LINGUIST List 15.2265

Tue Aug 10 2004

Calls: Lang Acquisition; Pragmatics/Italy

Editor for this issue: Marie Klopfenstein <marielinguistlist.org>


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Directory

  1. paulv, Special Issue on Language Acquisition and Evolution
  2. anita.fetzer, Context and Appropriateness: Micro Meets Macro

Message 1: Special Issue on Language Acquisition and Evolution

Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2004 03:58:24 -0400 (EDT)
From: paulv <paulvling.ed.ac.uk>
Subject: Special Issue on Language Acquisition and Evolution


Adaptive Behavior	

Call Deadline: 15 NOV 2004 

Call for Papers

Special Issue on Language Acquisition and Evolution

Guest editor: Paul Vogt
Submission deadline: 15 November 2004
URL: http://www.ling.ed.ac.uk/~paulv/ab-cfp.html

It is widely believed that language has evolved through mutual
interactive behaviour of individuals within an ecological niche,
through individual adaptations and self-organisation. Humans
communicate with each other about events that happen in their
environment. When novel events occur, they might construct new
internal representations of these events - either by learning from
other's behaviour or by inventing new behaviour. They can then
transmit this newly constructed knowledge to other humans. By
subsequent local interactions between individuals, self-organisation
can guide the emergence of a global structure called language as has
repeatedly been shown by several computer models.


Many computational studies on the evolution of language have primarily
focused on the idea that language is a complex dynamical adaptive
system, as outlined above. Central to these studies is the cultural
evolution of language, i.e. language is thought to have evolved based
on cultural transmissions rather than on biological
adaptations. Cultural transmission of language is impossible without
the ability to learn language. This special issue is inspired by a
recent Symposium on Language Evolution and Acquisition held at the
2004 Human Behavior & Evolution Society conference, and focuses on the
relation between language origins, acquisition and evolution. Two main
themes to be explored are how could language acquisition mechanisms
have evolved, and the impact that particular acquisition skills may
have had on the evolution of language itself.


Adaptive Behavior solicits papers that present synthetic studies that
explicitly focuses on the interface between language origins and/or
evolution, and language acquisition. The models should involve either
computer simulations or robotic platforms. However, those papers that
integrate models with psychological, linguistic or biological data are
particularly welcome. Papers in this special issue should not exceed
the equivalent length of 14 journal pages. See the web-site of the
Adaptive Behavior (http://www.isab.org.uk/journal/) for further
instructions.


Topics include (though not restricted):

 * Evolution of language acquisition skills.
 * Evolution of joint attention.
 * Evolution of corrective feedback.
 * Phonetics.
 * Lexicon formation.
 * Meaning inference.
 * Symbol grounding in language.
 * Emergence of syntax or grammar.
 * Language change.
 * Language diversity.

If you intend to submit a paper, please send a tentative title and
abstract to the guest editor (Paul Vogt, paulvling.ed.ac.uk). (This
would help to speed up the selection of reviewers.) If you are
uncertain whether your paper would satisfy the topic of this special
issue, or if you wish further information, please contact the guest
editor too.


Important dates:

 * 15 November 2004: Submission deadline.
 * 15 February 2005: Notification of acceptance.
 * 15 April 2005: Revised versions due.
 * 30 May 2005: Authors notified (for revised papers).
 * Late 2005: Special issue appears. 
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Message 2: Context and Appropriateness: Micro Meets Macro

Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2004 10:53:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: anita.fetzer <anita.fetzerpo.uni-stuttgart.de>
Subject: Context and Appropriateness: Micro Meets Macro


Context and Appropriateness: Micro Meets Macro 

Date: 10-Jul-2005 - 15-Jul-2005
Location: riva del garda, Italy
Contact: anita fetzer
Contact Email: fetzeruni-lueneburg.de 

Linguistic Sub-field: Applied Linguistics, Discourse Analysis,
Pragmatics, Cognitive Science

Call Deadline: 15-Sep-2004

This is a session of the following conference: 9th International
Pragmatics Conference

Meeting Description:

call for papers

Context and appropriateness: micro meets macro

Context and appropriateness imply interpersonal realities and thus are
key to a pragmatic theory of language and language use. While context
is generally seen as a common frame of reference anchored to a
commonly shared system of symbols, appropriateness refers to the
pragmatic well-formedness of the linguistic realization of a
coparticipant's communicative intention in linguistic and
sociocultural contexts.

Context is omnipresent in pragmatics, discourse analysis and
ethnomethodology. To employ Heritage's terminology, "the production of
talk is doubly contextual" (Heritage 1984:242). An utterance relies
upon the existing context for its production and interpretation, and
it is, in its own right, an event that shapes a new context for the
action that will follow. In spite of its status as a fundamental
premise in pragmatics and discourse analysis, the concept of context
has remained fuzzy and seems almost impossible to come to terms
with. There is, however, one core meaning which is found in all of its
usages, namely the gestalt-psychological distinction between a figure
or a focal event and its ground or background. In order to be
felicitously integrated into pragmatic theory, however, that extremely
general definition of context requires some delimination.

Appropriateness supplements and refines the notion of pragmatic
meaning by the accommodation of a sociocultural-context
perspective. In discourse, pragmatic meaning is not only inferred with
regard to its illocutionary goal and force, but also with regard to
the connectedness between coparticipants, social status, interpersonal
relationship and communicative setting. Against this background, the
frames of reference of pragmatic meaning and appropriateness go beyond
an individual contribution. Appropriateness is anchored to the dyad of
(minimally) a speaker and a hearer seen from both I-we (Searle 1995)
and I-thou perspectives (Brandom 1994), thus representing a dialogical
concept par excellence ( Linell 1998). Appropriateness and context
are represented by dynamic and relational concepts. They are manifest
in the micro domain of language use, and they manifest themselves as
pillars against which the validity and well-formedness of linguistic
and communicative acts - this entails both verbal and non-verbal means
of communication - are evaluated and measured against.

Like context and appropriateness, micro and macro have an interactive
potential and are also dynamic and relational, but they represent
different levels of empirical reality. Micro refers to a face-to-face
encounter while macro is seen as a communicative constellation in
which a direct interaction between the coparticipants is not a
necessary condition. Yet macro structures are indispensable
prerequisites of communicative action, and presupposition is seen as
one device which is assigned a bridging function between micro and
macro.

The goal of the panel Context and Appropriateness: Micro meets Macro
is to investigate the nature of the connectedness between context and
appropriateness, and between micro and macro in order to further our
understanding of the complex processes involved in producing and
interpreting language in context. Particular attention will be given
to (1) possible universal values which may serve as starting points
for the processes of relational justification, for instance the
Gricean CP, the principle of relevance, communicative projects or
communicative genres, and (2) bridging problems between micro and
macro, and (3) bridging problems between context and appropriateness.

References:
Brandom, Robert B. (1994): Making it Explicit: Reasoning,
Representing, and Discursive Commitment. Cambridge, Massachusetts:
Harvard University Press.
Heritage, John (1984): Garfinkel and Ethnomethodology. Cambridge:
Polity Press.
Linell, Per (1998): Approaching Dialogue. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Searle, John R. (1995): The Construction of Social Reality. New York:
The Free Press.



Please send your abstract to

Anita Fetzer	
Universitaet Lueneburg
FB III: Kulturwissenschaften
Englische Sprachwissenschaft
D-21335 Lueneburg
fon: +49-4131-78-2662
fax: +49-4131-78-2666
email: fetzeruni-lueneburg.de


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