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LINGUIST List 18.1956

Fri Jun 29 2007

Calls: General Ling/Belgium

Editor for this issue: Ania Kubisz <anialinguistlist.org>


As a matter of policy, LINGUIST discourages the use of abbreviations or acronyms in conference announcements unless they are explained in the text. To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at http://linguistlist.org/LL/posttolinguist.html.
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        1.    Bart Defrancq, Between Discourse and Grammar


Message 1: Between Discourse and Grammar
Date: 29-Jun-2007
From: Bart Defrancq <bart.defrancqhogent.be>
Subject: Between Discourse and Grammar


Full Title: Between Discourse and Grammar
Short Title: DG2008

Date: 23-May-2008 - 24-May-2008
Location: Ghent, Belgium
Contact Person: Bart Defrancq
Meeting Email: bart.defrancqhogent.be
Web Site: http://members.chello.be/gert.desutter1/

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Call Deadline: 01-Nov-2007

Meeting Description:

The issue which this conference wishes to address is the grammatical, pragmatic
and semantic status of less prominent states of affairs in discourse and complex
sentence structure and more in particular the interaction between grammatical
properties of subordination, speech act properties and clausal information
structure.

Illocutionary force, information structure and subordination between discourse
and grammar

(French version: http://members.chello.be/gert.desutter1/)

Since Matthiessen & Thompson (1988), it has been widely assumed that discourse
structure and complex sentence structure have much in common and that the latter
is a more grammaticalised way of representing relationships between states of
affairs than the former. Both structures consist of a network of relationships
between what we could call, avoiding too strong a terminological bias, more and
less prominent states of affairs (background/foreground; nucleus/satellite;
salient/non-salient; etc.). The issue which this conference wishes to address is
the grammatical, pragmatic and semantic status of less prominent states of
affairs in discourse and complex sentence structure and more in particular the
interaction between grammatical properties of subordination, speech act
properties and clausal information structure. In complex sentence structure,
less prominent states of affairs are expressed in subordinate clauses, which are
widely, but not unanimously, assumed to lack both speech act properties and
information structure (cf. Lambrecht 1994; Cristofaro 2003). There are, however,
some notable exceptions, viz. clauses which seem to have the grammatical
properties of subordinate clauses, but are prominent in the sense that they
provide the core of information of the sentence as a whole (Biber 1988). On the
other hand, less prominent states of affairs operating as independent clauses in
discourse structure, are not usually thought of as being deprived of speech act
properties or information structure. It remains to be seen whether this is a
tenable position.

Conference papers are expected to address one or more of the following questions
or another topic within the realm of the conference theme:
- Is discourse structure best analysed as binary (salient/non-salient;
foreground/background) or as a continuum and what are the criteria?
- Is it feasible to describe the relationship between discourse structure and
complex sentence structure as iconic?
- Is it either necessary or feasible to distinguish between different types of
less prominent information (Brandt 1996) such as subsidiary information
(Nebeninformation) vs. background information (Hintergrundinformation)? Do we
perhaps need to distinguish more types than these?
- What is the exact distribution of illocutionary force in discourse? Are less
prominent but independent states of affairs endowed with illocutionary force?
- What is the role of discourse particles and connective devices in the
organisation of the discourse in more and less prominent states of affairs?
- Is clausal information structure a property specific to independent clauses?
- Should information structure be viewed as a single partition of information
within a given utterance? According to some authors, complex sentence structures
have only one information structure partition (cf. Mathesius 1975, Komagata
2003), whereas others assume that certain complex sentence types have more than
one (Brandt 1996).
- If clausal information structure is absent from subordinate clauses, why do
syntactic manifestations of information structure (dislocation, clefting)
sometimes appear in subordinate clauses?
- How can the interaction between clausal information structure and discourse
information structure (cf. the difference between clausal topic and discourse
topic) be described in a more comprehensive way?
- Is there historical evidence of the ''loss'' of speech act properties or
information structure? Can this be linked to a diachronic development from
independent to dependent clauses, and if so, is it indeed feasible to describe
this process as grammaticalisation (cf. Fischer 2007)?

Comparative papers focussing on European languages are particularly welcome and
will be favoured during the review process.

Anonymous abstracts should be max. 2 pages long and be sent as a Word (.rtf)
file to:

bart.defrancqhogent.be

before 1 November 2007. Abstract and paper should be in English or French.
Information about the author(s) should be given in the e-mail the abstract is
attached to.

Notification of acceptance is scheduled to 1 January 2008.

More information: http://members.chello.be/gert.desutter1/

Programme committee (provisional):
Christelle Cosme (University of Louvain, UCL)
Bart Defrancq (University College Ghent)
Liesbeth Degand (University of Louvain, UCL)
Gert De Sutter (University College Ghent)
Pascale Hadermann (Ghent University)
Anne-Marie Simon-Vandenbergen (Ghent University)
Els Tobback (Ghent University)
Dominique Willems (Ghent University)

Organising committee (provisional):
Joost Buysschaert (University College Ghent)
Bart Defrancq (University College Ghent)
Liesbeth Degand (University of Louvain, UCL)
Gert De Sutter (University College Ghent)
Els Tobback (Ghent University)
Dominique Willems (Ghent University)


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