LINGUIST List 30.2456

Mon Jun 17 2019

Calls: Cognitive Science/Bulgaria

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 14-Jun-2019
From: Angeliki Athanasiadou <>
Subject: What Makes a Figure?: Re-Thinking Figuration
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Full Title: What Makes a Figure?: Re-Thinking Figuration

Date: 23-Apr-2020 - 24-Apr-2020
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Contact Person: Angeliki ; Herbert Athanasiadou ; Colston
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science

Call Deadline: 10-Aug-2019

Meeting Description:

Looking across different figures and noting their generic structures and functions (e.g., involving two domains and inviting mappings between them [metaphor], invoking a portion of one domain or substituting a relevant component of a related domain, to realize the entirety of a targeted domain [metonymy], inviting contradictions between usually two domains [irony], invoking a single domain but exaggerating it [hyperbole] or giving it a circular construction [tautology], etc., what can we understand better about the processes involved in figuration as a whole? How might we re-think “standard” or “accepted” processes in figurative functioning to enable a broader pan-figural or at least more-collective-figural understanding?

For instance, in considering ideas like, what makes a metaphor—what factors other than concreteness might distinguish between source and target domains? Or, for the question of what makes a metonymy—is substitution the primary means by which to conceptualize metonymic reference, etc.? Or further still, for irony, what new conceptualizations might be had to grapple with the idea of ironic contradiction, etc.? Across these and other related questions, what processes (i.e., cognitive, linguistic, embodied, social, perceptual, cultural, emotional, etc.) seem involved in figuration proper, in figuration broadly, or at least in more than one figure, for either their comprehension or their usage, or involving some other activity with them?

Moreover, in looking at the broad structural make-up and component functional underpinnings of different figures, as well as in related rhetorical tropes or rhetorical devices (i.e., understatement, oxymoron, litotes, hyperbole, simile, idioms, proverbs, antithesis, antiphrasis, tautology, euphemism, hypallage, etc.), what gains might be had in understanding figurativeness more holistically?

The proposed theme session will accordingly welcome abstracts investigating the following and/or related topics:

New ways to conceptualize old figures (i.e., what makes a[n] X?),
New mediums in which to conceptualize old figures,
New functional underpinnings of figures/rhetorical devices,
Consideration of what kinds of cognitive/social/cultural/other processes might unite the comprehension or pragmatic effect explanations of different figures and/or rhetorical devices,
Considerations of structure and functioning of lesser-studied figures and rhetorical tropes/devices,
Comparisons of structure and functioning of more than one type of figure/trope/device,
Considerations of broad typographical frameworks attempting to categorize or organize a range of figures and rhetorical tropes/devices, based on their structures, functions, processes or other criteria,
Considerations of any of the above topics based on comprehension, usage or other experience/behavior (e.g., appreciation, emotional reaction, persuasiveness, thinking aloud, etc.).

We also welcome work both theoretical in nature as well as empirical, with a receptivity re: the latter to a wide array of methodologies.

Call for Paper:

Contributions are invited to a theme session on “What Makes a Figure?: Re-Thinking Figuration” to be held at the 5th International Figurative Thought and Language conference, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Abstracts must be submitted by email directly to the theme session organizers, by August 10, 2019.

Angeliki Athanasiadou (
Herbert Colston (

Page Updated: 17-Jun-2019