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LINGUIST List 21.2805

Sun Jul 04 2010

Calls: Slavic Subgroup, Pragmatics, Semantics, Syntax, General Ling/UK

Editor for this issue: Elyssa Winzeler <elyssalinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Iwona Witczak-Plisiecka, Aspect and Performativity in Slavic Languages IPrA Panel

Message 1: Aspect and Performativity in Slavic Languages IPrA Panel
Date: 02-Jul-2010
From: Iwona Witczak-Plisiecka <iw.plisieckagmail.com>
Subject: Aspect and Performativity in Slavic Languages IPrA Panel
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Full Title: Aspect and Performativity in Slavic Languages IPrA Panel

Date: 03-Jul-2011 - 08-Jul-2011
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Contact Person: Iwona Witczak-Plisiecka
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Pragmatics; Semantics; Syntax

Language Family(ies): Slavic Subgroup

Call Deadline: 15-Sep-2010

Meeting Description:

Aspect and Performativity in Slavic Languages (and Beyond)

Iwona Witczak-Plisiecka and Igor Z Zagar – IPrA 2011 Panel

Through discussions gathered in this panel we would like to contrastively
explore the relation between formal grammatical features, such as tense, aspect,
Aktionsart, mood, voice, and the corresponding (potential) performativity in
linguistic expressions.

Call for Papers

Aspect and performativity in Slavic languages (and beyond)
IPrA 2011 panel

We invite papers focused on the relation between performativity and grammar:
- the relation between tense, aspect, Aktionsart, mood, voice,
- the corresponding (potential) performativity in linguistic expressions.

Exploration of the topic extends into:
- speech-act oriented research traditions outside the Anglo-Saxon world
- contrastive analysis of Anglo-Saxon and Continental research on performativity
- past and contemporary reflection on the actional nature of language
independent of the Austinian tradition


Full texts and proposals in the form of abstracts should be sent by 15 September
2010 to the panel conveners:

Igor Z. Zagar (igor.zzagargmail.com),
Educational Research Institute & University of Maribor, Slovenia
Iwona Witczak-Plisiecka (iw.plisieckagmail.com),
University of Lodz, Poland

Conveners' statement:

We believe that performativity is still an issue worthy of exploration. We would
like to emphasize speech-act oriented research traditions outside the
Anglo-Saxon world, next to better-known work by Emile Benveniste, contemporary
to Austin, we would also like to draw attention to even earlier independent
reflection on the actional nature of language, e.g. that of Skrabec (1911) in
Slovenian or Koschmieder (1934) in Polish.

In the Anglo-Saxon world 'the performative' is directly associated with John
Austin's theory of speech acts, subsequently developed by John Searle, which
concentrates on the institutional aspect in speech action. In turn our Slavic
perspective seems to tend towards grammar and logic-oriented issues and focuses
on the syntax-pragmatics, form-function relations.

In describing what is happening, what is going on 'right now' as we speak, all
Slavs would use the present tense of an imperfective and not a perfective verb.
It, therefore, should not come as a surprise that in all Slavic languages
performatives usually take the imperfective aspect. Dickey (2000: 177-178),
however, quite contentiously observes that the North Slavic languages all allow
coincidence of simultaneous actions with performative verbs and certain verba
dicendi (taking the perfective aspect [sic!]) to some degree, 'while the South
Slavic languages, with the exception of Slovene, almost never do. Within the
North Slavic languages, West Slavic exhibits a much higher degree of coincidence
with performative verbs [...] than East Slavic does.'

There is thus an unsolved puzzle whether performativity can be directly related
to tense and aspect and accounted for in a systematic way. Is the form-meaning
of a performative necessarily either highly institutional or vague? To quote
Stanislav Skrabec, a 19th-century Slovene linguist, '[a]s long as we are only
promising (imperfective), we have not promised anything yet, and if we are not
(doing anything) but promising (imperfective), we cannot take anything as having
been promised.'

Faced with such problems, in this panel we would like to focus on Slavic
languages, whose rich and ramified morphology has not been widely documented
with regard to the morphology-syntax-semantics-pragmatics interface. However, we
believe that contrasting varied, even potentially contradictory Slavic data (cf.
H. Galton's The Main Functions of the Slavic Verbal Aspect (1976) and S.M.
Dickey's Parameters of Slavic Aspect (2000)), with related data from other
language families can shed new light on the still mysterious and elusive concept
of the performative value. In particular, we would like to explore the potential
of converging Slavic linguistics research on tense, aspect and mood with the
Anglo-Saxon research on related formal features of performativity, e.g. the work
on mood such as Robert M. Harnish's.

This call is part of a bigger project whose aim is a separate volume devoted to
aspect and performativity in Slavic and other Indo-European languages, which is
to be published with John Benjamins' Pragmatics & Beyond New Series.

Additional note:

Please note that, if accepted, abstracts will have to be submitted via IPrA
conference site before 29 October 2010, following the instructions available at
http://ipra.ua.ac.be/main.aspx?c=.CONFERENCE12&n=1403 .

You may want to check IPrA membership requirements; please note also the
unacceptability of more than one contribution with the same person as first or
single author and that fact that submitting the abstracts in accordance with the
general guidelines is the individual responsibility of contributors and cannot
be rendered by panel conveners.

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