LINGUIST List 29.3706

Wed Sep 26 2018

Calls: General Linguistics/Germany

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Date: 24-Sep-2018
From: Jolanta Sinkuniene <>
Subject: Pragmatic Markers and Clause Peripheries
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Full Title: Pragmatic Markers and Clause Peripheries

Date: 21-Aug-2019 - 24-Aug-2019
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Contact Person: Jolanta Sinkuniene
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Call Deadline: 01-Nov-2018

Meeting Description:

(Session of 52nd Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea)

The last three decades have seen an increasing interest in linguistic units showing the link between discourse elements, expressing non-propositional communicative stance by the speaker or managing the interaction with the addressee. We choose the term “pragmatic marker” (PM) for those units and regard it as encompassing, inter alia, the Lithuanian new topic introducer ''o'' ‘but, and’, the English stance indicator ''no doubt'' and the Dutch attention-getter ''zeg'' ‘say’.

A topic that has attracted growing attention recently is the study not only of the role of the clause peripheries in the evolution of PMs but also of the impact of a left periphery (LP) vs right periphery (RP) position on their range of semantic and pragmatic properties (e.g. Beeching & Detges 2014). As to the development of PMs, for instance, the RP use of Italian ''guarda'' ‘look’ has been claimed to be a by-product of the change from actual imperative to LP attention-getter (see Waltereit 2002). The RP use of Dutch ''zeg'' too has been said to postdate its LP use (see Schermer 2007). The validity of such hypotheses merits further examination (e.g. Van Olmen 2013) and so do the more general questions whether any directionality can be established for (specific) forms with both LP and RP uses and why it exists or not.

As to the functional features of PMs, it has been argued that they serve quite different purposes in LP than in RP (e.g. Degand 2011). The assumption is that markers in RP in particular correlate with intersubjective, i.e. addressee-oriented, functions like turn-yielding, hedging and stressing the illocution. In English, according to Traugott (2012), this assumption is indeed a tendency, though not a rule, and there is evidence from many other languages for intersubjective RP PMs (e.g. Chor et al. 2016; Rhee 2016).

More research is needed, though. For Japanese, for example, the case has been made that it is LP that is best for conveying intersubjectivity (e.g. Onodera 2007). The literature has also focused mainly on Europe and East Asia (e.g. Beeching & Detges 2014 cover Chinese, English, French, Italian, Japanese and Korean). Moreover, to our knowledge, only a few studies have tried to map the full range of forms and functions in one of the peripheries (e.g. Van der Wouden & Foolen 2015 on RP in Dutch) and contrast it with the range in the other periphery. This kind of comprehensive comparison could also prove useful for uncovering the (dis)similarities between languages in the textual, subjective and intersubjective meanings that they tend to express in their peripheries (e.g. are East Asian languages more concerned with “attitudinal” intersubjectivity than European ones in RP?; see Ghesquière et al. 2012).

In short, this workshop’s goal is to revisit the relation between the LP or RP position of PMs and their functions, forms and evolutions. We seek to shed new light on, inter alia, the meanings associated with LP and RP within a language and across languages and the developments into either or both peripheries that PMs can undergo – and thus also on the ongoing debates about phenomena like grammaticalization, pragmaticalization and (inter)subjectification (e.g. Heine 2013; Degand & Evers-Vermeul 2015).

Specific questions that papers may address include but are not limited to:

- which meanings do PMs express in LP and which meanings do they convey in RP?
- what, if any, are the functional differences between PMs in LP and RP?
- what, if any, are the functional (dis)similarities between LP/RP markers in different languages/varieties?
- which source constructions end up in LP, in RP or in both and are there any cross-linguistic tendencies?
- does any diachronic directionality exist for PMs that can occur in both LP and RP?

Call for Papers:

For a workshop at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea in Leipzig (, we are looking for papers dealing with pragmatic markers and the impact of left vs right periphery on their functions and forms, from a synchronic or diachronic perspective and within a language or across languages (papers on languages/varieties for which the phenomena are under-documented are especially welcome).

Please send an abstract of 300 words (without references) as a Word document to both Daniël Van Olmen ( and Jolanta Šinkūnienė ( by no later than November 1, 2018.

Page Updated: 26-Sep-2018