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LINGUIST List 23.410

Wed Jan 25 2012

Confs: General Linguistics/Netherlands

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <alisonlinguistlist.org>

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        1.     Véronique Verhagen , 5th Conference of Formulaic Language Research Network

Message 1: 5th Conference of Formulaic Language Research Network
Date: 25-Jan-2012
From: Véronique Verhagen <veronique.verhagengmail.com>
Subject: 5th Conference of Formulaic Language Research Network
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5th Conference of Formulaic Language Research Network
Short Title: FLaRN 5

Date: 28-Mar-2012 - 30-Mar-2012
Location: Tilburg, Netherlands
Contact: Ad Backus
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/about-tilburg-university/schools/humanities/flarn/

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Meeting Description:

We invite you to take part in the 5th Meeting of the Formulaic Language Research Network, to be held at Tilburg University, in Tilburg, from 28 to 30 March 2012. It is no longer possible to submit abstracts for presentations, but registration for the workshop is also possible for non-presenters.

The purpose of the Formulaic Language Research Network (FLaRN) is to co-ordinate research work in the field of formulaic language, to share ideas and resources, and to create a sense of community between researchers who are not necessarily in geographical proximity. The network is a tool for keeping a group of like-minded people from around the world in touch with each other, and has been the focal point for three postgraduate conferences in Cardiff 2004, Twickenham 2005 and Nottingham 2008, and a first full conference for researchers at all stages of the academic life cycle in Paderborn in 2010. The 2012 FLaRN conference will again be a full conference, with papers on topics associated with formulaic language such as idioms, chunks, phrases, recurrent strings from any theoretical framework and any area of linguistics (e.g. corpus research, L1 acquisition, L2 acquisition/learning/teaching, language disorders, etc).

The conference website will be updated soon with the prefinal program, the abstracts of the keynote speakers, descriptions of the two workshops that are part of the program, and practical information about travel and accommodation. Information you crucially need to plan your trip, if applicable, is included below.

Conference Theme: The Representation and Processing of Fixed Expressions

Construction and Usage-based conceptions of linguistic knowledge posit, in one format or another, a continuum of regularity, ranging from fully lexicalized idiosyncratic expressions to fully abstract regular ‘rules’. Any construction can thus be characterized either by a list of common examples from which novel forms can be produced by analogy, or as an abstract pattern that can be applied to produce novel utterances by generalization. The relations between the two extremes are often modelled as inheritance hierarchies that can range from the use of non-productive ‘ready-made’ utterances the use of fully productive schemas which only specify typological and syntactic information.

At present, we witness a search for attempts to find empirical evidence favouring one of these conceptions over the other. Processing issues concern, for example, speakers’ tolerance to variation in the word order of larger fixed expression, or variation in selection of words. Some prefabs are at the core of what speakers recognize as fully fixed expressions, not allowing any sort of lexical or syntactic variation (idioms, for example), whereas others do allow such variation, and can be used in a variety of ways despite their prefab status. Another issue concerns the relation between fixedness as a gradient concept and the application of rule based alternations and usage. For this conference, we will be addressing issues such as the following:

1. The empirical basis for the representation of fixed expressions, taking lexical, prosodic, syntactic and conceptual aspects into account
2. The relation between elements within fixed expressions and their representation ‘outside’ them
3. The processing of prefabs: variation and facilitation, in speaking and in learning (both in the classroom and in ‘life’: becoming a member of a speech community)
4. Definitions: what exactly is included in the mental representation of the prefab (e.g. sociolinguistic information, grammatical context, encyclopaedic semantics, etc.), and what constitutes evidence
5. The typology of prefabs in terms of linguistic levels of representation, and the relation between fixed expressions, partially schematic constructions and schematic templates


The keynote lectures by Alison Wray and Ewa Dąbrowska will be on Wednesday evening (28 March), from 19.00 until 21.00. Before that, registration will be open from 17.00 on. The university restaurant offers possibilities for a relatively cheap and decent meal; some of us will be on hand to join you and show you around. The workshops, run by Antal van den Bosch and Arie Verhagen, will run consecutively on Thursday morning. The rest of the conference will be taken up by two parallel sessions and a poster session (on Thursday afternoon). The projected end time is Friday afternoon around 3.00 pm, though we will provide further drinks for those who can or wish to hang around a little longer. We organize a conference dinner at an Asian restaurant on Thursday evening. It'll be a buffet, including various vegetarian options.


Participants are cordially invited to register by 1 March. Information on how to register can be found on the website:


If you have any questions, please contact us at flarn5uvt.nl.

Travel and Accommodation:

Tilburg University is located on the western edge of the city of Tilburg, in the South of The Netherlands. The street address is Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB, Tilburg. It is not really within walking distance from the city centre (the walk would take about 30 minutes), so on the website we provide information on hotels in the city and on how to travel to and from the campus. We have pre-booked rooms in various hotels across Tilburg, so as to offer accommodation in different price brackets. See the website for details.

Looking forward to seeing you in Tilburg,

Ad Backus
Maria Mos
Joost Schilperoord
Véronique Verhagen

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