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LINGUIST List 21.3630

Tue Sep 14 2010

Calls: Slavic Langs, Semantics, Syntax/United Kingdom

Editor for this issue: Di Wdzenczny <dilinguistlist.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: 12-Sep-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: iw.plisieckagmail.com

Linguistic Field(s): 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.

2nd Call for Papers

We invite papers focused on the relation between performativity and
- 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
- 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,

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.

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
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