Semantics & Pragmatics at ICL 2013: Call for Abstracts
jfrazee at mail.utexas.edu
Wed Jun 20 17:48:15 EDT 2012
Semantics & Pragmatics at ICL
July 22-27, 2013
Next summer, during the 19th International Congress of Linguists (ICL), which
will take place July 22-27, 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland, there will be an
extensive session on formal semantics & pragmatics.
We seek original research papers developing new approaches to formal semantics
and formal pragmatics: experimental and corpus methods, field methods,
cross-linguistic comparison, and innovative formal frameworks. We particularly
encourage submissions that develop dynamic and modal techniques beyond their
traditional domain, especially as related to the cluster of six subtopics
URL for submissions (through the ICL website): http://www.cil19.org/en/calls-for-papers/call/
Deadline for abstract submission: August 15, 2012.
Specifications: 500 words (including examples but excluding title and
Decisions will be communicated in October 2012.
We look forward to an exciting meeting, one that will be enhanced by the
presence at the ICL of two keynote speakers whose research exemplifies the type
of work we seek: Angelika Kratzer and Philippe Schlenker. The multi-day session
on semantics & pragmatics will feature half hour presentations (20 minute talks
+ 10 minute discussion) and is organized by the founding editors of the journal
"Semantics & Pragmatics", David Beaver and Kai von Fintel.
1. Domain Restriction
Natural language quantifiers are subject to contextual domain restriction.
Issues include whether the restriction occurs via covert material in logical
form or via some parameter of evaluation, the precise location of the
restriction (on a nominal, on a quantificational operator), and the question of
whether domain restriction of modals and quantifiers and possibly other
constructions should be seen as special cases of the same general phenomenon.
2. Evidentiality, modality, conditionals
The semantics of modals and conditionals have long been subjects of scholarly
controversy, but until relatively recently the related intensional phenomenon
of evidentiality (the grammatical marking of source or strength of evidence for
a proposition) was largely overlooked by semanticists. We are interested in
work that develops our understanding of any of these three types of
construction, or that explores the similarities and differences between them.
3. Questions and alternatives
While the semantics of questions, and the pragmatic relationship between
questions and answers, has been an ongoing area of study for forty years, there
has been a strong renewal of interest in recent years. This interest centers
around three related areas: (i) the relationship between questions and focus
marking, (ii) models of discourse structure in terms of strategies for
answering questions, and (iii) the advent of the framework of Inquisitive
Semantics, which extends ideas developed in the context of question semantics
to a wider range of constructions. We seek proposals that develop question
semantics in any of these directions.
4. Desiderative constructions
Maintaining our general theme of extending dynamic and modal techniques beyond
their traditional domain, we are seeking work that sheds light on a wider range
of constructions, and a wider range of speech-act types, than had been achieved
in a traditional, classical semantics. One important sub-area is desiderative
constructions, broadly speaking those constructions that express desire, and
which we take to include imperatives, optatives, and desiderative attitudes
such as "want".
5. Formal approaches to politeness
We understand "politeness" in Brown and Levinson's sense as including not only
traditional honorific marking, but also the more general issue of how
linguistic form reflects the pragmatics of social relationships. A classic
example, connecting with Topic 4, is the many forms of expression (direct or
indirect) of the expression of commands and requests. Politeness issues have
also come to the fore both because they appear to demand a dynamic, strategic
view of communication, and because explicit marking of politeness often
involves information that is conventionalized and yet apparently
non-truth-conditional, hence posing a problem for traditional semantic methods.
6. Presupposition and Conventional Implicature
Presupposition and Conventional Implicature are among the drivers of work that
pushes away from a classical conception of meaning. Of particular note is the
tendency of both Presuppositions and Conventional Implicatures to exhibit
"projection", which occurs when an inference associated with a construction
survives even after the construction is embedded within a larger construction
that would tend to block inferences associated with ordinary truth-conditional
content. A simple example, (cf. Topic 5) is the way that deference exhibited by
a use of a polite form in a clause is maintained even when that clause is
embedded under negation. We seek papers that explore the question of how
projective inferences should be explained, what causes projection in the first
place, and what the similarities and differences are between different
constructions that manifest such behavior.
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