Saturday, April 23rd 2022
Prof. Dr. Onno Crasborn
International sign: another language we all understand
Dr. Maria Carmen Fonseca-Mora
Musical aptitude as an individual difference in learning to read
Dr. Azeb Amha
"Whistle my name": intersections of music and language among the Oyda people of Ethiopia
The Oyda area is dominated by mountains and valleys, partly shaped by the Great Rift Valley system that vertically splits Ethiopia into two. Most likely influenced by this natural environment, the Oyda people use a naming and communication system (moyzé súnts 'moyze name') that involves whistling, using the hands held against the mouth to modify the airstream. Most people in Oyda (irrespective of gender and age) have a moyzé súnts which is used side by side their s’eéggo sunts (personal/proper name, lit. ‘calling name’). With few exceptions, the whistled name of an individual has no phonological correspondence to his/her personal name, i.e., moyzé is not the whistled version of one's personal name. Moyzé is like a name in that an individual’s moyzé name is known and used by people close to him/her to get his/her attention and it is introduced to new acquaintances. In the presentation, I discuss the characteristics of moyzé sunts, the way it is learnt and remembered, the cultural and day-to-day contexts of its use as well as the way this melodic name relates to part of the musical performances of the Oyda people to highlight moyzé's significance in understanding creativity in the language-music nexus.
Sunday, April 24th 2022
Dr. Peter-Alexander Kerkhof
How the Flemish made Holland and the case of Walloon toponyms in the northern Low Countries
Between the tenth and twelfth century, the coastal regions of the Netherlands underwent a drastic transformation in terms of landscape and language. The long-established Frisian-Dutch bilingualism of the coastal region was disappearing and - at the same time - the vast peat marshes separating the dune strip from the inland clay and sandy soils were slowly colonized and turned into arable land. It seems plausible to me that these two developments are interrelated and in this talk I will present new evidence that contextualizes this interrelationship. I will present and examine linguistic data which indicate that there may have been a substantial Flemish demographic element to the eleventh and twelfth century colonization of the South-Holland peat. This in turn may help to explain better the causes and dynamics for the language shift in Early Medieval Holland. What emerges is a complex picture in which landscape, language and geopolitics constitute adjacent puzzle pieces in the fascinating incomplete puzzle that is the early history of “Holland”.
Dr. Dicky Gilbers
Comparing language and music cross‑culturally
Who organizes the Conference?
The conference is organized by the Conference Committee of Studievereniging T.W.I.S.T., the study association for Linguistics at Leiden University.