LINGUIST List 31.2490

Thu Aug 06 2020

Calls: Pragmatics, Typology/Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 05-Aug-2020
From: Martin Pfeiffer <>
Subject: Cross-linguistic Approaches to Requests for Confirmation
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Full Title: Cross-linguistic Approaches to Requests for Confirmation

Date: 27-Jun-2021 - 02-Jul-2021
Location: Winterthur, Switzerland
Contact Person: Martin Pfeiffer
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics; Typology

Call Deadline: 25-Oct-2020

Meeting Description:

''Cross-linguistic approaches to requests for confirmation''

Katharina König (University of Münster)
Martin Pfeiffer (University of Freiburg)

In recent years, question-response sequences have been studied widely in cross-linguistic interactional research (Enfield et al. 2019; Enfield et al. 2010). While these large-scale studies yield interesting results, e.g. in terms of overall distributional differences of various question and answer types, to date little is known about cross-linguistic similarities and differences in the formatting of particular question-response pairings. Request for confirmation sequences constitute a promising field of study in this endeavor as they play a central role in documenting what speakers assume to be relevant information for the ongoing interaction and in negotiating epistemic rights and access at the same time (Bolden 2010; Seuren & Huiskes 2017; Heritage 2012; Pomerantz 1988; Raymond 2010).

Bringing together qualitative and/or quantitative contributions on the use of requests for confirmation in different languages, the panel will address the following research questions:
- How do languages differ in the design of request for confirmation sequences? Which linguistic resources are used to mark an utterance as a request for confirmation?
- (How) are RfCs distinguished from other related social actions (such as requests for information, requests for affirmation, requests for clarification or newsmarks) in different languages?
- Are there differences in the distributional patterns of answer possibilities? Which role do multimodal resources play in doing confirmation or disconfirmation?
- Which conversational activities lend themselves to RfCs? In which overall communicative projects are RfCs embedded?
- In which way are RfCs anchored in prior talk or nonverbal actions?

Papers in the panel will include contributions from the scientific network ''Interactional Linguistics - Discourse particles from a cross-linguistic perspective'' funded by the German Research Foundation but we also invite other scholars to present their cross-linguistic research.

Call for Papers:

Abstracts (250-500 words incl. references) should be based on research that is clearly in progress, with a well-formulated research question, and with a good description of the types of data used and of the approach. They should be submitted via IPrA’s submission system before 25 October 2020 (for further instructions, see

Bolden, Galina B. 2010. 'Articulating the unsaid' via and-prefaced formulations of others' talk. Discourse Studies 12(1). 5-32.

Enfield, N. J., Tanya Stivers, Penelope Brown, Christina Englert, Kathariina Harjunpää, Makoto Hayashi, Trine Heinemann, Gertie Hoymann, Tiina Keisanen, Mirka Rauniomaa, Chase W. Raymond, Federico Rossano, Kyung-Eun Yoon, Inge Zwitserlood & Stephen C. Levinson. 2019. Polar answers. Journal of Linguistics 55(2). 277-304.

Enfield, Nick, Tanya Stivers & Stephen C. Levinson. 2010. Question-response sequences in conversation across ten languages: An introduction. Journal of Pragmatics 42(10). 2615-2619.

Heritage, John. 2012. Epistemics in action: Actions formation and territories of knowledge. Research on Language and Social Interaction 45(1). 1-29.

Pomerantz, Anita. 1988. Offering a candidate answer: An information seeking strategy. Communication Monographs 55. 360-373.

Raymond, Geoffrey. 2010. Grammar and social relations: Alternative forms of yes/no-type initiating actions in health visitor interactions. In Alice F. Freed & Susan Ehrlich (eds.), ''Why do you ask?'': The function of questions in institutional discourse, 87-107. New York: Oxford University Press.

Seuren, Lucas M. & Mike Huiskes. 2017. Confirmation or elaboration: What do Yes/No declaratives want? Research on Language & Social Interaction 50(2). 188-205.

Page Updated: 06-Aug-2020