LINGUIST List 10.1322

Thu Sep 9 1999

Calls: Non-native Discourse, Optimality Theory

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

As a matter of policy, LINGUIST discourages the use of abbreviations or acronyms in conference announcements unless they are explained in the text.


  1. David Olsher, Updated call for papers -- non-native discourse
  2. Helen de Hoop, Optimization of Interpretation

Message 1: Updated call for papers -- non-native discourse

Date: Tue, 7 Sep 1999 11:00:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: David Olsher <>
Subject: Updated call for papers -- non-native discourse


	Call for Papers
	Issues in Applied Linguistics invites submission for the
	Special Theme Issue: Non-native Discourse
	 Please note: The date has been extended!
	 Submissions are due on September 30, 1999.
	We are looking for research on spoken discourse which
	* naturally occurring non-native discourse (where one or all
	participants are non-native speakers of the language used)
	* discourse from a wide range of educational contexts (such
	as classroom small group talk or tutorial interactions), but
	excluding teacher fronted classroom contexts
	*discourse from a wide range of non-teaching contexts (such
	as workplace settings and ordinary conversation)
	Research approaches may include:
	* conversation analysis
	* linguistic anthropology
	* ethnography of communication
	* other perspectives that analyze the situated use of
	 language within spoken interaction
	Manuscripts for this Special Issue must be received by 
 September 30, 1999
	ial is a refereed journal published by the graduate students of UCLA's
	Department of TESL and Applied Linguistics. We are particularly
 intereste in publishing new departures and cross-disciplinary 
 applied linguistic research.
	For information about this special issue, please contact
	David Olsher at: or
	Contributions should be submitted in three copies and sent to
	David Olsher or Leah Wingard , Editors, Issues in Applied
	Linguistics, Applied Linguistics & TESL, UCLA, 3300 Rolfe
	Hall, P.O. Box 91531-1531, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1531.
	Manuscripts should be printed double spaced (including
	references, examples, etc.) on one side only of white 8 1/2
	by 11 or A4 paper and use black printing ink. Figures and
	tables should be camera ready, numbered, provided with a
	caption, and printed on separate sheets. Please attach a
	cover sheet with the following information: a) the full title
	of your paper, b) your name, c) name and address of your
	institution (or other address where you can best be reached),
	d) your phone number (work and home), FAX-number and E-mail
	address, and e) short title of your paper (for running head).
	The first page must include an abstract of the article which
	is less than 150 words. Authors should also supply a
	biographical note of approximately 50 words.
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Message 2: Optimization of Interpretation

Date: Tue, 7 Sep 1999 11:08:18 -0400 (EDT)
From: Helen de Hoop <>
Subject: Optimization of Interpretation


	 Call for Papers for the 
 Conference on the Optimization of Interpretation
	Location: UiL OTS, Utrecht University
	Date: 4-5 January, 2000
	Invited speakers: 
	 REINHARD BLUTNER (Humboldt University, Berlin)
	 BARBARA PARTEE (Umass, Amherst)
	 PAUL SMOLENSKY (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore) 
	Petra Hendriks, Helen de Hoop, Fabien Reniers, Frank Wijnen
	Optimality Theory (OT) is a theory of language and grammar,
	developed by Alan Prince and Paul Smolensky in the '90s. In OT
	a grammar consists of a set of well-formedness constraints.
	These constraints apply simultaneously to representations of
	linguistic structures and they are soft, which means violable
	and potentially conflicting. At least an important subpart of
	these constraints is shared by all languages, forming part of
	Universal Grammar. Individual languages rank these universal
	constraints differently in such a way that higher ranked
	constraints have total dominance over lower ranked
	constraints. Possible output candidates for each underlying
	form are evaluated by means of these constraint rankings. The
	output that best satisfies the constraints is the optimal
	candidate and will be realized.
	Crucially for OT is Smolensky's idea to identify a
	connectionist notion of well-formedness (harmony) with
	linguistic well-formedness. In principle, OT is not restricted
	to any specific aspect of language. Whereas OT syntax
	optimizes syntactic structure with respect to a semantic
	input, OT semantics, on the other hand, optimizes the
	interpretation of a syntactically well-formed input. By
	testing candidate interpretations against the ranked
	constraints in a parallel fashion, interpretation can attain
	the high speed that is typical of normal language processing.
	Constraints that play a role can be semantic, pragmatic,
	syntactic or intonational in nature. The constraints that have
	been proposed within OT semantics so far are usually not new,
	but have been linguistically motivated in the literature. What
	is new is the conception of these constraints as soft. The
	interpretation that arises for an utterance within a certain
	context maximizes the degree of constraint satisfaction and is
	as a consequence the best alternative (hence, optimal
	interpretation) among the set of possible interpretations. 
	The aim of this workshop is to bring together theoretical and
	empirical considerations on the optimization of
	interpretation. Questions that might be addressed during the
	conference include the following:
	- How do markedness constraints (that penalize complex
	 structures and hence may favour ambiguity) and
	 faithfulness constraints (that actually favour structural
	 variety and thus disfavour ambiguity) interact?
	- Can we account for cross-linguistic variation in
	 interpretation as a result of different rankings among
	 the different types of constraints that relate form and
	 meaning? That is, can we account for typological splits
	 between languages by rerankings of universal constraints,
	 as predicted by the theory?
	- Can we maintain a modular view of grammar, and if so, should
	 we rank these modules instead of individual constraints
	 or not? What is the role of "interface" constraints?
	- What is the influence of the pragmatic roles of speaker and
	 hearer in discourse interpretation?
	- With respect to the study of interpretation as it evolves in
	 real time: does an increase of information (available
	 clues that activate constraints) results in a faster
	 settlement on the optimal interpretation (as we would
	 expect in accordance with the basic principles of
	 connectionist processing)?
	The conference includes four presentations by invited speakers
	as well as a forum with invited participants. 
	Invited forum participants:
	 Renate Bartsch (University of Amsterdam)
	 Ken Drozd (University of Groningen)
	 Wietske Vonk (MPI, Nijmegen)
	 Henk Zeevat (University of Amsterdam)
	The conference has additional room for 10 selected talks of 40
	minutes, including discussion. Authors should submit five
	copies of an anonymous abstract of no more than two pages and
	one camera-ready copy indicating the author's name,
	affiliation, address and e-mail address. Please send your
	abstract to:
	 Optimization of Interpretation
	 c/o Fabien Reniers
	 Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS
	 Trans 10
	 3512 JK Utrecht
	 The Netherlands
	The DEADLINE for submission is October 1, 1999. 
	Authors will be notified of acceptance by October 17.
	For more information, e-mail:

	Helen de Hoop
	UiL OTS, UU, Trans 10
	3512 JK Utrecht, The Netherlands
	tel: 030-2536189/033-4622637
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