LINGUIST List 32.4003

Thu Dec 23 2021

Confs: Cog Sci; Discourse Analysis; Ling Theories; Pragmatics/Germany

Editor for this issue: Sarah Robinson <>

Date: 23-Dec-2021
From: Markus Egg <>
Subject: Metaphors and stance markers in register variation (MeStaR)
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Metaphors and stance markers in register variation (MeStaR)

Date: 16-Jun-2022 - 17-Jun-2022
Location: Berlin, Germany
Contact: Markus Egg
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Discourse Analysis; Linguistic Theories; Pragmatics

Meeting Description:

Interlocutors and their social relations constitute a central part of register, which is reflected e.g. in the ‘tenor’ feature in Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) (Halliday & Hasan, 1985) or in Biber’s (2006b) dimension ‘involved vs. informational production’. Metadiscourse elements address this feature or dimension, allowing speakers or writers to interact with their audience in order to manage their mutual relation and to guide the audience in processing the discourse. These elements are constitutive for register and must be used appropriately in a specific constellation of interlocutors; at the same time, they allow the classification of discourse in terms of a specific register.

The workshop intends to deepen our understanding of such elements, focussing on two phenomena that are crucial for tenor, viz., metaphors and stance markers.

For metaphors, their relation to tenor was discussed in Goatly (1994, 2011), who correlates functions of metaphors with SFL features, e.g., if the interlocutors are of equal status and close, metaphors tend to be attitudinal and emotive. Also, Steen et al. (2010) attribute differences of metaphors to their respective registers (for news, conversation, fiction, and academic discourse). For instance, the informational registers use metaphor to express content to a much larger extent than conversation. There is also work on metaphor in specific registers, e.g., newspapers (Krennmayr, 2011), academic discourse (Beger, 2015; Herrmann, 2015), or fiction (Dorst, 2015).

Stance markers subsume different types of linguistic means, ranging from specific lexical items such as first and second person pronouns or epistemic adverbs and particles over inflectional and derivational morphology (e.g. diminutives) to syntactic constructions such as imperatives and questions (Biber, 2006a; Hyland, 2005). Research on the distribution of stance markers across registers provides evidence not only for their salience in conversational discourses as a means of indicating speaker’s involvement and fostering addressee’s engagement (Goulart et al., 2020; Qin & Uccelli, 2019). Speakers and writers also use these markers to create interactional identities according to the communicative purposes in contexts with varying degrees of formality (Barbieri, 2015). In written informational discourses, these markers allow writers to convey a credible picture of themselves as members of professional and scientific communities and to develop and manage the social and epistemic common ground with their audiences (Hyland, 2010).

We are interested in the way these two phenomena serve to create and modulate register dimensions, for instance, degrees of conceptual orality and literacy and social relations between the interlocutors. For both types of phenomena, their influence on register is closely tied to their semantic contribution, hence, we expect their comparison to yield further insights into metalinguistic strategies of register administration.

Questions include, but are not restricted to the following:
- How do metaphors and/or stance markers contribute to establishing and signalling specific registers (including academic language and languages for specific purposes)?
- How are metaphors and/or stance markers as register markers acquired and how do they change over time?
- What is the relation between metaphors and stance markers in the field of register?
- Do metaphors and/or stance markers play a different role in register across languages?
We especially welcome empirical studies, experimental as well as corpus-based ones.

Due the pandemic, the workshop will take place as a hybrid event: on-site and online via Zoom. Talks will be given 30-minute slots excluding discussion.

View the full CfP and references online:

Authors should submit anonymous abstracts of max. 500 words (excluding figures and references) to Deadline for submissions is 02/18/2022. References should be formatted according to the APA 7th guidelines. Abstracts will be peer reviewed. Notification of acceptance: 03/30/2022.

Page Updated: 23-Dec-2021