LINGUIST List 29.3844

Fri Oct 05 2018

Calls: Gen Ling, Historical Ling, Ling Theories, Morphology/Germany

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 02-Oct-2018
From: Matthias Eitelmann <>
Subject: Extravagant Morphology
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Full Title: Extravagant Morphology

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

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Morphology

Call Deadline: 01-Nov-2018

Meeting Description:

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

The maxim of extravagance, as coined by Haspelmath (1999: 1055) in his account of the unidirectionality typical of grammaticalization processes, essentially picks up one of Keller’s dynamic maxims, namely ''Talk in such a way that you are noticed'', which is active in the workings of the invisible hand in language change (1994: 101). Thus, speakers, in their intent to be “socially successful with their speech” (Haspelmath 1999: 1057f.), may not only be particularly expressive but deviate noticeably and considerably from established language norms by using an expression in an innovative sense, in an “imaginative and vivid” way (ibid.), or any other clearly attention-attracting fashion. Extravagance may therefore be regarded as a crucial trigger for language variation and change, with such ostensibly deviating and non-conforming language use ultimately initiating the formation of new patterns. It also shows considerable overlap with the notion of linguistic creativity, i.e. “the native speaker’s ability to extend the language system in a motivated, but unpredictable (non-rule-governed) way” (Bauer 1983: 63). At the same time, extravagance goes beyond creativity in that it is conceptualized as an integral part of language change processes.

Against this backdrop, the workshop seeks to shed light on the workings and impact of extravagance in morphological variation and change. It aims to re-address the notion of extravagance in an attempt to operationalise the concept to a larger degree, investigate extravagant phenomena empirically and shed further theoretical light on the role of extravagance in language variation and change. With its particular focus on morphology, the notion of extravagance also allows for re-assessing the empirical adequacy of established or alleged morphological rules and principles and challenging their relative robustness or rather violability.

Understood literally in the sense of the underlying Latin etymon extra-vagans ‘wandering outside, out of bounds’, extravagance in the present context refers to morphological phenomena that display divergent tendencies, with a specific interest in the following:

(1) Word-formation processes that straddle boundaries and turn extravagant in that innovative formations violate alleged or actual constraints
(2) Phenomena situated at the interface between morphology and syntax or morphology and semantics/pragmatics, thus extravagantly straying over various linguistic levels
(3) Borderline phenomena that are not easily reconcilable with traditional postulates of morphological accounts.

We invite experts in variational morphology and/or morphological theory to share and advance knowledge of extravagance, i.e. speakers' deliberate deviation from established language norms.

For a full workshop description, please be referred to

Call for Papers:

Potential participants are invited to contact the workshop organizers with an expression of interest: and

The final date for the submission of an abstract (max. 300 words) is 1 November 2018. Submission at this stage is non-anonymous.

Important Dates
- Deadline for submission of abstracts to workshop convenors: 1 November 2018
- Notification of inclusion of abstract in the workshop proposal: 20 November 2018
- Notification of acceptance/rejection of the workshop proposal by the SLE organizers: 15 December 2018
- If our workshop proposal is accepted, submission of full abstracts to SLE by the participants: 15 January 2018

Page Updated: 05-Oct-2018