LINGUIST List 21.3256

Thu Aug 12 2010

Calls: Neuroling, Pragmatics, Psycholing, Semantics/Germany

Editor for this issue: Di Wdzenczny <>

        1.    Petra Schumacher, What is a Context? Theoretical & Experimental Evidence

Message 1: What is a Context? Theoretical & Experimental Evidence
Date: 10-Aug-2010
From: Petra Schumacher <>
Subject: What is a Context? Theoretical & Experimental Evidence
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Full Title: What is a Context? Theoretical & Experimental Evidence

Date: 23-Feb-2011 - 25-Feb-2011 Location: Goettingen, Germany Contact Person: Petra Schumacher Meeting Email: Web Site: is-a-context/

Linguistic Field(s): Neurolinguistics; Pragmatics; Psycholinguistics; Semantics

Call Deadline: 31-Aug-2010

Meeting Description:

What is a Context? - Theoretical and Experimental Evidence

Workshop organized as part of the Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS) to be held in Göttingen, Germany, February 23- 25, 2011.

Organizers: Jörg Meibauer, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (meibauer(at) Petra Schumacher, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (petra.schumacher(at)

Final Call For Papers

Most linguists will agree that 'context' is a fundamental notion for linguistic analysis and theory. But when it comes to pinpoint what exactly a context is, most researchers act reluctantly, i.e. they parameterize their notion according to their empirical or theoretical aims. For example, Bach (2005: 21), in a paper devoted to an attack on so-called contextualists, explains: 'What is loosely called 'context' is the conversational setting broadly construed. It is the mutual cognitive context, or salient common ground. It includes the current state of the conversation (what has just been said, what has just been referred to, etc.), the physical setting (if the conversants are face to face), salient mutual knowledge between the conversants, and relevant broader common knowledge'. However, such definitions cannot substitute a comprehensive theory of context. The very fact that in recent discussions on the semantics-pragmatics interface, rivaling camps such as 'minimalists' versus 'contextualists' entertain quite different notions of context and context-dependent meaning, shows that there is a need for in- depth discussion of the notion(s) and theories dealing with context. Even in recent psycho- and neurolinguistic research that is devoted to the semantics-pragmatics interface and pragmatic enrichment, it becomes increasingly clear that aspects of contextual knowledge that should be controlled are in fact not always under control, this possibly having to do with the 'emergent' character of context.

Our workshop aims at bringing together all linguists interested in context research, be it from the perspective of the semantics-pragmatics interface in general, from the conversationalist perspective, from computational linguistics, or from psycho- and neurolinguistics. In particular, we invite contributions that focus on specific aspects of contextual information and that are geared towards choosing between distinct notions of context.

Reference: Bach, Kent (2005): Context ex machina. In: Szabó, Zolán Gendler (ed.)(2005): Semantics versus Pragmatics. Oxford: Clarendon, 15- 44.

Keynote speakers

Robyn Carston (University College London) Katarzyna M. Jaszczolt (University of Cambridge)

Abstract submission

Abstracts are invited for 30-minute talks (20 minutes presentations plus 10 minutes for discussion). Abstracts should be anonymous and confined to one page (including examples and references) with 1-inch margins and a font no smaller than 11 point.

Please send a pdf-file to petra.schumacher(at) The subject of the message should specify? 'DGfS Abstract', and the body of the message should include author name(s), affiliation(s) and contact information (including email address), and the title of the abstract.

The languages of the conference are English and German, and abstracts should be written in the language of presentation. However, we encourage submission of papers in English.

Important dates

August 31, 2010: Deadline for abstract submission September 15, 2010: Notification of acceptance February 23-25, 2011: DGfS Workshop

Page Updated: 12-Aug-2010