LINGUIST List 12.708

Wed Mar 14 2001

Calls: Topic/Focus, LSA Summer Inst./California, USA

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  1. Matthew Gordon, Topic/focus workshop

Message 1: Topic/focus workshop

Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 08:57:12 -0800
From: Matthew Gordon <>
Subject: Topic/focus workshop


Topic and focus: a workshop on intonation and meaning

July 20-21, 2001

University of California, Santa Barbara
(in conjunction with the 2001 LSA Summer Institute)

The aim of this workshop is to explore the effects of various kinds of
topicalization and focus on intonation. It is especially hoped that the
workshop will lay the groundwork for future collaborative efforts between
linguists devoted to the study of meaning and linguists engaged in the
quantitative study of intonation. Both descriptive and theoretical papers
on any aspects of the relationship between intonation, on the one hand, and
topic and/or focus, on the other hand, are welcome. Talks will be 30
minutes with an additional 10 minutes for discussion. Papers may deal with
intonational aspects of topic and/or focus in all variety of languages
including those which are relatively underdocumented.

Invited Speakers:
Carlos Gussenhoven, Katholicke Universiteit, Nijmegen
Julia Hirschberg, AT+T Research Labs
Sun-Ah Jun, University of California, Los Angeles
Manfred Krifka, Humboldt University, Berlin
Mark Steedman, University of Edinburgh

Possible topics for discussion include the following:

- theoretical work on topic and focus phenomena in particular languages
- experimental work on the perception and/or production of focus and topic
- the appropriate representation of intonational and semantic categories,
including models of discourse
- cross-linguistic assessment of the required inventory of pragmatic
- the relation between semantics and pragmatics in the study of focus and
topic phenomena
- the relation between the semantic categories and their prosodic
realization, and the influence of more general prosodic principles on it
- the justification of categories like focus and topic in the absence of
prosodic or morphological clues
- the categorical/gradient nature of the phonetic realization of intonation
contours associated with semantic categories

Abstracts should be a single page, with an additional page for
data/references if needed. Abstracts should be submitted
electronically and should include contact information (name,
affiliation, mailing address, email address, telephone number) in the
body of the mail. The abstract should either be pasted into the email
or should be an attachment (preferred formats are as an ASCII text
file or PDF). If these formats present problems, it is also possible
to attach an MSWord document. Email submissions should be sent to or to the email addresses of the organizers
(see below).

Abstracts should be received by March 15, 2001. Notification of
acceptance will be made by April 30, 2001. Further information about
the workshop and the LSA Institute is located at
and at the Institute website at
Inquiries about the workshop may be directed to the workshop
organizers: Matthew Gordon (, Daniel
B=FCring (, Chungmin Lee
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