LINGUIST List 27.1574

Tue Apr 05 2016

Confs: Gen Ling/France

Editor for this issue: Amanda Foster <>

Date: 04-Apr-2016
From: myriam bouveret <>
Subject: Cognition verbs, Modality, Evidentiality and Constructions
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Cognition verbs, Modality, Evidentiality and Constructions
Short Title: CGLC

Date: 15-Apr-2016 - 15-Apr-2016
Location: paris, France
Contact: eric melac
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English

Meeting Description:

The emergence of cognition verbs in a language might be one of the first symptoms of meta-cognitive reasoning (Recanati 2000, Sperber 2000). These verbs are involved in a variety of complex constructions, which partly mirror the intricate interaction between language and thought. Investigating cognition verbs from a scientific perspective enables us to understand how we stage our own ideas, and how linguistic forms encode our attitudes toward the conceptual worlds of others. Urmson (1952) reinvestigated the philosophical and linguistic questions these verbs raise, and Nuyts (2001) proposed to distinguish two types of meaning: the qualificational and non-qualificational uses. The latter use refers to the mental state indicated by the verb, whereas the former is an expression of the speaker’s stance. Phrases such as ''I think'' are extremely common in English, but their subtle meaning can only be fully understood if we take into account the pragmatic and discursive levels of language. This has led scholars to adopt a variety of methods – parallel corpus research, discourse analysis, statistical research – in order to shed light on the ever-evolving behaviour of these verbs (Aijmer 1997, Kaltenböck 2009, Kärkäinnen 2003, Dehé & Wichmann 2010, and Krawczak & Glynn 2011 inter alia).

This workshop will delve into the intricacies of cognition verbs from a cross-linguistic perspective. We will analyse the near-synonymity of phrases such as ''I think'', ''I believe'', ''I guess'', ''I suppose'', ''I imagine'' and ''I assume''. We will explore the challenge they pose to semantic analysis, and their ambiguous modal and evidential status (Gosselin 2014). We will try to explain what motivates this evolution pattern (Cappelli 2007 and Melac 2014), and describe further the processes of grammaticalisation and cooptation that are at stake (Heine 2013, Beijering 2015). Finally, we will investigate whether the phenomena surrounding the use of cognition verbs in English are relevant cross-linguistically by looking at the data from a sample of languages.

Comités cientifique: Jacques Bres (Montpellier3), Michel Charolles (LaTTiCe), Eric Corre (Paris3), Laure Sarda (LaTTiCe) et Debra Ziegeler (Paris3)


LaTTiCe-ENS workshop
Friday, 15 April, 2016
Salle des Actes
École normale supérieure – 45 rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris

Cognition Verbs: Modality, Evidentiality and Constructions

Accueil – café

Présentation du séminaire, Myriam Bouveret (LaTTiCe)

The Cognition Verbs Puzzle: What remains to be explored?
Eric Mélac (coord.) (Montpellier 3, EMMA)

Stance-Taking Devices in Ecuadorian Siona
Martine Bruil (DDL, UMR 5596)

10h30-10h45 Pause café

An Enunciative Study of Think in Contrastive Linguistics (English/French)
Françoise Doro-Mégy (Paris Diderot, CLILLAC-ARP)

Constructions of Epistemicity in British and American English
Karolina Krawczak (Adam Mickievicz University in Poznan) & Dylan Glynn (Paris 8, LECSEL)

Where do the Parenthetical Uses of the Mental State Verbs Come from?
Jan Nuyts (conférencier invité) (University of Antwerp (Belgium)


Page Updated: 05-Apr-2016