LINGUIST List 23.2842

Tue Jun 26 2012

Calls: Discourse Analysis, Typology, Historical Linguistics/Hong Kong

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <>

Date: 26-Jun-2012
From: Tak-sum Wong <>
Subject: Workshop on Epistemicity, Evidentiality and Attitude in Asian Languages: Discourse, Diachronic and Typological Perspectives
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Full Title: Workshop on Epistemicity, Evidentiality and Attitude in Asian Languages: Discourse, Diachronic and Typological Perspectives
Date: 03-Sep-2012 - 05-Sep-2012 Location: Hung Hom, Hong Kong Contact Person: Tak-sum Wong
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Historical Linguistics; Typology

Subject Language(s): Chinese, Mandarin; Japanese; Korean; Thai; Vietnamese

Call Deadline: 06-Jul-2012

Meeting Description:

Languages all over the world have strategies to convey different shades of speaker stance, which includes the encoding of how speakers convey their value judgments, personal feelings and degree of commitment to the truth value of a given proposition (Englebretson 2007; Dubois 2007). This workshop will focus on these various strategies, with special emphasis on epistemic, evidential and attitudinal marking strategies in Asian languages. Among the questions to be addressed are the following:

(a) What do stance markers do (and in particular, add) to our utterances?(b) How do these markers evolve?(c) Do they interact with each other; if so, to what extent, and with what effect?(d) Are there observable differences in the selections of stance-marking strategies across different language families?(e) Where differences are observed, in what manner and to what extent do these linguistic variations contribute to distinctive cultural affiliations and cultural identities?

Recent studies reveal a wide range of stance-marking strategies. Many Asian languages make frequent use of sentence final particles (see Wu 2004 for Chinese, Davis 2011 for Japanese, and Sohn 1995 for Korean). Asian languages also have recourse to non-sentence-final stance markers, among them utterance-initial discourse markers (see Wang, Tsai & Ling 2007 for Chinese, and Onodera 2004 for Japanese). Other strategies include the use or non-use of larger units, involving constructions at the clausal level; among the strategies that have been extensively discussed in recent years are 'stand-alone' nominalizations (Noonan 1997; Shinzato 2011; Watters 2008), and insubordination or main clause ellipsis (also referred to as 'the grammaticalization and pragmaticization of silence') (see Evans 2007; Rhee in press; Shibasaki in press).

Whereas previous studies have often used the terms 'mood' and 'modality' to cover a wide range of stance marking functions, recent works have attempted to more clearly distinguish and define the various different (sub)types of stance functions. In other words, while we recognize that a given stance construction may often have multiple (and sometimes overlapping) stance functions, we are now better able to distinguish, for example, a primarily epistemic use from an evidential, or a mirative, or attitudinal use. In this workshop, we seek to further investigate the relationship between these different stance functions, in the hope of arriving at a more coherent account of their interaction patterns and evolutionary links. Given that we will be investigating languages from many different language families, we hope to identify not only robust similarities but also fascinating variations.

Call for Papers:

Papers are encouraged that draw upon different approaches including descriptive fieldwork, diachronic reconstruction, discourse analysis, and cross-linguistic comparisons. An important goal of this workshop is to uncover robust common tendencies in the use of stance-marking strategies across a number of Asian language families, and to also identify subtle language-specific differences and their equally subtle pragmatic differences.

Potential contributors are encouraged to submit abstracts (both Word document and PDF file) on the above or closely related topics to Mr Tak-sum Wong. Please download the style sheet by following this link: and press Ctrl+S to save the file.

Contact person: Mr Tak-sum WongEmail address: egwts[at] phone no.: (+852) 3400 3600

Additional contact person: Dr Abhishek KumarEmail address: egakumar[at]

Page Updated: 26-Jun-2012