|On behalf of the Permanent International Committee of Linguists
(Comite International Permanent des Linguistes, CIPL) I am pleased
to invite you to the 18th International Congress of Linguists
to be held in Seoul on July 21 through 26, 2008, organized in
close collaboration with the Linguistic Society of Korea.
CIPL was founded in 1928 during the first International Congress
of Linguists, which took place in The Hague (The Netherlands).
The Congress constituted an important landmark in the study
of linguistics since it was the first time that linguistics
presented itself as an autonomous science to the world. The
Permanent Committee included such leading linguists as Charles
Bally, Franz Boas, Otto Jespersen, Daniel Jones, Antoine Meillet.
Subsequent congresses were held in Geneva, Rome, Copenhagen,
and after the war, among other places, in Cambridge (Mass.),
Tokyo and Quebec reflecting the idea that the sites of the
congresses should not be restricted to Europe. The linguistic
congresses have thus gradually developed into truly international
gatherings and had constituted the only major event in linguistics
until the drastic expansion of the field in the seventies
of the last century. The topics discussed at the congresses,
too, reflected the rapid growth of linguistics as a science
and its manifold interfaces with psychology, sociology, anthropology,
computer science, philosophy and many other disciplines. At
the same time more and more international linguistic conferences
have been organized in the various subfields of linguistics.
The International Congress of Linguists remains an important
event because it fulfills the function of a general congress
in linguistics and it is unique in this respect. The invited
talks address hot topics in various subdisciplines presented
by outstanding and internationally well known experts. In
addition, the state-of-the-art papers provide an overview
of the most important research areas of contemporary linguistics.
Consequently, the Congress will be an excellent and unique
occasion to learn about linguistic research other than our
own and to meet colleagues from other fields and to discuss
with them linguistic questions of mutual interest.
Ferenc Kiefer, president of CIPL