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LINGUIST List 20.2795

Mon Aug 17 2009

Calls: Cognitive Science, Pragmatics, Semantics/Germany

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


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        1.    Cornelia Schulze, Beyond the Words

Message 1: Beyond the Words
Date: 17-Aug-2009
From: Cornelia Schulze <cschulzerz.uni-leipzig.de>
Subject: Beyond the Words
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Full Title: Beyond the Words

Date: 13-May-2010 - 15-May-2010
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Contact Person: Cornelia Schulze
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://beyondthewordsconference.wordpress.com/

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Pragmatics; Semantics

Call Deadline: 15-Nov-2009

Meeting Description:

-What does it mean that something has been said?
-Is there literal meaning and how does it constitute utterance meaning?
-What kind of pragmatic inference is relevant for utterance understanding on different levels of utterance interpretation?
-Do we need default-inferences in order to catch meaning-aspects of utterances ‘beyond the words’, these inferences being cancelled in case of purely literal meaning?
-How is pragmatic information processed (relation between procedural effort and the respective communicative effect of the utterance)?
-What is the pragmatic foundation of grammatical relations?

All of the questions mentioned above are being discussed intensely since more than a decade in different paradigms. The field of pragmatics has changed since then substantially. The different approaches are centered around the question, whether utterances can be interpreted solely using their semantic-lexical meaning or whether pragmatic inferences already are essential on an early level of utterance interpretation. The debate between protagonists of the first solution (minimalist approach) and of the second (contextualist approach) – including a range of intermediate positions – dominates the present development of pragmatics.

New fields of research are arising: Lexical knowledge is conceived in part as pragmatic knowledge, and grammatical relations are seen as pragmatically grounded, thus pragmatics is entering linguistic disciplines traditionally being treated as non-pragmatic.

The specific character of the relevant pragmatic inferences is under debate too. Do we need default-inferences in order to catch meaning-aspects of utterances ‘beyond the words’, these inferences being cancelled in case of purely literal meaning? Questions of pragmatic processing strategies arise at this point, focusing on the relation between procedural effort and the respective communicative effect of the utterance.

Communicative understanding has been conceived as a form of understanding other persons as intentional actors. This skill is acquired in early childhood and the strategies of acquisition of pragmatic knowledge are under scrutiny in a range of important studies.

Finally, the methodological question arises whether pragmatic intuition may be captured by means of an intuitive strategy of the pragmatist himself or whether one has to rely on evidence delivered by experimental studies with children and adult speakers.

The planned international conference is intended to document pragmatic theorizing in the light of the present debates on the one hand and to reveal the developing potential of future research strategies in pragmatics on the other.


Call for Papers:

We invite the submission of abstracts (for paper or poster presentations) addressing one of these issues.

Abstracts of no more than 500 words (excluding references and tables) should be sent by email as a pdf-attchment to cschulze at rz.uni-leipzig.de by 15 November2009. The document should contain presentation title, the abstract and should indicate your preference for paper or poster presentation. Oral presentations will last 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion. Posters will stay up for a day; there will be one special session dedicated to the presentation of the posters.

The language of the conference is English (preferable) or German.

Information identifying the author(s) should be detailed in the body of the email, not in the pdf-file.

Notification of acceptance and the final format of presentation (paper or poster) will be communicated by January 15th 2010.

Please check our conference website:

http://beyondthewordsconference.wordpress.com/ for further information (information will be added regularly).

The conference is organised by Prof. Frank Liedtke and Cornelia Schulze, University of Leipzig, German Department, Pragmalinguistics.

We intend to publish selected papers in a separate proceedings volume.



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