LINGUIST List 26.3189

Tue Jul 07 2015

Calls: Pragmatics, Psycholinguistics, Semantics, Text/Corpus Linguistics, Syntax/Germany

Editor for this issue: Erin Arnold <>

Date: 07-Jul-2015
From: Hedde Zeijlstra <>
Subject: GLOW39 - Workshop on Perspectivization
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Full Title: GLOW39 - Workshop on Perspectivization

Date: 08-Apr-2016 - 08-Apr-2016
Location: Göttingen, Germany
Contact Person: Anke Holler
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics; Psycholinguistics; Semantics; Syntax; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Call Deadline: 01-Nov-2015

Meeting Description:

Perspectivization is an inextricable property of linguistic expressions: examples vary from rather obvious lexical instances like deictic vs. intrinsic readings of spatial expressions to more elusive discourse-level cases of perspective-dependence like point-of-view narration (s. Cantrall, 1974), or free indirect discourse (Banfield, 1982). On a more general and somewhat philosophical level, one might say that epistemic perspectivization is the hallmark of the subjectivity of human experience, and that linguistic reflexes of perspectivization are the means by which priviledged first-person experiences of speakers and hearers may become part of the common ground. While its generality, and the wide range of issues it covers may be part of the fascination the notion of perspectivization instills, it is probably also the reason why this notion, thus broadly construed, has so far evaded the grasp of formal semantics and pragmatics. By way of example, while phenomena related to spatial perspectivization might reasonably be formalized with recourse to some formal rendering of Buehler's notion of origo (s. Wunderlich, 1991; Bierwisch, 1996), it is far from clear whether this notion should play a role in a formal treatment of more specific phenomena like (anti-) logophoricity (s. Sells, 1987), or the availability of de re vs. de se readings in control constructions (s. Landau, 2014).

The aim of this workshop is twofold: on the theoretical side, we want to address the question of what the basic building blocks of perspectivized content are, and how the interpretation of perspectivized lingiustics expressions is to be conceived of at the syntax-semantics interface. For example, is some notion of origo lying at the heart of perspectivization? Can this notion be reconciled with more technical notions like centered worlds? Do we need concept generators (Percus & Sauerland, 2003) to account not only for de se readings, but for perspectivized content in general?

On the empirical side, we think that psycholinguistics has made some progress in providing evidence for some of the theoretical terms mentioned above, and how the processing of perspectivized expressions might be understood. However, we think there is still a lot of ground to be covered. By way of analogy to the theoretical questions above, we might ask whether some kind of an (analogous) spatial representation of an origo is the basis of perspectivized mental representation? Or do we have to assume more complex, specialized representations and mechanisms that enter into the online construction of perspectivized content? Are these processes specific to language, or do they borrow from more general cognitive mechanisms (e.g. from social cognition)? We are confident that psycholinguistic evidence from language processing, as well as language acquisition, can help to refine our understanding of what perspectivization really is.

Invited Speakers:

Jesse Harris (UCLA)
Stephen Wechsler (UT Austin)

Call for Papers:

We invite contributions that help to clarify the formal underpinnings of the notion of perspectivization in its different guises. On the theoretical side, we are especially interested in treatments of perspectivization that address the role of syntactic, lexical and pragmatic factors in the compositional derivation of perspectivized content. We also invite contributions from experimental psycholinguistics which address the question of how perspectivized content is construed online, how it is acquired, and which cognitive resources this construction process is tapping into. Topics to be addressed, but are of course not limited to the following:

- Analogies and differences between spatial (locational/path-related) and epistemic perspectivization
- de re/de se readings of pronouns in and outside of embedding contexts
- Sequence of tense and ''temporal anchoring''
- The role of particles as a litmus test for perspectivization
- Point-of-view narration: degrees of ''directness'' (DD, FID, ID) and their relation to theories of quotation, and to Kaplan's ban on monsters
- The role of epithets, expressives, and other ''judge-dependent'' expressions in the construction of perspective

See the submission page of the GLOW 39 website for the specific details.

Page Updated: 07-Jul-2015