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LINGUIST List 20.2104

Sun Jun 07 2009

Calls: Historical Linguistics, Morphology, Semantics, Typology/Germany

Editor for this issue: Amy Brunett <brunettlinguistlist.org>


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        1.    Cornelia Ebert, Workshop Indefiniteness Crosslinguistically (32. DGFS)

Message 1: Workshop Indefiniteness Crosslinguistically (32. DGFS)
Date: 06-Jun-2009
From: Cornelia Ebert <cornelia.ebertuni-osnabrueck.de>
Subject: Workshop Indefiniteness Crosslinguistically (32. DGFS)
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Full Title: Workshop Indefiniteness Crosslinguistically (32. DGFS)

Date: 23-Feb-2010 - 26-Feb-2010
Location: Berlin, Germany
Contact Person: Ljudmila Geist
Meeting Email: ljudmila.geistling.uni-stuttgart.de

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics; Morphology; Semantics; Typology

Call Deadline: 12-Jul-2009

Meeting Description:

This workshop aims at investigating interpretative and formal aspects of
indefiniteness in individual languages as well as crosslinguistically. We invite
applications focusing on theoretical (e.g. defining the category of
indefiniteness and its types) as well as empirical issues (e.g. corpus-base
studies, questionnaires).

Crosslinguistically, an NP may be marked as indefinite by different means. In
addition to the prototypical indefiniteness markers, e.g. the indefinite article
in languages such as English or German, there are markers like 'some' and
indefinite 'this' in English or 'irgendein' and 'so'n' in German. It is a matter
of debate what facets of indefiniteness such markers express in comparison to
the indefinite article. A more complete picture of the exact function of
indefiniteness markers can be reached by taking into account languages like
Moroccan Arabic and Uzbek, which employ two distinct indefinite articles, or
languages like Russian, in which indefiniteness is grammaticalized in the
complex system of indefinite pronouns. In his influential typological study,
Haspelmath (1997) determines different functions indefinite pronouns may display
in different languages.

Since this seminal work that was restricted to indefinite pronouns, there have
been important steps towards an understanding of the semantic and pragmatic
properties of different indefiniteness markers in general (e.g. by Farkas (2002)
and Ionin (2006) for English; Jayez & Tovena (2006) for French; Martí (2007) for
Spanish; Ebert, Ebert & Hinterwimmer (to appear) for German; Geist (2008), Geist
& Onea (2007) for Russian, and von Heusinger & Klein (2008) for Uzbek). Such
fine-grained analyses of indefiniteness markers in particular languages now
provide a basis for cross¬linguistic comparison with the aim to determine
universal types and crosslinguistically applicable concepts of indefiniteness.

Call for Papers:

We welcome submissions in which the following issues are addressed:

- Comparative studies on the linguistic coding of indefiniteness;
- Systems of indefinite pronouns: semantic fine-grained distinctions and
pragmatic functions;
- Interrelations of indefiniteness with other phenomena like specificity,
information structure, aspect, and modality;
- The diachronic rise of indefinite articles and the degrees of
grammaticalization of indefiniteness markers in different languages.

Abstracts should be anonymous and at most 2 pages in length. Please send your
abstracts electronically in pdf- and doc-format to indefiniteness 'at'
ling.uni-stuttgart.de. Include your name, affiliation and the title of the
abstract in the body of the e-mail. Submissions will be reviewed by two reviewers.

Submission deadline: July 12, 2009
Notification: September 3, 2009

Organizers: Cornelia Ebert (Osnabrück), Ljudmila Geist (Stuttgart)

Contact: ljudmila.geist 'at' ling.uni-stuttgart.de

Scientific Committee: Christian Ebert (Bielefeld), Martin Haspelmath (Leipzig),
Stefan Hinterwimmer (Berlin), Luisa Martí (Tromsø), Edgar Onea (Stuttgart),
Arndt Riester (Stuttgart), Carla Umbach (Osnabrück), Ralf Vogel (Bielefeld),
Klaus von Heusinger (Stuttgart)
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