LINGUIST List 31.1977

Tue Jun 16 2020

Calls: Comp Ling, Morphology, Semantics, Text/Corpus Ling/Germany

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 16-Jun-2020
From: Sven Kotowski <>
Subject: The semantics of derivational morphology: theory, methods, evidence (workshop at the 43rd Annual Conference of the DGfS)
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Full Title: The semantics of derivational morphology: theory, methods, evidence (workshop at the 43rd Annual Conference of the DGfS)
Short Title: sdm-DGfS2021

Date: 24-Feb-2021 - 26-Feb-2021
Location: Freiburg i.B., Germany
Contact Person: Sven Kotowski
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics; Morphology; Semantics; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Call Deadline: 25-Sep-2020

Meeting Description:

This workshop will be part of the 43rd Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS-Jahrestagung 2021). The conference will take place on February 24-26, 2021, in Freiburg/Germany.

The workshop will focus on derivational semantics, in particular the characterization of the meaning of complex words, affix polysemy, affix rivalry, and semantic mismatches.

Invited speakers: Marco Marelli & Rochelle Lieber
Workshop organizers: Sven Kotowski & Ingo Plag

Call for Papers:

How do we characterize the meaning of complex words? Although derivational semantics has gained more attention over the years (e.g. Bauer et al. 2015), fundamental questions remain under debate:
- Polysemy: Affixes often encode multiple senses. Are there general principles by which these senses are construed in a given (new) combination of base and affix? What is the role of the base, what of the context? When can we say that we are in fact dealing with homophonous affixes?
- Multiple affixes: At the same time, different affixes often encode the same meaning, and the mechanisms regulating their rivalry are not clear.
- Semantic mismatches: We frequently find meanings not properly encoded by correlates of form, and formal marking which does not appear to contribute meaning.

Recent studies using modern empirical methods have shown that many generalizations in the theoretically-oriented literature (some of them long-cherished) are wrong (e.g. Lieber 2016). In particular, the received wisdom is being challenged by increasing evidence for the under-specification of derivational semantics and the importance of contextual and world knowledge (see, for instance, Alexiadou's review of Lieber's 2016 book). Innovative methodological approaches in word-formation research now offer the potential to formulate and test new, and more adequate, models of how complex words mean.

This workshop aims at bringing together researchers striving for new theoretical insights on the basis of sound empirical evidence. To this end, we especially welcome studies that provide insights from lesser studied languages, combine experimental or corpus evidence with rigorous semantic analyses, or apply distributional semantic models to derivational morphology.

For the full call for papers, see

Please submit anonymized abstracts electronically in PDF format through the EasyChair system by September 25, 2020:

Submit to:

Abstracts should be at most one page long, plus references on the second page, on A4 paper with 1-inch margins on all sides, and must be set in Times New Roman font of at least 11 points.

Page Updated: 16-Jun-2020