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Conference Information

Full Title: Causal Connectives: Cross-Linguistic Parallels

Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Start Date: 10-Sep-2017 - 13-Sep-2017
Contact: Joanna Blochowiak
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: The differences between backward causal connectives (because, since, for) have been extensively studied in many languages since Groupe Lambda-l (1975)’s famous work on French connectives ('parce que', 'puisque' and 'car'). The differences between these connectives within one language have been described using various methodological and theoretical frameworks that focus on different aspects and ingredients necessary to constitute a fully descriptive and explanatory theory of (causal) connectives, as the following (non-exhaustive) list shows:

- Type of connective and relation expressed (syntactical dichotomies, semantic vs. pragmatic, explicative vs. justificatory/argumentative, causal vs. inferential, direct vs. indirect causality)
- Relevance theory (conceptual vs. procedural meaning, implicature vs. explicature)
- Cognitive coherence approach on subjectivity and Mental Spaces Theory
- Perspective, polyphony
- Assertive and information status (new vs. given, focus vs. background, presupposition vs. assertion, factivity, evidentiality)
- Order of segments, position of connective
- Intonational patterns and prosody
- Diachronic changes
- Distribution and frequency
- Psycholinguistic studies and acquisition

Despite such a large theoretical and methodological treatment, causal connectives still continue to be an actively discussed topic with respect to a range of theoretical issues that have not been settled yet and numerous empirical studies involving mono- and cross-linguistic comparisons. Especially important are the analyses relating less-studied languages whose causal connectives have not been analyzed before within the above-mentioned perspectives, since they have the potential to shed a new light on this old topic.

Thus, given the current growing interest in this subject, it is worth gathering in a 1-1.5 day workshop researchers working on homologous causal connectives from cross-linguistic perspective especially on less illustrated languages that work in different frameworks and use various methodologies like corpus or experimental analyses.

The workshop seeks to address some basic research questions:

(1) Are the particularities and differences described for causal connectives in one language (French, English, Dutch being the most documented languages) extendable to other languages? Are these properties simple analogies or strong parallels caused by deeper cognitive and/or linguistic features?
(2) How can we measure the degree of the similarities and differences between the homologous causal connectives and what are the aspects that need to be taken into account for such an evaluation?
(3) What do the differences between languages reveal at the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic levels on the nature of causality in language and in cognition?
(4) To what extent the differences in uses of causal connectives in different languages are compatible with a general account of causality and causal connectives in natural languages?
Linguistic Subfield: Cognitive Science; General Linguistics; Pragmatics; Semantics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
LL Issue: 27.4606

This is a session of the following meeting:
50th Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea

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