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LINGUIST List 23.4314

Mon Oct 15 2012

Calls: Semantics, Pragmatics, Historical Ling, Typology, Ling Theories/USA

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

Date: 15-Oct-2012
From: Ashwini Deo <ashwini.deoyale.edu>
Subject: Systematic Semantic Change
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Full Title: Systematic Semantic Change

Date: 05-Apr-2013 - 06-Apr-2013
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Contact Person: Ashwini Deo
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Pragmatics; Semantics; Typology

Call Deadline: 23-Dec-2012

Meeting Description:

The Department of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin will host a two day workshop on Semantic Change on April 5-6, 2013.

Invited Speakers:

Cleo Condoravdi (CSLI and Stanford)
Osten Dahl (Stockholm)
Regine Eckardt (Gottingen)
Larry Horn (Yale)
Sabine Iatridou (MIT)
Roumyana Pancheva (University of Southern California)
Elizabeth Traugott (Stanford)

This workshop is sponsored by the Donald D. Harrington Fellows Program at UT Austin. It is organized by Ashwini Deo (Harrington Faculty Fellow-2012-13) with the support of the UT Linguistics Department.

Call for Papers:

We invite abstracts for 30 minute talks (plus 10 minutes discussion) that address the topic of systematic semantic change from the perspective outlined below.

Typological and grammaticalization research on the meaning of semantic categories like tense/aspect, modality, possession, and negation has uncovered many systematic diachronic patterns in the linkings between form and meaning. These patterns take the form of unidirectional diachronic trajectories - recurring cross-linguistic regularities in the ways that grammatical morphemes undergo semantic change. Well-known examples include:

a) Progressive markers generalize to markers of imperfective aspect (Bybee et al 1994; Comrie 1976)
b) Resultative markers generalize to markers of perfect aspect and past tense. (Bybee et al 1994; Dahl 1985, 2000)
c) Expressions encoding location evolve into expressions encoding alienable/inalienable possession (Heine 1997)
d) Expressions restricted to expressing deontic modality diachronically acquire epistemic uses (Traugott 1989, Traugott and Dasher 2002)

These robust empirical observations give rise to three basic questions:

1. Why do the meanings of functional expressions change over time?
2. How do the meanings of functional expressions change over time?
3. Why do we see cross-linguistic similarities in patterns of semantic change?

The goal of this workshop is to bring together two groups of researchers: specifically, researchers working on problems of semantic variability and change from within the paradigm of formal semantics/pragmatics and researchers working on these questions from within the grammaticalization paradigm. The workshop aims to engender dialogue on whether and how robust diachronic observations and insights about meaning change emerging from the typological and grammaticalization paradigm can/cannot be modeled using semantic and pragmatic tools and whether attempts at translation between these paradigms can be fruitful for both approaches to meaning. In view of this, abstracts that attempt to address questions of grammaticalization and evolution of semantic categories within formal frameworks are particularly welcome.

Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts should consist of a two page description (12pt font, including references and data). Abstracts should be emailed to semanticchangeaustingmail.com. Authors should include title of the proposal, name of the author(s) and affiliation in the body of the email.

Important Dates:

Deadline for abstracts: December 23, 2012
Notification of acceptance: January 13, 2012
Workshop dates: April 5-6, 2012



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