LINGUIST List 30.4368

Sat Nov 16 2019

Calls: Philosophy of Lang, Pragmatics, Psycholing, Semantics, Syntax/Germany

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 12-Nov-2019
From: Cameron Wilson <>
Subject: Workshop on Degree Expressions and Polarity Effects
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Full Title: Workshop on Degree Expressions and Polarity Effects
Short Title: DegPol2020

Date: 09-Mar-2020 - 10-Mar-2020
Location: Berlin, Germany
Contact Person: Cameron Wilson
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Philosophy of Language; Pragmatics; Psycholinguistics; Semantics; Syntax

Call Deadline: 30-Nov-2019

Meeting Description:

On March 9-10, 2020, the Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS) in Berlin, Germany will host the workshop ''Degree Expressions and Polarity Effects'' (DegPol2020). Expressions of degree are often sensitive to the polarity of the environments that they occur in. Some degree modifiers are polarity items: as PPIs we find moderate-degree modifiers such as fairly, somewhat and their cross-linguistic counterparts (Nouwen 2013), as well as evaluative modifiers such as Catalan ''ben'' (Castroviejo & Gehrke 2015); NPIs include high-degree modifiers such as English ''all that'' (Israel 1996) and Japanese ''anmari'' (Matsui 2011). Other degree expressions show more subtle effects of polarity. As an example, high-degree predicates such as ''gorgeous'' and ''delicious'' are infrequent and are judged degraded - though not outright ungrammatical - in negated contexts (Morzycki 2012, Hoeksema 2018). Another focus of investigation is the phenomenon of litotes, and negative strengthening more generally (Horn 1989, 2002, 2010, 2017; van der Wouden 1996; Krifka 2007; Neuhaus 2016; Gotzner et al. 2018), where a negated scalar term takes on a stronger interpretation than the simple semantic one - for example the interpretation of ''not too bright'' to mean 'rather stupid'. Finally, the positive and negative members of a pair of antonyms may behave differently with respect to the pragmatic inferences they give rise too, including scalar implicatures (van Tiel et al. 2018) and so-called 'inferences towards the antonym' (Ruytenbeek et al. 2017).

The goal of this workshop is to provide a forum for discussion of the interaction of scalarity and positive versus negative polarity, from the perspectives of semantics, pragmatics, syntax and psycholinguistics.

2nd Call for Papers:

We invite abstract submissions for 40-minute talks (30+10) and posters on topics including but not limited to:

- Theoretical and experimental investigations of PPI and / or NPI degree modifiers and degree constructions
- Litotes and other forms of pragmatic strengthening of negated scalar expressions
- Implicatures of scalar / degree expressions in positive versus negative environments
- Pragmatic inferences generated by positive versus negative scalar antonyms
- Corpus-based investigations of polarity effects in the degree domain
- The interaction of adjectival scale structure and polarity effects
- Processing of scalar polarity items

Abstracts must not exceed two pages of A4 or letter-sized paper, including data and references, with 1-inch (2.5 cm) margins on all sides, set in at least 11-point font. The abstract should have a clear title and should not identify the author(s). The abstract must be submitted electronically in PDF format, using our EasyChair electronic submission website:

Important Dates:

Abstract Submission deadline: November 30, 2019
Notification of acceptance: late December, 2019
Workshop dates: March 9 - 10, 2020

Invited Speakers:

Berit Gehrke (Humboldt University Berlin)
Larry Horn (Yale University)
Laura Neuhaus (Duden)
Rick Nouwen (Utrecht University)


Stephanie Solt (Leibniz-ZAS)
Cameron Wilson (Leibniz-ZAS)

Page Updated: 16-Nov-2019