LINGUIST List 26.2883

Thu Jun 11 2015

Calls: General Linguistics, Semantics, Syntax/Germany

Editor for this issue: Anna White <>

Date: 11-Jun-2015
From: Jana Haeussler <>
Subject: Empirical Methods and Grammatical Theory: The Issue of Gradience
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Full Title: Empirical Methods and Grammatical Theory: The Issue of Gradience

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

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

Call Deadline: 26-Jul-2015

Meeting Description:

The workshop is part of the 38th Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS) to be held in Konstanz, Germany, February 24—26, 2016. For further information see

The workshop “Empirical Methods and Grammatical Theory: The Issue of Gradience”, organized by Tom Juzek (Oxford University) and Jana Häussler (University of Potsdam), will take place February 24—26, 2016.

In recent years, issues surrounding the empirical basis of linguistic theory have been discussed intensively again and again (e.g. in a special issue of Theoretical Linguistics, 33 (3), 2007 and a special section in Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft, 28 (1), 2009). The workshop aims to bring together different views on the relationship between empirical methods and grammatical theory with a focus on issues of gradience. Traditionally, grammatical theory is based on categorical (i.e. binary) distinctions, and introspective judgments, i.e. judgments provided by the linguist herself, constitute the primary method to obtain data. Empirical studies, on the other hand, recurrently yield gradient patterns. This discrepancy raises questions like the following which are potential topics for the workshop.

- Is gradience an experimental artefact or do we have to account for it?
- If the latter: Is gradience a performance-effect, which should be reduced, or is it part of the grammar and should be modelled?
- Can categorial models and gradience be reconciled with each other?
- Can gradience be found on all levels of the grammar and if so, does it have the same relevance on each level?
- Are introspective judgements by linguists indispensable, as they might be less vulnerable to confounding factors, or they are too unreliable and should be backed up by empirical data?
- How can the impact of possible confounding factors be estimated and reduced?

Call for Papers:

We invite anonymous abstracts for 30 minute (20+10) presentations in English. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the questions listed in the workshop description.

This workshop is aimed at syntacticians; however, linguists of all sub-areas dealing with questions of gradience are invited. Further, both submissions that are formal in their nature (e.g. formal models) and submissions that are empirical (including experimental work or corpus analyses) are appreciated.

Abstracts should be no longer than 750 words (excluding examples, figures and references). The workshop will use EasyAbs to manage submissions. Abstracts can be submitted as pdf at

Important Dates:

Abstract submission deadline: July 26, 2015
Notification of acceptance: September 15, 2015
DGfS 2016 Conference: February 24-26, 2016
Workshop dates: February 24-26, 2016

Page Updated: 11-Jun-2015