CFA PROTOLANG 6: September 9-12, 2019

The Protolang conference series creates an interdisciplinary platform for scholarly discussion on the origins of symbolic communication distinctive of human beings.

Lisbon, Portugal from 9 to 12 September, 2019

The thematic focus of Protolang is on delineating the genetic, anatomical, neuro-cognitive, socio-cultural, semiotic, symbolic and ecological requirements for evolving (proto)language. Sign use, tools, cooperative breeding, pointing, vocalisation, intersubjectivity, bodily mimesis, planning and navigation are among many examples of such possible factors through which hominins have gained a degree of specificity that is not found in other forms of animal communication and cognition.

We aim at identifying the proximate and ultimate causes as well as the mechanisms by which these requirements evolved; evaluating the methodologies, research tools and simulation techniques; and enabling extended and vigorous exchange of ideas across disciplinary borders

Protolang 6 is organized by the Applied Evolutionary Epistemology Lab and the Primate Cognition Research Group of the Center for Philosophy of Science of the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon; the William James Center for Research of the University Institute of Psychological, Social and Life Sciences (Instituto Universitário de Ciências Psicológicas, Sociais e da Vida); the Católica Research Center for Psychological, Family and Social Well-Being of the Catholic University of Lisbon (Universidade Católica Portuguesa); and the Portuguese Association for Archaeological Investigation (APIA - Associação Portuguesa de Investigação Arqueológica).

Protolang 6 is additionally sponsored by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology; FCiências.ID, the Association for the Investigation and Development of the Sciences of the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon; SEAC - the European Society for Astronomy in Culture; and the Philosophy of Formal Sciences, Epistemology and Methodology division of the Center for Philosophy of Science.

The 2019 conference additionally calls out for contributions on the following 5 themes:

  • Paleolithic Cosmologies: How Hominins conceptualized Matter, Space/Ecology, Time, Words & Numbers
  • Defining Protolanguage and the Biological, Cognitive, and Cultural Mechanisms and Processes whereby it evolved
  • History, Philosophy and Methodologies to Study Primate and Human Cognition, Communication & Culture
  • Multimodal Theories in Primate Communication and (Proto)Language
  • Modelling of Language Evolution (trees, networks, agent and population dynamics)

We call for satellite events, 2-hour long symposia, individual talks and posters.

Individual talks & posters

November 1st, 2018: First call

February 1st, 2019: Submission deadline

March 1st, 2019: Notification

Satellite events & symposia

October 15th, 2018: First call

January 15th, 2019: Submission deadline

February 15th, 2019: Notification

For further information please visit the conference website:

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