LINGUIST List 23.3141

Sat Jul 21 2012

Calls: Pragmatics, Semantics/Germany

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <>

Date: 20-Jul-2012
From: Cornelia Ebert <>
Subject: DGfS Workshop: Interface Issues of Gestures and Verbal Semantics and Pragmatics
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Full Title: DGfS Workshop: Interface Issues of Gestures and Verbal Semantics and Pragmatics
Date: 12-Mar-2013 - 15-Mar-2013 Location: Postdam, Germany Contact Person: Cornelia Ebert
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics; Semantics

Call Deadline: 20-Aug-2012

Meeting Description:

Interface Issues of Gestures and Verbal Semantics and PragmaticsWorkshop at the 35th meeting of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS), Potsdam, Germany March 12-15, 2013

As is widely accepted, gestures - in particular speech-accompanying iconic ones - can express semantic content. Speech and gestures are said to work together to convey one single thought (McNeill 1992, Kendon 2004) and the semantic content of gestures is intertwined with the semantic content of the speech signal. Gestures can be co-expressive (displaying the same semantic content as the speech signal) or complementary (expressing additional information).

An intriguing question that is not settled yet is how gesture meaning and speech meaning interact. Gestures are often only interpretable in combination with their accompanying speech symbols (Kopp et al 2004, Lascarides & Stone 2006). The strong interaction of gesture channel and speech channel has thus been interpreted in such a way that information from the two channels is mapped to one single logic representation (e.g. in Rieser 2008, Kopp et al 2004). It is, however, evident that the pieces of information from the different channels are of different nature and that gesture information seems to be backgrounded in some sense or other (cf. Giorgolo & Needham 2011).

Furthermore, it is well-known that gestures are also temporally aligned with the speech signal in a certain way, i.e. the stroke of the gesture falls together with the main accent of the gesture-accompanying sentence (McNeill 1992). This fact has been interpreted as an indication that gestures (beats in particular) can take over information structural tasks and serve to mark focus domains (Ebert, Evert & Wilmes 2011).

Call for Papers:

This workshop aims at investigating speech-accompanying gestures and their relation to the speech signal. We invite abstracts for 30 minutes presentations (20-minute talk plus 10 minutes discussion) focusing on formal semantic and pragmatic issues - theoretical as well as empirical and experimental ones.

In this workshop we want to follow up on the recent development to investigate gestures under formal semantic and pragmatic aspects. We welcome submissions in which the following issues are addressed:

- Modelling of iconic gestures- Embedding gesture description into grammars- Interfacing gesture meaning and verbal semantics / Integrating gesture and speech signals- Gesture in larger discourse units / Information structural tasks of gestures- Empirical foundation of gesture analyses

The workshop is of interest for researchers working in the domain of formal semantics, and pragmatics, as well as for those working on gestures. We are looking forward to applications focusing on theoretical and formal as well as on empirical and experimental issues.

Abstracts should be anonymous and at most 2 pages in length. Please send your abstracts electronically in pdf-format to

Scientific Committee: Kirsten Bergmann, Dafydd Gibbon, Gianluca Giorgolo, Andy L├╝cking

Page Updated: 21-Jul-2012