SeDYL, Languages Structures and Dynamics

SeDyL (Languages Structures and Dynamics) is a linguistics research centre under the aegis of the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Institute of Research for Development (IRD) and the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO).

Its areas of specialization include the description, documentation and production of grammar and dictionary for the world’s languages; the study of language contact, language variation and change; linguistic typology and areal typology; the study of multilingualism in different settings (school, health, migration) leading to the critical analysis of language policy.

Research focuses on four regions: the Americas and French overseas territories (CELIA), the Baltic and Slavic areas (CELBS), the Mediterranean and Balkans, and Asia.

It aims at:
  • developing a body of linguistic resources directly through fieldwork and from collections of corpora
  • advancing the knowledge of how the world's languages function, ​​and of linguistic practices considered as social practices 
  • examining the issues specific to multilingual societies: language policy (in the areas of education and health), endangered languages ​​and language standardization, and language and migration.
The SeDyL operates in two complementary fields:
  • in the field of language diversity ​​and  linguistic typology, the centre  is a member of the Typologie et Universaux Linguistiques (TUL) CNRS Federation of Research Units and of the Empirical Foundations of Linguistics Laboratory of Excellence (LABEX EFL).
  • in the field of social sciences in the Global South, the centre is a member of the Sciences Sociales au Suds Federation of Research Units (Fédération F3S ) and animates Strand 2 of the International Laboratory LMI MESO.
It has two distinctive strengths:
  • It analyses languages which are not widely spoken ​​or not yet described, in conjunction with the analysis of academic languages, which have generated a substantial literature.
  • Extensive fieldwork is central to its research projects, as its work in countries where the centre plays a major research role, involving activities in cooperation with other scientific stakeholders as well as skills transfer and improvement.

The laboratory has 47 staff members (11 research fellow and research-assistants from the CNRS and IRD, 16 professors or associate professors from the INALCO and other universities, 12 doctoral students and 8 post-docs). It operates 3 three research programs, and directs contract research and international cooperative projects.
SEDYL includes two areal centres (CELIA and CELBS), which have developed their own networks. It also has four associate members.
Since July 2013 the SeDyL UMR has been directed by Isabelle Léglise.

The laboratory’s governing council includes Laurence Guernalec (elected), Christine Bonnot (elected), Deth Thach (elected), Valelia Muni Toke (elected), Enrique Palancar (elected), Suat Istanbullu (elected), Kirill Ghanza (elected), Claudine Chamoreau (appointed), Anaïd Donabédian (appointed), Sophie Vassilaki (appointed) and Isabelle Léglise (Director).

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