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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Conference Information

Full Title: DGfS Workshop: Linguistic Foundations of Narration in Spoken and Sign Languages

Location: Potsdam, Germany
Start Date: 13-Mar-2013 - 15-Mar-2013
Contact: Annika Hübl, Markus Steinbach
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL: http://www.uni-goettingen.de/de/364026.html
Meeting Description: For a considerable time, linguists have not only investigated sentences as largest relevant unit of language, but have begun to analyze the structure of whole texts. Recently, these efforts have produced powerful frameworks, such as (S)DRT, Centering Theory, Accessibility Theory and studies concerning the QUD/Quaestio to name but a few. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of studies that apply these frameworks to fictional narrative texts. Even so, there are a number of elaborated studies within theoretical linguistics that deal with typical narrative phenomena (see, for instance, the discussion on free indirect discourse in the works of Schlenker 2004, Eckardt 2011, and Maier 2012 among others). Moreover, there are more and more experimental studies investigating text phenomena in general and literary texts in particular (see e.g. Bortolussi/Dixon 2003, Burkhardt 2006). Another important aspect in this field is the fact that narrative structures in sign languages are increasingly investigated on a formally high level; e.g. work on role shift and constructed action - which are the strategies of presenting somebody's speech, thought and action in sign languages - has yielded interesting parallels with free indirect discourse and mixed quotation in spoken languages (see Quer 2005, 2011 and Herrmann/Steinbach 2012 among others). Hence, linguistics can contribute to the study of narratives in at least four ways:

- In drawing on well-elaborated formal frameworks to analyze literary texts and determine partly vague intuitions about narratological concepts
- In applying empirical and experimental methods to narratives in order to establish a valid empirical basis that can be used to verify or falsify theoretical assumptions
- In investigating narratives from a typological broader perspective including strategies and structures used in different (non-western) languages
- In analyzing texts from a cross-modal perspective and relating sign language data to theoretical and empirical findings in spoken languages

Workshop Organizers:

Annika Hübl & Markus Steinbach (University of Göttingen)

Invited Speakers:

Philippe Schlenker (Institut Jean-Nicod, Paris/New York University)
Christiane von Stutterheim (University of Heidelberg)
Linguistic Subfield: Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics; Psycholinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Typology
LL Issue: 24.1087

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