LINGUIST List 32.609

Thu Feb 18 2021

Calls: Disc of Ling, Disc Analys, Ling & Lit, Ling Theories, Semantics/Lithuania or Online

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 18-Feb-2021
From: Davide Castiglione <>
Subject: 9th Conference of the International Association of Literary Semantics
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Full Title: 9th Conference of the International Association of Literary Semantics
Short Title: IALS 2021

Date: 08-Apr-2021 - 10-Apr-2021
Location: Vilnus University, Lithuania
Contact Person: Davide Castiglione
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Discipline of Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Ling & Literature; Linguistic Theories; Semantics

Call Deadline: 28-Feb-2021

Meeting Description:

Established in 1990, the International Association of Literary Semantics exists to support the exchange of ideas among academics and scholars who are interested in advancing understanding of the bases of literary meaning.

The association holds an international conference every two to four years.

Members of the association come from a large variety of disciplines – but perhaps chiefly linguistics, literary studies, philosophy, and psychology – and use a range of theoretical perspectives and empirical methods. The association enjoys friendly relations with several other international associations devoted to the broadly linguistic analysis of literature, perhaps most notably the Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA).

IALS is associated with the Journal of Literary Semantics, and was launched by the founding editor (1972-2002) of that journal, Dr Trevor Eaton. For nearly fifty years, the JLS has published some of the most influential work, from a host of international scholars, in literary linguistics, literary pragmatics, narratology, philosophy of literature, empirical literary studies, and cognitive poetics. The association is equally inclusive and cross-disciplinary in its outlook.

Second Call for Papers:

Please note that the abstract submission deadline has been postponed from 31 December 2020 to 28 February 2021, and that the conference will take place on 22-24 October 2021, either on-site in Vilnius or online, depending on the pandemic situation.

From Text World Theory to Relevance Theory, from the theory of foregrounding to empirical and corpus methods, from a critical-ideological to a literary-aesthetic focus (and many more), the proliferation of theories, models, frameworks and approaches in the fields of linguistics and literary theory seem to support the following proposition: scholars should not necessarily conform to abstract standards of rationality or reach a creativity-stifling consensus, but rather feel free to experiment with whatever idea or analytical tool fits their purposes at a given time.

Within stylistics, theoretical eclecticism has been advocated by Lesley Jeffries, who notes that ‘theories are not always completely discredited, even when the next generation of models and theories seems to have replaced them’ (2000: 5). More recently, Michael Toolan (2015) has uncovered (and occasionally problematised) a number of principles and assumptions invoked in stylistic practice, including the centrality of language, the prestige and complexity of literature, the conceptual boundaries of even basic grammatical categories and units of analysis. In particular, he argues that such principles are interpretive to a degree, and that a rigid application of scientific standards such as causation and falsification is ill-suited in the domain of textual analysis.

New, rigorous yet thought-provoking contributions in the tradition of the aforementioned papers seem called for nowadays, both because collective theoretical and methodological awareness is a sign of maturity in any scientific discipline, and because a number of models, hybrid applications and technological refinements have emerged in recent years which warrant closer scrutiny and are worthy of a wider audience. The 2021 IALS conference in Vilnius seems the ideal arena to do just that. After all, an open, critical discussion of these issues is the best precaution to prevent unconstrained freedom or wild eclecticism from turning into amateurish relativism and, conversely, to prevent one’s staunch support of a single framework or approach from turning into academic dogma.

We especially welcome the submission of abstracts that do not content themselves with exposing and applying a single theory or model, but rather
- weigh the cons and pros of alternative approaches and frameworks, their overlaps and potential integration or else their incompatibility
- showcase integrated models of analysis, reflecting on the ‘division of labour’ of the models involved
- replicate, integrate or confute past analyses using new methods
- discuss the assumptions and premises of various frameworks and how they impact subsequent analyses
- reflect on methodological challenges based on one’s experience in conducting research, and discuss ways to overcome/minimise them
- summarise and evaluate a range of epistemological positions with regard to specific issues (e.g. the code-like vs. inferential conceptualisation of language addressed by Jeffries 2000) and explore their analytical/interpretive implications
- assess the plausibility and strength of alternative hypotheses or explanations
- trace the diachronic development of analytic categories (e.g. speech and thought presentation categories) or empirical practices (e.g. focus groups)
- provide meta-analyses and systematic reviews of published papers
- touch on any similar or loosely related theoretical or methodological issue

Abstracts should be sent in a .doc/.docx-file to by 28 February 2021 at 23.59 (UK time). They should be 250-300 words in length and contain the following elements:
– A clear indication of your aims and research questions
– An explanation of your methodology/methodologies and analytical framework(s)
– An indication of your emerging results and conclusions
– A maximum of five keywords
– A maximum of five references

30 mins. will be allocated to each contribution: up to 20 mins. for the presentation and 10 mins. for the discussion.

All info about the conference can be found here:

Page Updated: 18-Feb-2021