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LINGUIST List 24.1974

Wed May 08 2013

Confs: Pragmatics, Semantics, Discourse Analysis/Austria

Editor for this issue: Anna Belew <annalinguistlist.org>

Date: 08-May-2013
From: Dina El Zarka <dina.elzarkauni-graz.at>
Subject: Methodological Issues in the Study of Information Structure
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Methodological Issues in the Study of Information Structure
Short Title: GWIS 2

Date: 24-May-2013 - 25-May-2013
Location: Graz, Austria
Contact: Dina El Zarka
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL: http://www.uni-graz.at/ling2www_gwis2.htm

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics; Semantics

Meeting Description:

This workshop is the second one of a series of workshops on information structure at the University of Graz.

In recent years an important body of research has been done in the field of information structure (IS), both within formal and functional frameworks. The study of IS covers a wide range of subfields and categories (focus-background, topic-comment, information status, etc.) and is characterized by a variety of different research methods. The main aim of the workshop will be to discuss the virtues and drawbacks of the different methodological approaches to the study of IS.

There is reason to believe that the adequacy of a research method strongly depends on the IS phenomenon investigated. On the one hand, it is notoriously difficult to control for certain aspects of IS in spontaneous language data, specifically topic and focus related phenomena, which is why the majority of studies in that area have resorted to experimental data or introspection. On the other hand, it is relatively easy to annotate information status in corpora of spoken and written language. One goal of the workshop will be to discuss the different methods in relation to the category of information structure investigated.

A second focus will be the problems and virtues of the research methods themselves. It is, for example, a well-known fact, that word order phenomena in many languages are not only influenced by informational criteria, but also by other potentially relevant factors, such as the lexical and the phonological weight of the constituents. A clear advantage of experimental methods is the possibility of controlling for all of these factors. At the same time, experiments always bear the risk of producing unnatural language, and actually occurring linguistic structures may easily be overlooked.

A third topic is related to the fact that IS interacts with different linguistic levels, viz. (morpho-)syntax, prosody and semantics. It can be hypothesized that methodological considerations are also related to the type of linguistic phenomenon investigated. Thus, the investigation of syntactic correlates of IS, for instance, may require a different method than the study of its prosodic correlates.

Invited Speakers:

Aria Adli (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin)
Dejan Matic (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen)
Stavros Skopeteas (Universität Bielefeld, Bielefeld)


Dina El Zarka, Dept. of Linguistics (Graz)
Steffen Heidinger, Dept. of Romance Studies (Graz)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Opening and introduction

Invited Speaker Stavros Skopeteas (Universität Bielefeld)
Intuitions of contextual felicity vs. contextual predictors in corpus data

Coffee break

Arndt Riester (Universität Stuttgart) and Jörn Piontek (Universität Göttingen)
Relative Givenness in German Adjectival Modification

Choonkyu Lee (Utrecht University)
Elicitation and analysis of referring expressions in narratives for wordless picture books

Lunch break

Emanuela Cresti and Massimo Moneglia (LABLITA, University of Florence)
Information structure and syntax in spontaneous spoken romance corpora within the LAcT framework. The IPIC Data Base.

Tommaso Raso, Maryualê Mittmann and Heliana Mello (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais)
Corpus Based Comparison between Italian and Brazilian Portuguese Information Structure: Tagging Methodology and Results

Coffee break

Philippa Cook and Felix Bildhauer (Freie Universität Berlin)
A Hot (Aboutness) Topic: inter-rater reliability in identifying information structural categories

Andrea Pešková (Universität Hamburg)
Information structure and the use of pronominal subjects in Spanish

Coffee break

Invited Speaker Aria Adli (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Annotation and quantitative analysis of information structure: The case of single and double topic chains in spontaneous speech

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Maja Stegenwallner-Schütz and Flavia Adani (Universität Potsdam)
Linking extra-linguistic context to language: How children process spatial statements

Hugo Garcia (University of New Mexico)
The Interaction of Thetics with Exclamatives and Miratives: A Multidimensional Scaling Analysis

Coffee break

Jenneke van der Wal (University of Cambridge)
Diagnosing focus

Melanie Uth (Universität zu Köln)
Preverbal subjects in contexts of narrow information focus in Spanish: displacement of nuclear accent or exhaustive interpretation

Coffee break

Invited Speaker Dejan Matic (MPI Nijmegen)
Field work data and information structure

Final discussion

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