building

Summary: With the conventional assumption that language ability has to be seen as separate from language use, there is now a familiar divide between explanations of language as a system (language competence) and explanations of language use (performance). Nonetheless, in socio-linguistics, pragmatics, and historical linguistics, it has continued to be assumed that explanations of social aspects of language and language change must make reference to how language is used in social interactions. Moreover, since the turn of the century, psychologists and those working on core properties of language – semanticists, syntacticians, phoneticians – have increasingly been exploring different versions of the view that the language has to be seen as grounded in terms of participant interaction. Strikingly, over the same period, there has been parallel work emerging in music theory and philosophy arguing that music is grounded in participant interaction; and there are clear points of contact between these two research directions. To draw these research trends together, this event gathers representatives of these groups to explore issues relating to interaction raised by their research, with the goal of exploring the consequences of seeing both language and music as mechanisms for interaction.

Speakers include Patrick Healey and Gregory Mills (QMUL/Edinburgh) Dale Barr (Glasgow), Robin Cooper (Gothenburg), Ruth Kempson (KCL), Martin Orwin (SOAS), Andrew Bowie and Stergios Chatzikyriakidis (RHUL), Ian Cross and Sarah Hawkins (Cambridge), Rosanna Sornicola (Naples), Rebecca Clift (Essex), Paul Drew and John Local (York), Ronnie Cann (Edinburgh).

There will also be music at the evening reception at which some of the speakers will be putting on an interactive music event master-minded by Geraint Wiggins in conjunction with other members of the Centre for Digital Music (C4DM, QMUL). The event is shaping up to include an online interaction between the players and members of C4DM.

The full day’s events are free, and there should be plenty of room for all those interested, but people are asked to register as specified on the links in order to know how many we can expect to come.

Schedule and registration details at:
See also the Philological Website:

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