LINGUIST List 29.2967

Thu Jul 19 2018

Calls: Pragmatics/China

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

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Date: 19-Jul-2018
From: Valentina Apresjan <>
Subject: Pragmatics of Space and Time: Center and Margins
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Full Title: Pragmatics of Space and Time: Center and Margins

Date: 09-Jun-2019 - 14-Jun-2019
Location: Hong Kong, China
Contact Person: Valentina Apresjan
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics

Call Deadline: 01-Oct-2018

Meeting Description:

Panel ''Pragmatics of Space and Time: Center and Margins''

Theme: Semantics, pragmatics, polysemy of spatial deictic words

Purpose: To create an in-depth cross-linguistic discussion of different aspects of space conceptualization in language with special reference to pragmatic factors that influence it.

It is well-known that words denoting space are prone to deriving temporal meanings. However, not every spatial word develops temporal meanings. Thus, indications of the spatial deictic center (The house is close to the river) and margins (a distant star) can also refer to time (close future, distant past). On the other hand, expressions denoting the spatial “limbo”, such as some distance away appear unable to experience such semantic development.

One of the purposes of the proposed panel is to consider what affects the ability of a spatial word to develop temporal meanings. Sometimes this ability is triggered by pragmatics. Thus, there is a certain asymmetry between proximal and distal deictic words in their temporal meanings, namely, distant is equally possible in reference to future and past, whereas near is more frequent with future. It may be explained by the implicature of a possible upcoming contact with the closely located object, which is absent from the meaning of distant.

Also, space serves as a source domain not only for time, but also for many other important metaphorizations: human relationships (close friendship), kinship (distant relatives), emotions and their expression (a faraway look), degree (far left), causality (remote causes of the war), likeness (close synonyms) and many others. Another purpose of the proposed panel is to consider the role of pragmatic factors in the development of non-temporal meanings of distal and proximal deictic words.

Next, the spatial domain itself is organized in a very complex way. Apart from the differences in distance, languages encode many other characteristics of objects and landmarks.

Spatial adverbials differ with respect to possible landmarks (speaker, as in Our destination was close vs. object, as in He lives close to school), the type of object (stationary, as in He was standing nearby or moving, as in He was following me closely), direction of the movement (in the distance vs. from a distance) and many others. Even seemingly synonymous words can display unexpected discrepancies: e.g., it is possible to worship smb. from afar, but not to worship smb. from far away. Many of these collocational limitations are pragmatic in nature.

Languages may display different tendencies with respect to marking distance in different situations: e.g., in English, traveling (They came from far away) is not the same as perception (His voice sounded a world away, but not *They came from a world away).

Call for Papers:

The panel invites submissions that tackle semantics, pragmatics and syntax of spatial expressions in different languages, in particular in cross-linguistic or contrastive perspective.

Abstract Submission:

All submission procedures are web-based (i.e., paper copies, faxes, or email attachments will not be accepted).

For submitting abstracts, go to the conference website, make an account and proceed to your submission by clicking 'Submit your abstract now'.

Login Link:

Page Updated: 19-Jul-2018