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Conference Information

Full Title: Pragmatic Role of Elements at Right Periphery

Location: New Delhi, India
Start Date: 08-Sep-2013 - 13-Sep-2013
Contact: Liesbeth Degand
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: Conveners:

Liesbeth Degand (University of Louvain at Louvain-la-Neuve)
Elizabeth Closs Traugott (Stanford University)

In recent years attention has begun to be paid to ‘right periphery’ (RP) phenomena, as two threads of inquiry have developed: study of discourse structure, especially its pragmatics (starting with Schiffrin 1987), and syntactic cartography (starting with Cinque 1999). Compared to left periphery (LP) phenomena, right periphery phenomena have received little attention (but see Van der Wouden and Foolen 2011).

The aim of the panel is to build on and test proposals that LP and RP have different functions (Beeching and Detges In preparation), especially the proposal that the role of RP is to mark turn-yielding and that it is likely to be intersubjective and dialogic in the sense that the speaker positions their utterance against anticipated contributions of other speakers. This raises the question of what type of linguistic expressions and/or constructions may occur in right peripheral position.

The focus of the panel will be the following set of questions:

a) How can RP be defined? How should distinctions be made between elements within argument structure (e.g. question-markers at RP, right dislocations) and those ‘outside’ it and often disjunct (e.g. pragmatic markers, comment clauses, tags)?
b) What sorts of functions are expressed at RP? Van der Wouden and Foolen (2011) find modal, focus, some connective particles, and repairs at RP in Dutch. Is this set language-specific or cross-linguistically robust for elements at RP?
c) Are any functions not expressable at LP (tags in English, Dutch hoor ‘hear’(warning or reassuring), French punctuating quoi ‘what’)? Are any LP functions not expressable at RP? What does this suggest about functions at LP and RP?
d) What generalizations can be made about how elements at RP arise historically? Does use of an expression at RP always entail subjectification (as defined in Traugott 2010)?


Beeching, Kate and Ulrich Detges, eds. In preparation. Papers from IPra 12, Cinque, Giulielmo. 1999. Adverbs and Functional Heads: A Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Oxford: OUP.

Schiffrin, Deborah. 1987. Discourse Markers. Cambridge: CUP

Traugott, Elizabeth Closs. 2010. Revisiting subjectification and intersubjectification. In Kristin Davidse, Lieven Vandelanotte & Hubert Cuyckens, eds., Subjectification, Intersubjectification and Grammaticalization, 29-70. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Van der Wouden, Ton and Ad Foolen. 2011. Dutch particles in the right periphery.
Linguistic Subfield: Discourse Analysis; Historical Linguistics; Pragmatics; Semantics; Typology
LL Issue: 23.3173

This is a session of the following meeting:
13th International Pragmatics Conference

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