LINGUIST List 27.2084

Fri May 06 2016

Calls: Cog Sci, Computational Ling, General Ling, Semantics, Text/Corpus Ling/Germany

Editor for this issue: Ashley Parker <>

Date: 06-May-2016
From: Ljudmila Geist <>
Subject: New Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives on the Literal/Non-literal Meaning Divide
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Full Title: New Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives on the Literal/Non-literal Meaning Divide

Date: 10-Oct-2016 - 11-Oct-2016
Location: University of Stuttgart, Germany
Contact Person: Ljudmila Geist
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics; General Linguistics; Semantics; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Call Deadline: 31-May-2016

Meeting Description:

There is a rich linguistic tradition dealing with the structure of the lexicon. Two phenomena that have been analyzed in detail in theoretical linguistics are (a) the extension from literal to non-literal meaning via metaphor, metonymy, grammaticalization/constructionalization and related processes (Lakoff & Johnson 1980, Lehmann 1995, Eckardt 2006, Traugott & Trousdale 2013, inter alia) and (b) the properties of lexical items that give rise to lexical classes and subclasses (Levin 1993, Craig 1986, Corbett 1991, Harbour 2007, Albright 2002, Albright & Hayes 2003 inter alia). Computational linguistics has analyzed these phenomena as well, using mostly distributional approaches, trading expressivity of representations against the ability to draw on evidence from large corpora (Merlo & Stevenson 2001, Schulte im Walde 2006, Fazly et al. 2009, Li et al. 2010, inter alia).

We see two main desiderata with regard to this area of inquiry: (i), given the methodological gap between theoretical and distributional approaches, the relationship between theoretically motivated lexical properties and empirically observable ones needs to be clarified. (ii), more attention should be paid to the systematic interactions of expressions with a literal and a non-literal meaning within and across lexical classes, be it within theoretical or computational descriptions. To give just one example, literal and non-literal uses of a single lexical item will often retain the same morphosyntactic properties whereas, contentwise, they will inhabit different notional domains (cf. Croft 1995 for an early thorough investigation). This would seem to be a very general force acting against form-meaning isomorphisms or homomorphisms, and we would like to encourage reflections in this domain.

To shed light on these and other related matters, we invite abstracts (1-2 pages including references) for two different kinds of contributions. First, we invite papers dealing with foundational issues of the literal/non-literal meaning divide. Second, we have prepared an “unshared task” dataset that was extracted from the EUROPARL corpus ( The dataset comprises all instances of 16 German particle/prefix verbs and derived nominals in their sentential contexts, together with the corresponding parallel sentences in English and French. We invite papers to apply either theoretical or distributional analyses to this dataset, or subsets thereof, and describe their findings. As usual in an unshared task, use made of the dataset is up to the authors (e.g., as “gold standard”, as paraphrase, purely indicative, etc.).


Ljudmila Geist, Daniel Hole, Gabriella Lapesa, Sebastian Padó, Anne Temme
(Stuttgart Collaborative Research Center “Incremental Specification in Context (SFB 732), funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG))

Invited Speakers:

Adam Albright (MIT)
Regine Eckardt (University of Konstanz)
Ekaterina Shutova (University of Cambridge)
Caroline Sporleder (University of Göttingen)
Henriette de Swart (Universiteit Utrecht)

Important Dates:

Deadline for abstract submission: May 31, 2016
Notification of acceptance: June 30, 2016
Workshop: October 10-11, 2016

2nd Call for Papers: Theoretical and unshared task tracks

Submission Guidelines:
We invite submission of abstracts for (i) presentations of 30 minutes (20+10), or (ii) for presentations of 45 minutes (35+10), depending on the empirical or theoretical breadth of the submission. Please indicate in your submission if you apply for a slot of 30 minutes, or of 45 minutes. Abstracts must be in English, 1-2 pages (A4 or letter) in a font size no smaller than 12pt, including examples and references. Abstracts should be anonymous, and contact details (author’s/authors’ name(s) and affiliation(s)) and the title of the presentation should be included in the accompanying email.

Please send your abstract (PDF format) to:

Pending budget approval
We will offer reimbursement for travel and accommodation costs (economy class).

Important dates
Deadline for abstract submission: May 31, 2016
Notification of acceptance: June 30, 2016
Workshop: October 10-11, 2016


Page Updated: 06-May-2016