CALL FOR ABSTRACTS. sle2011: Meaning construction at the crossroads of grammar, cognition and communication

Francisco J. Cortés Rodríguez fcortes at
Wed Nov 3 11:43:54 UTC 2010


Meaning construction at the crossroads of grammar, cognition and

Workshop proposal

To be held within the 44th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica
Europaea (SLE)

 (University of La Rioja at Logroño –Spain, 8-11 September 2011)


Convenor: Francisco J. Cortés-Rodríguez (Universidad de La Laguna, Spain)


            This workshop is intended to be a forum for the discussion of
the different factors that play a role in the construction of the meaning of
linguistic expressions. Providing an account of meaning is still one of the
most controversial topics both within and outside the realm of Linguistics,
given the disparate as well as wide range of factors at play in meaning
construction, which may go beyond language and involve the interaction of
neuroscience, psychology and other disciplines. 


            Even if we confine ourselves to the purely linguistic domain,
the construction and interpretation of semantic structures encompasses many
problematic issues, among which the following should be mentioned: the
(non-)compositionality of meaning (construction); the interaction of lexis
and syntax; the (lack of) boundaries between different areas of grammar,
semantics and pragmatics; the role of constructions vis-à-vis the lexicon;
the contribution of metaphor and metonymy to non-lexical levels of
linguistic description; semantic and grammatical coercion; the role of
implicature and illocution as descriptive levels, etc. 


            With this scenario in mind, this workshop seeks to host recent
work on such problematic topics; it also has the purpose of promoting the
collaboration of researchers from different theoretical standpoints,
including functional, cognitivist and/or constructionist approaches to


            Some of the topics that this workshop includes are listed below.
The presentations should place emphasis on the value of addressing these
topics from a perspective that integrates different approaches and/or
dimensions of analysis:


            - The architecture of the lexicon: proposals for lexical
organization (lexematics, lexical classes and domains, frames, scripts,

            - Meaning construction below and above word level: the role of
constructions in Morphology in general, with special focus on word formation
processes, the interaction of constructions and affixes, the relation
between word internal and word external syntax, etc. Meaning construction
above the word level: from phrasal syntax to texts.

            - The nature of semantic representations: Cognitive modeling,
primes, logical and/or event structures, qualia, etc.

            - The interaction between lexical units and constructions: the
(non-) existence and nature of a lexicon-grammar continuum,
lexical-constructional fusion, semantic and grammatical coercion, etc.

            - Layers of meaning and layers of grammar: layering proposals in
functional models vs. form-meaning pairings.

            - Whether linguistic processes attested in one domain of
linguistic inquiry are active –and, if so, to what extent– in other domains
(cf. the equipollence hypothesis in the Lexical Constructional Model).

  - The explanatory value of postulating semantic and/or pragmatic
dimensions of meaning, with special emphasis on the communicative
function(s) of lexical items and the constructions with which they fuse.

            - Principles and constraints in meaning construction and
interpretation: e.g.          conceptual compatibility between lexical and
constructional structure, metaphor       and metonymy as possible
constraining factors on grammar. 




·         All presentations will be 20 minutes plus a 10 minute question

·         Interested researchers in taking part in this workshop are kindly
invited to contact Francisco J. Cortés-Rodríguez ( <mailto:fcortes at>
fcortes at with their name, affiliation and a provisional abstract
(max. 200 words) by 11 November 2010.

·         If the present workshop proposal is accepted (the date of
notification being 15th December 2010), abstracts should be submitted to
SLE’ conference website (http: // by 15 January 2011.


(apologies for multiple postings)





Francisco J. Cortés Rodríguez

Departamento de Filología Inglesa y Alemana

Facultad de Filología. Campus de Guajara s/n

Universidad de La Laguna

38071 La Laguna-Tenerife


(+34)922316502 ext. 7653

fcortes at


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