LINGUIST List 29.3028

Fri Jul 27 2018

Calls: Ling & Literature, Philosophy of Language, Pragmatics, Psycholing, Semantics/Germany

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Date: 27-Jul-2018
From: Katharina Turgay <>
Subject: Post-truth: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Saying “what you believe to be false” (DGfS 2019)
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Full Title: Post-truth: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Saying “what you believe to be false” (DGfS 2019)

Date: 06-Mar-2019 - 08-Mar-2019
Location: Bremen, Germany
Contact Person: Katharina Turgay
Meeting Email:

Linguistic Field(s): Ling & Literature; Philosophy of Language; Pragmatics; Psycholinguistics; Semantics

Call Deadline: 15-Aug-2018

Meeting Description:

Grice's first maxim of quality says ''do not say what you believe to be
false'', but we often do. We tell lies (''I did not have sexual relations with
that woman''), we deceive (e.g. by lying by implicature), we bullshit (''Trade
wars are easy to win''), we make up stories (''When Harry Potter first came to
Hogwarts …''), we pretend (Kids playing: ''You were Batgirl and I was Wonder
Woman''), or we use irony (''Losing the key was very smart!''). In all such
speech acts there is a clear sense in which we're not, or at least not
literally, speaking the truth. Clinton did have a sexual affair, trade wars
are probably not easy to win, there is no Hogwarts, the kids are no
superheroes, losing keys is not smart. On the other hand, except in (typical
cases of) lying, these speech acts also convey something true: Harry did go to
Hogwarts in the well-known series of novels, the kids are superheroes in their
play, and the attitude which speakers intend to communicate with their
bullshit or irony may be true as well.

Semantics has typically focused on idealized cooperative conversation, where
every assertion contributes to a lofty shared truth-seeking endeavor in order
to establish a common ground of shared beliefs between speaker and hearer.
However, since the phenomena like the above all run counter to this idea,
their explanation is usually left to pragmatics, philosophy, or literary
theory. And while Grice's other maxims have gained a lot of attention and
sparked entire research traditions (quantity implicatures, relevance theory,
Horn's division of pragmatic labor and Levinson's M-principle), the role of
the quality maxim remained a bit underexplored in linguistic semantics and

In this workshop we want to discuss the challenges that these and other
deviations from the Gricean norm of quality pose for semantics and pragmatics
and see if we can incorporate ideas from philosophy, literary theory,
cognitive science and other related fields to extend the coverage of our
theories of meaning and our understanding of the dynamics and logic of
(non-)cooperative conversation.

Topics of interest include:

- truth in fiction, literature, narration
- analyses of lying, bullshitting, pretending, story-telling, irony etc.
- the relation of non-truthful language to notions like common ground,
discourse updates, and commitments
- the role of lying and deception and other non-cooperative language for
conversations, discourse structure and the common ground
- approaches to non-cooperative discourse
- psycho- and neurolinguistic studies of these phenomena and their acquisition
and their relations to Theory of Mind and other cognitive capacities

Invited speakers:

- Regine Eckardt (Konstanz)
- Jörg Meibauer (Mainz)

Organized by Daniel Gutzmann (Cologne), Emar Maier (Groningen), and Katharina
Turgay (Landau)

2nd Call for Papers:

We invite submissions of anonymous two-page abstracts (including references
etc.) for 20 minute talks (plus 10 minutes discussion). Please submit them in
pdf-format via email to:

The workshop will be part of the 41st annual meeting of the German Linguistics
Society (DGfS 2019) to be held at the University of Bremen from March 6-8,
2019. Participants will have to register for the conference and are not
supposed to give talks at other workshops.


Deadline for abstract submission: August 15, 2018.
Notification of acceptance: September 15, 2018.
Workshop: March 6-8, 2019 (two days; excat dates tba)

Page Updated: 27-Jul-2018