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Conference Information

Full Title: Discourse Coherence, Information Structure, and Implicatures

Location: Düsseldorf, Germany
Start Date: 05-Aug-2013 - 09-Aug-2013
Contact: Katja Jasinskaja
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: Discourse Coherence, Information Structure, and Implicatures
Workshop at the European Summer School for Logic, Language, and Information - ESSLLI 2013
Organisers: Anton Benz & Katja Jasinskaja (ZAS, Berlin)

This workshop provides a platform for discussion of new research on the interaction of discourse coherence, information structure, and implicatures. It thereby focuses the interface of three areas of linguistics and philosophy: (a) the structure and the semantics of discourse, the way meanings of sentences contribute to a coherent text or dialogue; (b) information structure, the way the informational status (topic vs. focus, given vs. new, etc.) of sentence constituents is reflected by the structure of the sentence; and (c) implicatures, pragmatic inferences driven by the assumption of the speaker’s rationality and cooperativity that enrich the literal meaning of a sentence. Each of these areas has a long history of research and it is widely agreed that the areas are closely interdependent. However, the exact ways in which they interact are the subject of a lot of on-going research and vivid debate.

The last decade has seen a growing interest in pragmatic phenomena, and the development of new logical and game theoretic frameworks. A trend that is particularly pronounced in recent years is the development of unified approaches, i.e. the attempt to explain pragmatic phenomena which had hitherto been treated as separate problems in a uniform framework with uniform principles. There have to be mentioned the attempts at integrating conversational implicatures in semantics (Chierchia, 2004), the explanation of information structure, presuppositions, and conventional implicatures from questions under discussion (Simons et al., 2011), the continued refinement and further application of discourse theories like segmented discourse representation theory (Asher and Lascarides, 2003), the rise of game theoretic pragmatics (Benz et al., 2006), and recent developments in bidirectional Optimality Theory (Benz and Mattausch, 2011). In addition to these theoretical approaches, there developed a substantial literature on experimental studies. It is getting increasingly clear that rhetorical structure, information structure and implicatures are closely interdependent.

Invited Speakers:

Jacques Jayez (ENS de Lyon)
Craige Roberts (Ohio State University)

Registration and Fees:

All participants of the workshop will have to register for ESSLLI 2013. For information on registration fees see


The conference is organized and sponsored by the ZAS programme area 6 ‘Interfaces between sentence semantics and discourse strategies’ and the DfG project ‘Implicatures and Discourse Structure’ (IDis).
Linguistic Subfield: Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics; Semantics
LL Issue: 24.414

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