LINGUIST List 26.4613

Mon Oct 19 2015

Confs: Cognitive Sci, General Ling, Lang Acquisition, Psycholing, Syntax/UK

Editor for this issue: Anna White <>

Date: 19-Oct-2015
From: Diane Nelson <>
Subject: Workshop on Animacy in Language and Cognition
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Workshop on Animacy in Language and Cognition

Date: 09-Nov-2015 - 09-Nov-2015
Location: University of Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Contact: Diane Nelson
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; General Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics; Syntax

Meeting Description:

We invite abstracts of contributions for an interdisciplinary workshop on Animacy in Language and Cognition, to take place on 9 November 2015 at the University of Leeds.

The workshop aims to bring together researchers from linguistics and other disciplines in order to explore the relationship between language and animacy and further our understanding of the role of animacy in human language(s) and cognition. We welcome papers which take a broader theoretical and interdisciplinary approach to animacy effects on language or cognition in order to explore questions such as the following:

- How did the cognitive underpinnings of animacy evolve in our primate ancestors, and how did this interact with the emergence and evolution of language?
- How does the cognitive development of distinctions based on animacy shape and support language acquisition?
- To what extent should animacy be seen as a linguistic feature independent of contrasts related to personhood or prominence, including definiteness, individuation vs collectivity, specificity, etc.?
- Animacy effects related to the human vs non-human contrast are well-attested in human grammars, but what sorts of linguistic contrasts do we find based on distinctions at the lower end of the animacy hierarchy?
- Can generative linguists increase the descriptive adequacy of their models by invoking gradience or other non-binary feature specification in analysing animacy effects?
- How does folkbiological classification of biological animacy in the natural world map onto linguistic animacy hierarchies?


Diane Nelson, Linguistics and Phonetics, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds
Virve Vihman, School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester

For more information on the workshop, please see


The full programme for the workshop can be found at Registration is now open.

Page Updated: 19-Oct-2015