LINGUIST List 32.1975

Tue Jun 08 2021

FYI: Approximation in Morphology: Special Issue in Journal of Word Formation

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 07-Jun-2021
From: Muriel Norde <>
Subject: Approximation in Morphology: Special Issue in Journal of Word Formation
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APPROXIMATION has been at the centre of interest in various subfields of linguistics, such as pragmatics and discourse studies, where it has been referred to in different terms, such as ‘mitigation’ (Caffi 2007), ‘indeterminacy’ (Bazzanella 2011), ‘hedging’ (Lakoff 1972) or ‘(intentional) vagueness’ (Channell 1994; Mihatsch 2007; Voghera 2021). Morphological means to convey these meanings have not been studied in great depth however (as compared to other strategies such as particles or discourse markers). To be sure, evaluative morphology is a well-established domain of investigation (see, e.g. Grandi & Körtvélyessy 2015 for a fairly recent survey), but APPROXIMATION has not been as much in focus as other types of evaluation, such as DIMINUTION, AUGMENTATION and INTENSIFICATION (e.g. Merlini, Barbaresi & Dressler 1994; Jurafsky 1996; Grandi 2002; Schneider 2003; Bakema & Geeraerts 2004; Prieto 2005; Körtvélyessy & Štekauer eds. 2011; Efthymiou 2015; Efthymiou, Fragaki & Markos 2015; Napoli 2017).
This Special Issue Approximation in Morphology intends to bridge this gap, by focusing exclusively on APPROXIMATION in word formation, as a follow-up to pioneering publications on morphopragmatics (Dressler & Merlini Barbaresi 1994) and more recent studies of diminutive markers used as attenuation strategies in Italian (Grandi 2017), compounding elements expressing imitation or fakeness in Dutch (Van Goethem & Norde 2020), or approximative meanings of Italian simil- (Masini & Micheli 2020) and English (-)ish (e.g. Oltra-Massuet 2017, Kempf & Eitelmann 2018, Eitelmann, Haugland & Haumann 2020). We understand APPROXIMATION as a complex functional domain including (at least) vagueness, non-prototypicality, attenuation, and fakeness/imitation.

For this Special Issue, we invite empirically based papers on approximation in word formation, which may be based on any theoretical framework, methodology or perspective, and which address one or more of the following research questions:
- What is the role and status of approximation within word-formation?
- Which morphological means are used in the world’s languages to express approximating values and, conversely, which approximating values are expressed by morphological means?
- What are the sources of approximating morphological markers crosslinguistically?
- Do we find competition between approximating morphological markers in a single language?

Complementary Workshop:

As a complement to this Special Issue, we will organise a “discontinuous workshop”, i.e. a series of online meetings in which we discuss preliminary versions of each other’s papers, to take place between October 2021 and April 2022. To this end, all authors will be asked to submit a squib of maximally 5000 words for one of those meetings. The exact programme will be established during the first meeting, which is scheduled for the first half of October (depending on the participants’ availability). We believe that such interactions with fellow authors during the writing process will be of benefit to us all and result in a maximally coherent volume. The full (10.000-word) papers are expected by 1 June 2022, with a view of publishing the Special Issue in April 2023 in Zeitschrift für Wortbildung / Journal of Word Formation. Each paper will be reviewed by two anonymous reviewers. The issue will be published online and open access.

Submission Procedure:

If you are interested at presenting your work at the discontinuous workshop and subsequently submitting the full paper for the Special Issue, please send an abstract of 300-500 words (excluding references) to, and by 2 August 2021. Notification will be given by the end of August.

Important Dates:

Deadline for abstract submission: 2 August 2021
Notification by: 31 August 2021
Discontinuous Workshop: from October 2021 to April 2022
Deadline for full paper submission: 1 June 2022
Special Issue publication: April 2023 of Zeitschrift für Wortbildung / Journal of Word Formation

Linguistic Field(s): Morphology

Page Updated: 08-Jun-2021