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Conference Information

Full Title: Space, Time & Existence: Typological, Cognitive & Philosophical Viewpoints
Location: Split, Croatia
Start Date: 18-Sep-2013 - 21-Sep-2013
Contact: Anne Carlier
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: Space, Time & Existence: Typological, Cognitive & Philosophical Viewpoints

Deadline for submission: 15/01/2013


Anne Carlier (University Lille 3 ; CNRS UMR STL, France)
Laure Sarda (CNRS-Lattice ; ENS, Paris, France)
Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israël)

Space, time and their relationship to existence are currently the subject of considerable research effort in the various disciplines of the humanities, since they correspond to fundamental areas of human cognition and because their encoding in the languages of the world is characterized by an important typological diversity. Both in analytic philosophy and in linguistics, the notion of existence is related to spatio-temporal anchoring: to exist is defined as 'being located in time and space'.

The workshop will be divided into three subsections followed by a general discussion.

1) Zemach distinguishes four possible ontologies, corresponding to four different conceptions of the extension of spatial and temporal entities: (i) events, such as 'an explosion', discontinuous in time and space, (ii) things, such as 'my dog', 'this chair', continuous in time but discontinuous in space, (iii) processes, such as 'the bank crisis' or 'the Cold War', are continuous in the spatial dimension but discontinuous in time, and (iv) types, such as 'the tax payer', which are continuous in both dimensions. The first subsection will examine to what extent there is a correlation between the ontological properties of the entity and the nature of the predication of existence. Contributions at the interface of philosophy and linguistics are encouraged.

2) The second subsection will be devoted to the syntactic status of the spatial constituent. On a par with temporal constituents, spatial constituents tend to have a peripheral status with respect to the verb and to have the status of adjuncts rather than arguments. However, in comparison with temporal constituents, they are nevertheless more likely to hold an argument position. The papers in this subsection of the workshop will examine to which extent spatial constituents can be arguments and will analyze the respective role of the verb and the verb construction.

3) The third subsection will focus on the lexicon of spatial location and movement, both from a linguistic and a psycholinguistic perspective. The papers will examine the impact of typological properties of languages on spatial cognition, through a corpus-based analysis of the linguistic expression of location and movement in typologically different languages. Correlations can be examined between: (i) a more or less distributed strategy to encode the different components of movement or localization, (ii) the possible integration of the locative or directional constituent in the argument structure.

The introductory paper, by Denis Creissels (University of Lyon 2), will offer a large typological perspective on existential predication.

The general discussion will highlight the major contributions of the workshop and evaluate the respective impact of ontology, cognition and the typological specificities of the different languages considered in the Workshop on the representation of existence.
Linguistic Subfield: General Linguistics
LL Issue: 24.220

This is a session of the following meeting:
46th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea

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