LINGUIST List 29.3502

Tue Sep 11 2018

FYI: Iconicity: Call for Theme Session at ICLC 15, 2019

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Date: 08-Sep-2018
From: Arie Verhagen <>
Subject: Iconicity: Call for Theme Session at ICLC 15, 2019
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Call for theme session papers at ICLC 15 − 6-11 August 2019, Nishinomya, Japan

Integrating Iconicity: Recent Work and Future Directions

We invite short abstracts for a theme session on this topic at the 15th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference (ICLC-15) in Nishinomiya, Japan, 6-11 August, 2019 (

The study of iconicity −-the resemblance- or simulation-based mapping of form and meaning-− is seeing a renaissance across the language sciences. Studies of signed and spoken languages show the importance of iconicity alongside other organizing principles in lexical and grammatical structure, learning experiments show how iconicity may help word learning and rely on widespread cross-modal associations, the study of natural discourse organization demonstrates how theatrical staging of action plays a fundamental role, and work in experimental semiotics reveals the affordances and limitations of iconicity in the origin and evolution of communication systems.

With growing interest in iconicity there is also a growing need to clarify its place in the larger network of the language sciences. While it may be rhetorically attractive to cast iconicity as solitary slayer of the dogma of arbitrariness or solution to the enigma of language evolution, ultimately its explanatory power must be positioned relative to (and in interaction with) other known principles of linguistic organisation such as frequency, economy, conventionality, or systematicity; and its roles in learning and communication must be understood in relation to factors like multimodality, embodiment, and intersubjectivity.

This session is devoted to the theme of integrating iconicity. It brings together current work on the varied roles of iconicity in linguistic organisation and communication, with a special interest in contributions that link recent insights from iconicity research to 'classic' cognitive linguistic topics like intersubjectivity and embodiment.

We invite researchers from across the language sciences to submit their work by sending a short (maximum 100 words) abstract to both Mark Dingemanse ( and Arie Verhagen ( by 14 September, 2018. Theme sessions may comprise a maximum of 11 papers, and the conference organisation also imposes some further restrictions on the structure and content of a session and on its participants. Depending on the number and nature of abstracts we receive, we may therefore have to make some selection (taking the goals of the session into account).

Mark Dingemanse (
Arie Verhagen (

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; General Linguistics

Page Updated: 11-Sep-2018