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Conference Information

Full Title: DGfS Workshop 2014: The Syntax and Semantics of Particles

Location: Marburg, Germany
Start Date: 05-Mar-2014 - 07-Mar-2014
Contact: Volker Struckmeier
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: Particles, focus particles as well as discourse (modal) particles, have received much attention in semantics, pragmatics, historical linguistics, and in research on grammaticalization. Focus particles have been extensively studied in formal semantics, and discourse particles have been thoroughly investigated from a pragmatic perspective. However, many languages that are known for their rich inventory of discourse particles have not been explored in detail up to this point - and even for (relatively) well-researched particles, there is surprisingly little consensus about their formal representation. Our workshop aims to address these empirical and theoretical shortcomings.

As for the issue of linguistic categories, observations about the categorial status of particles have divided the field: Some authors propose to analyze particles as adjuncts and subsume them under the adverb category (e.g. Jacobs, Büring and Hartmann, Cardinaletti, M. Zimmermann). Others show that this analysis is problematic with regard to properties such as constituency and word order facts or the clitic status of particles in some languages that would warrant the assumption that particles are special types of syntactic heads (e.g. Bayer and Obenauer, van Gelderen, Munaro and Poletto, Struckmeier). Given the heterogeneous historical origins of particles, an alternative position could deny particles a syntactic category altogether (e.g. Roussou). Important evidence can also be adduced with regard to the interaction of clause type properties, information structure, and illocutionary force with discourse particles in compositional semantics/pragmatics. Moreover, since discourse particles seem to be linked to the ‘expressive’ dimension of meaning (e.g. Kratzer, Gutzmann), a current research topic is how to account for the expressive content of specific particles in formal semantics.

Confirmed Speakers:

Anna Cardinaletti (Venice)
Hans-Martin Gärtner (Budapest)

Workshop Organizers:

Josef Bayer (Konstanz)
Volker Struckmeier (Cologne)
Linguistic Subfield: Semantics; Syntax
LL Issue: 24.3195

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