Scientific mission of LOT

Man's ability to use language to communicate requires the ability to structure knowledge, to produce and interpret linguistic resources, and use them in context. This ability is normally developed in childhood (language acquisition). The estimated number of languages spoken worldwide is roughly 6000, most of them not mutually intelligible and many of them displaying rich dialectal variation, which multiplies the diversity. Progress in our understanding of language and its role in fulfilling the communicative needs of a complex, often multilingual society is only possible through an analysis of all the different factors involved. Results are relevant to education, language & speech technology and healthcare. Research in LOT focuses on the following issues: “What are the cognitive faculties that underlie the structure, acquisition and use of human language?”, “What principles govern interaction through language?”, “How are these properties of language embedded in a broader social context?”

The aim of LOT is to create a scientific community in which this research can be optimally pursued, and to educate the next generation of researchers with an open mind toward new disciplinary and interdisciplinary developments, theoretical and methodological alternatives, and possible applications. LOT stimulates new initiatives and developments in research, and provides a national forum to further communication between the participating institutes with a view to short- and long-term collaboration. LOT enhances an effective curriculum for graduate students in linguistics committed to excellence with an optimal combination of national and local educational activities. International communication is stimulated for the benefit of research and education.