LINGUIST List 31.2541

Tue Aug 11 2020

Calls: Disc Analys, Pragmatics/Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 11-Aug-2020
From: Noriko Onodera <>
Subject: From Intersubjective to Textual Meaning: Motivation for the Rise of Discourse Markers/Pragmatic Elements
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Full Title: From Intersubjective to Textual Meaning: Motivation for the Rise of Discourse Markers/Pragmatic Elements

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

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics

Call Deadline: 03-Oct-2020

Meeting Description:

This panel explores one conspicuous directional tendency in functional /semantic change (1), which has recently drawn much research attention (Shinzato 2002, Narrog 2012, Onodera 2019a, 2019b, etc.).

(1) intersubjective > textual

As many recognize, in the last four decades of studies on semantic change, unidirectionality such as ‘from Function (Meaning) A to Function B’ has been a focus of analyses. Among numbers of hypothesized tendencies/clines, the following has been acknowledged as one robust and predictable tendency which has guided work on semantic change especially accompanying grammaticalization.

(2) propositional > ((textual) > (expressive)) (Traugott 1982, 1989)

The last function in (2), ‘expressive’, has been later replaced by ‘(inter)subjective’
functions (cf. Traugott and Dasher 2002: 94). Tendency (2) can then be depicted as

(3) propositional > textual > (inter)subjective

If we follow the tendency (3) in our analyses, as most of us have all done, the suggested (1) marks a counterexample to (2) and (3). Is the direction “from intersubjective to textual” really a counterexample to the strongly supported directions for decades, (2) and (3)? Our review has already found that (1) “from intersubjective to textual” is not a counterexample, but it had indeed been proposed in an early work of semantic change (Traugott 1989: 34-35). In Traugott (ibid.), (2) was revised as the following set of tendencies (4) because “the ordering [of (2)] appeared to be too strong” (Traugott and Dasher 2002: 94):

(4) Tendency I: Meanings based in the external described situation > meanings based in the internal (evaluative/perceptual/cognitive) described situation.

Tendency II: Meanings based in the external or internal described situation >
meanings based in the textual and metalinguistic situation.

Tendency III: Meanings tend to become increasingly based in the speaker’s subjective belief state/attitude toward the proposition.
(Traugott 1989: 34-35)
Tendency III shows, in other words, subjectification. Now, if we closely look at Tendency II, it proposes the tendency from ‘internal (inter)subjective meanings’ to ‘textual’ meanings. Thus, the change “from intersubjective to textual” meaning is not a counterexample to (2), the long-supported primary predictable direction in studies on semantic change.
However, the revision as the set of tendencies (4) might have left “the problem of ordering” (Traugott and Dasher 2002: 94) pending. Therefore, our panel will address this problem by demonstrating that the change, “intersubjective > textual”, is not an exception but another facet of the plausible cline.

We will include examples from English, Japanese, Korean, and other languages (e.g. Ainu) in order to meet the criterion for IPrA 2021, the Pragmatics of Inclusion.

The intersubjective meanings seem to arise in nothing but dynamic human “interaction” such as everyday conversations. Plausible candidates that might undergo the change ‘intersubjective > textual’ would be discourse markers and other pragmatic elements.

Prospective speakers: Mitsuko and Katsunobu Izutsu, Ryo Takamura, Noriko Onodera.

Selected References:
Narrog, Heiko. 2012. “Beyond intersubjectification: Textual uses of modality and mood in subordinate clauses as part of speech-act orientation.” English Text Construction 5:1, 29-52.
Traugott, Elizabeth Closs. 1989. “On the rise of epistemic meanings in English: An example of subjectification in semantic change.” Language 65:1, 31-55.

Call for Papers:

I hope that the above three papers will be included. Besides, I would like to invite contributions that look into the above suggested tendency, “from intersubjective to textual”. Illustrations and investigations from the languages all over the world will be welcome.

If you have interest/queries about this panel, please contact Noriko Onodera (

To submit to this panel, please visit IPrA website and follow the instructions:

Page Updated: 11-Aug-2020