LINGUIST List 21.3212

Sun Aug 08 2010

Calls: Cog Sci, Philosophy of Lang, Pragmatics/Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Di Wdzenczny <>

        1.    Steve Oswald, Communication and Cognition 2011

Message 1: Communication and Cognition 2011
Date: 08-Aug-2010
From: Steve Oswald <>
Subject: Communication and Cognition 2011
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Full Title: Communication and Cognition 2011 Short Title: ComCog2011

Date: 26-Jan-2011 - 28-Jan-2011 Location: Neuchâtel, Switzerland Contact Person: Rachel Marston Meeting Email: Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Philosophy of Language; Pragmatics

Call Deadline: 12-Sep-2010

Meeting Description:

International Conference: 'Communication and Cognition 2011: Manipulation, persuasion and deception in Language'

The overall aim of this conference is to explore the various parameters that affect the way we process communicated information; as a case in point, this 2011 edition will focus on the issue of persuasive, manipulative, biased and fallacious verbal communication, with the goal of shedding light on different parameters that play a role in its 'success'. In this respect, we seek contributions which specifically focus on those (formal, informal, cognitive, linguistic and contextual) aspects of communication that orient the interpretation of language and fulfill argumentative and persuasive ends, be it in interpersonal or mass communication.

In the past, discursive manipulation and neighbouring phenomena such as lies, deception, persuasion and uncooperative communication, to name a few, have been investigated by a variety of researchers in numerous fields in the humanities and the social sciences. Among those are philosophy, persuasion research, linguistics (in particular pragmatics), cognitive linguistics, communication science, (critical) discourse analysis, argumentation theory, not to mention the classical tradition of rhetoric. However, the link between persuasive or deceptive communication and the cognitive underpinnings allowing for its success, already explored by trends in persuasion research, still needs to be fully drawn and understood, given that the available literature on the topic leaves too often aside the communicative dimension of manipulation and seldom aims for a psychologically plausible account of such communication-dependent phenomena.

Recent developments in cognitive science call for new research questions in the field of deceptive persuasion and manipulation through verbal communication, in particular in what regards the cognitive grounds of misguided and credulous interpretation - and more generally of gullibility (see Maillat & Oswald 2009). Emotions, trust, confidence and other attitudes have long been considered as keys for the effectiveness of persuasive language; the connotative load of certain keywords and more generally the role of the lexicon, as well as types of syntactic structures and other linguistic devices such as presuppositions have also been suspected to bear on the persuasive force of deceptive communication.

However, little is known yet as to why and how these processes, including fallacious argumentation as a whole, jeopardize evaluation. Recent research in this growing field tends to confirm the hypothesis that communicative phenomena linked to deception and persuasion exploit cognitive biases and heuristics otherwise useful for the general economy of human communication. A long established concern for these cognitive biases and heuristics in information processing (see Wason 1966, 1968, Kahneman & Tversky 1974), which can in turn yield cognitive illusions and errors in information processing (see Pohl 2004), together with the input of cognitive anthropology (e.g. Mercier & Sperber, forth. Sperber et al. forth.) and developmental psychology (Mascaro & Sperber 2009, Clément 2010, Harris et al. forth.) opens a new promising trend of research on the persuasiveness of deceptive communication.

It is one of the purposes of this conference to stimulate interdisciplinary inquiry on these themes. Accordingly, contributions promoting an integration of different - yet complementary - trends into interdisciplinary models of information processing are encouraged. The organisers will particularly welcome papers located at the interface of the disciplines concerned, whether grounded on empirical evidence or presenting a theoretical model.

2nd Call for Papers

Please refer to the conference website ( for a complete description of the conference's rationale and a pdf version of the 2nd call for papers.

Submissions are invited in the form of an abstract of maximum one page A4 (plus references) either in .pdf or .doc format, to be uploaded on the conference's Easy Abstracts website. The platform is accessible since July 10th 2010 at:

The official language of the conference is English, but propositions in French are also accepted.

The deadline for submission is September 12th 2010. Acceptance or rejection will be notified by October 30th 2010.

The targeted fields of research include, but are not limited to:

-Linguistics in a broad sense (including pragmatics and discourse analysis) -Philosophy (in particular philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, argumentation theory, rhetoric) -Psychology (in particular cognitive psychology and neuroscience) -Communication sciences in a broader sense (including media studies) -Social sciences (in particular social psychology and anthropology)

Page Updated: 08-Aug-2010