[Lingtyp] call for papers: workshop on 'polysemy and coercion of clause-embedding predicates', march 8-10, 2017, saarbrücken

Barbara Stiebels barbara.stiebels at uni-leipzig.de
Fri Jul 22 09:53:00 EDT 2016

Second call for abstracts

Workshop /*Polysemy and coercion of clause-embedding predicates*/

Session of the annual conference of the German Linguistics Society 
(DGfS); http://dgfs2017.uni-saarland.de/wordpress/
Location: Saarbrücken, Germany
Date: March 8-10, 2017
Organizers: Marie-Luise Popp & Barbara Stiebels (Universität Leipzig)

Workshop description:

Unlike typical Standard Average European languages such as German or 
English, many under-researched languages display only a small inventory 
of clause-embedding (or “complement-taking”) predicates (CEPs), with the 
consequence that many of these predicates are highly polysemous or vague 
(e.g., /nɔrkatɛ/ (Lonwolwol; Paton 1973): ‘grasp, believe, trust, 
remember etc.’). But even in languages with a richer inventory of CEPs, 
polysemy appears in many facets (e.g., English /tell/ ‘narrate, order, 
inform’ or Spanish /esperar/ ‘hope, wish, expect, demand’). The polysemy 
of the predicates may influence their complementation patterns (e.g., 
/know that/ vs. /know how to/): often, only polysemous CEPs show the 
full range of the language-specific complementation patterns, with close 
associations of complementation types and specific readings of the 
polysemous CEP. Other distributional properties are also affected by 
polysemy, for instance: (a) the dual use of ‘begin’, ‘start’, ‘stop’, 
‘promise’, ‘threaten’ and possibly other predicates as raising and 
control predicates; (b) the restriction of NEG-raising with Spanish 
/esperar/ to its ‘expect’ reading (Popp 2016); (c) the reading-specific 
selection of mood/modality in the embedded clause (Spanish /sentir/: 
‘feel’ with indicative, ‘regret’ with subjunctive).

Predicates that do not exhibit clausal arguments in their base entry may 
be turned into CEPs, e.g., verbs of sound emission (/shriek/ → /shriek 
that/ ...). Here, notions such as “coercion” (Pustejovsky 1995, Asher 
2011), “lexical subordination” (Levin and Rapoport 1988) or “conflation” 
(Talmy 1985) may be brought into play. The syntactic flexibility of 
restricted CEPs can also be enhanced by coercion (e.g., the factive 
German CEP /bedauern/ ‘regret’ may be used parenthetically if 
interpreted as ‘utter with regret’).

Invited speaker: Elizabeth Bogal-Allbritten (Simon Fraser University)


We invite abstracts for 30min talks (including discussion period) 
dealing with the following questions (inter alia):

  * Which patterns of polysemy can be observed in CEPs? Are there
    predictable/systematic patterns of polysemy?
  * Are there cross-linguistic tendencies of co-lexification in CEPs?
    The CLICS data-base (http://clics.lingpy.org/), for instance,
    reveals that ‘ask’ often shows up with the two readings ‘question’
    and ‘request’. Likewise, ‘believe’ and ‘think’ and ‘know’ and
    ‘understand’, respectively, are co-lexified in quite a number of
  * Which distributional properties of CEPs are affected by polysemy?
  * Which coercion patterns yield CEPs or affect CEPs? Does the
    availability of coercion depend on general conflation patterns in
    the respective languages? Do CEPs resulting from coercion exhibit
    specific complementation patterns?
  * How should the polysemy of CEPs be modeled?
  * Are there specific diachronic processes that lead to the rise or
    loss of polysemy in CEPs? Does the emergence or disappearance of
    synonymous or semantically similar CEPs play a role? How does the
    rise or loss of polysemy relate to the complementation pattern of
    the respective predicates?
  * Which role does the polysemy of CEPs play for their processing or
  * Which patterns of polysemy copying of CEPs can be observed in
    language contact?

Please submit a one-page abstract (single-spaced, 12pt; references and 
examples can be added on a second page) as pdf document to Marie-Luise 
Popp (marie_luise [dot] popp [at] uni-leipzig.de).

Deadline: August 15, 2016
Notification of acceptance: September 15, 2016

With kind regards,
Barbara Stiebels

Prof. Dr. Barbara Stiebels
Institut für Linguistik
Universität Leipzig
Beethovenstr. 15
04107 Leipzig
Tel. +341/97-37604

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