LINGUIST List 26.2764

Thu Jun 04 2015

Calls: General Ling, Phonology, Pragmatics, Semantics, Syntax/Germany

Editor for this issue: Anna White <>

Date: 03-Jun-2015
From: Stefan Sudhoff <>
Subject: The Grammatical Realization of Polarity: Theoretical and Experimental Approaches
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Full Title: The Grammatical Realization of Polarity: Theoretical and Experimental Approaches

Date: 24-Feb-2016 - 26-Feb-2016
Location: Konstanz, Germany
Contact Person: Stefan Sudhoff
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Phonology; Pragmatics; Semantics; Syntax

Call Deadline: 15-Aug-2015

Meeting Description:

The expression of polarity contrast that is particularly prominent in languages like German and Dutch has recently been in the centre of empirical as well as theoretical investigations. In these languages, contrasts between statements with negative and positive polarity are marked with the help of prosody (nuclear pitch accent on the finite verb or complementizer, i.e. verum focus, cf. Höhle 1992, Blühdorn & Lohnstein 2012) or assertive particles (wel/wohl; toch/doch; schon) that also carry focal stress (Blühdorn 2012, Hogeweg 2009, Sudhoff 2012, Turco, Braun & Dimroth 2014).

To date there is no consensus on the exact meaning contribution of these devices or on the kind of contrast that is actually evoked. Possibilities under discussion include assertion vs. non-assertion (Klein 2006), polarity (Turco, Braun & Dimroth 2014), illocution (Höhle 1992), and sentence mood (Lohnstein 2012). Other open questions concern the fate of the verum operator in case it is not focused (Gutzmann 2012), the question how similar assertive particles and verum focus really are (Sudhoff 2012), how comparable contexts are expressed in other languages (Dimroth, Andorno, Benazzo & Verhagen 2010), what the specific parameters of the prosodic marking of verum focus are (Turco, Dimroth & Braun 2013), and how they relate to other kinds of prosodic focus marking. With few exceptions, this vivid debate is not informed by empirical data.

The workshop wants to bring together researchers from a theoretical and an empirical orientation and to enhance our understanding of the phenomenon with the help of cross-linguistic comparisons. It mainly focuses on (but is not restricted to) West-Germanic languages. We welcome contributions dealing with the syntactic, semantic, pragmatic and/or prosodic aspects of the phenomenon.

Invited Speakers:

Horst Lohnstein (University of Wuppertal)
Giuseppina Turco (University of Stuttgart)

Call for Papers:

This workshop is part of the 38th annual meeting of the DGfS.

We welcome submissions for either 30-minute or 60-minute talks (please indicate your preference) in English or German. Abstracts should not exceed 250 words. Please note that participants are not supposed to present papers in more than one workshop at the DGfS conference.

Abstract submission deadline: 15 August 2015
Notification of acceptance: 31 August 2015

Please send your submission electronically in an editable format to both organizers.


Christine Dimroth (University of Münster)
Stefan Sudhoff (Utrecht University)

Page Updated: 04-Jun-2015