LINGUIST List 29.4145

Wed Oct 24 2018

Calls: Morphology, Pragmatics, Syntax, Text/Corpus Ling, Typology/France

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 22-Oct-2018
From: Magdalena Lemus Serrano <>
Subject: Noun Categorization: From Grammar to Communicative Interaction
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Full Title: Noun Categorization: From Grammar to Communicative Interaction
Short Title: NCW2019

Date: 18-Apr-2019 - 19-Apr-2019
Location: Lyon, France
Contact Person: Thiago Chacon
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Morphology; Pragmatics; Syntax; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Typology

Call Deadline: 01-Dec-2018

Meeting Description:

Noun categorization has been extensively dealt with in terms of semantic and morphosyntactic variation. However, the pragmatic side of this phenomenon in general, and its role in communicative interaction in particular, have received much less attention (but see Seifart 2005, Contini-Morava & Kilarski 2013, Farmer 2015). This is surprising, considering that the primary functions of noun categorization devices are said to be classification, individuation, reference building, and reference tracking of entities in sustained discourse.

The proposed workshop can advance this debate by examining new bodies of data from languages under-represented in the literature. It can contribute to the development of a more fine-grained typology taking into consideration a multidimensional approach, as suggested by Seifart (2010) and Grinevald (2015), among others. We invite contributions from scholars of different theoretical orientations, on in-depth, preferably usage-based research of different aspects of noun categorization devices, including (albeit not exclusively):

- The motivation for using a classifier in narratives and conversation for certain referents is not always obvious. What are the discourse functions of noun categorization devices in a given language? How dependent are these devices on the pragmatic context, the interlocutors’ familiarity with the referent, specific cultural practices, and world views?
- Systems allow for some semantic heterogeneity within each “category”. This suggests a continuum within a given group, from prototypical to less prototypical exemplars. If the sorting is established according to perceptual properties, how much room is there for intra- and inter-speaker variation?
- While in some languages each noun is associated with one classifier, in other languages there is a degree of flexibility with regard to the choice of classifier in order to differentiate shades of meaning. How can pragmatics explain the choice of classifiers? And to what extent do these classifiers display inflectional and/or derivational characteristics for the creation of lexical items, agreement and cross-referencing?

Call for Papers:


Please send your abstract to by December 01, 2018. Notification of acceptance: December 30, 2018. Abstracts should be no longer than two pages, including examples and references. Send pdf files using Unicode fonts. Papers can be presented in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese, but there must be a handout in English.

Practical information:

- The NCW2019 will be held immediately after the 'Typology of small-scale multilingualism' conference (April 15-17, 2019, Lyon, France).
- The organizers will propose several mobility grants for for students and young scholars from outside of Europe. For more information regarding travel costs assistance, please contact the organizers at


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Page Updated: 24-Oct-2018