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LINGUIST List 21.1417

Tue Mar 23 2010

Calls: Discourse Analysis, Historical Ling, Pragmatics, Semantics/France

Editor for this issue: Kate Wu <katelinguistlist.org>


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        1.    Olivier Simonin, Fixed Phrases in English: Use and Rhetorical Strategies

Message 1: Fixed Phrases in English: Use and Rhetorical Strategies
Date: 21-Mar-2010
From: Olivier Simonin <o.p.simonin.03cantab.net>
Subject: Fixed Phrases in English: Use and Rhetorical Strategies
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Full Title: Fixed Phrases in English: Use and Rhetorical Strategies

Date: 22-Oct-2010 - 23-Oct-2010
Location: Perpignan, France
Contact Person: Olivier Simonin
Meeting Email: o.p.simonin.03cantab.net

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Historical Linguistics; Pragmatics;
Semantics; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Call Deadline: 10-May-2010

Meeting Description:

Fixed Phrases in English: Use and Rhetorical Strategies
University of Perpignan - Via Domitia : 22-23 October 2010

The primary purpose of the conference is to examine fixed phrases in English,
and especially fixation/fossilization, and the pragmatic functions they can assume.

Call for Papers

Fixed phrases are understood as idioms in the sense of Huddleston & Pullum
(2002, 3): "items with special meanings that consist of more than one word."
Fixed phrases make up a vast category, which can be divided into a variety of
syntactic classes: fixed NPs (jack-of-all-trades), VPs (shovel up; kick the
bucket), AdvPs (or rather), AdjPs (difficult to swallow), PPs (because of), as
well as sentences or "ready-made utterances" (Lyons 1968, e.g. Every cloud has a
silver lining).

The foundational properties of fixed phrases deserve investigation in order to
determine precisely which expressions belong to the category, or indeed whether
it is actually fruitful to postulate such a broad category - which includes both
lexical and functional items (lexical: kick the bucket; functional: or rather).
It is equally pertinent to examine constraints on the use of fixed phrases,
their syntactic and distributional properties, or to tackle the question of
semantic transparency, or rather the non-compositionality of their meaning (cf.
Cruse 2000, 72-73). Some fixed phrases - and especially fixed VPs and NPs -
characteristically conjure up a whole new image or semantic representation.

Equally, since such phrases are "fixed", they must involve some degree of
fossilization. Fixed phrases can therefore be analyzed with a special focus on
the processes of fossilization or univerbation - the diachronic process by which
several words may fuse to become one.

In addition to fossilization, fixed phrases or constructions share a common
pragmatic potential. They can be used strategically in discourse, and are
frequently employed for their discursive, rhetorical or argumentative effects.
How can the actual use of fixed phrases be accounted for in terms of such
pragmatic functions? Many of the fixed phrases can be analysed in terms of
inferences or procedural meaning. Some are used for conjunction purposes, and
correspond to another strategic use as they reinforce cohesion or argumentation.
Others reflect a given register or textual genre and correlatively generate
multiple connotations and inferences. These can be used strategically by
speakers to pitch communication at some pre-established ground or standard. Yet
others contribute to conveying some rhetorical force (illocutory/perlocutory),
which is best understood with reference to the contexts in which they are used.

All theoretical approaches are considered legitimate for selection. Papers can
be presented in English or in French, and papers in each language will be
grouped on either day (All the papers given on 23 October will be in English).

Plenary Speakers:
Pierre Cotte (Paris-Sorbonne: Paris 4) title to be communicated
Hendrik De Smet (University of Leuven): Measuring Transparency

Scientific Board:
Nicolas Ballier (Paris 7)
Jacques Francois (University of Caen)
Evelien Keizer (University of Amsterdam)
Laetitia Leonarduzzi (University of Provence)
Maria Jose Lopez-Couso ((University of Santiago de Compostela)
Sandrine Oriez (Rennes II)
Meike Pfaff (University of Osnabrück)
Joëlle Rethore (University of Perpignan - Via Domitia)
Corinne Rossari (University of Freiburg)
Elena Seoane (University of Santiago de Compostela)
Tim Wharton (University College London)

Paper proposals are to be sent to one of the two conference organizers:
Olivier Simonin (University of Perpignan - Via Domitia):
o.p.simonin.03cantab.net
Blandine Pennec (University of Perpignan - Via Domitia):
blandine.pennecuniv-perp.fr
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