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Conference Information

Full Title: The Meaning of P

Location: Bochum, Germany
Start Date: 23-Nov-2012 - 25-Nov-2012
Contact: Tibor Kiss
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: Please note the corrected date: November 23-25, 2012

The Meaning of P (with a special session on spatial polysemy)
A conference about the meaning of prepositions organized by the Department of Linguistics (Sprachwissenschaftliches Institut) of Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany, November 23-25, 2012
Conference website:

There is general agreement among linguists that prepositions are highly ambiguous. There is much less agreement about the origin of the ambiguity (homonymy, polysemy); but even more surprisingly, only few attempts have been undertaken to characterize the spectrum of possible meanings of large sets of prepositions in individual languages, let alone cross-linguistically. Recent research has shown that analyses of preposition senses not only have to account for their ambiguity, but also for the near-synonymy of prepositions.

Meanings of prepositions have mostly been investigated by lexicographers, but quite often without the provision of clear criteria for determining individual meanings. Consequently, recent research may show that senses attributed to particular prepositions can actually be derived compositionally from the syntactic context of the preposition, which raises the question concerning the proper sense of the preposition in such contexts.

Special Session on Spatial Polysemy:

Recent research on preposition meanings has produced a large corpus of work on spatial polysemy. We therefore devote part of the conference to a special workshop on spatial polysemy, which will not only deal with spatial interpretations of prepositions, but with the general role of spatiality in interpretations.
Linguistic Subfield: Computational Linguistics; Semantics; Syntax; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Typology
LL Issue: 23.3433

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