[Lingtyp] Call: Workshop on Manner, quality, degree and quantity demonstratives

Yvonne Treis yvoennche at gmail.com
Fri Dec 6 16:46:48 EST 2019

Dear all,


Please note the call for papers, pasted below, for a workshop Ronny Meyer and I organize at the 12th International Conference of Nordic and General Linguistics, Oslo, 15-17 June 2020: 


[Workshop 2]: Manner, quality, degree and quantity demonstratives


Submission deadline: 1 February 2020

Abstract submission via Easy chair: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ngl12 

General information on the conference (incl. our workshop): https://www.hf.uio.no/multiling/english/news-and-events/events/conferences/2020/international-conference-of-nordic-and-general-lin/


Looking forward to your abstracts!



Yvonne Treis

(yvonne.treis at cnrs.fr <mailto:yvonne.treis at cnrs.fr> ) 




Workshop at the 12th International Conference of Nordic and General Linguistics

Manner, quality, degree and quantity demonstratives

Ronny Meyer (INALCO-LLACAN; ronny.meyer at cnrs.fr <mailto:ronny.meyer at cnrs.fr> )
& Yvonne Treis (CNRS-LLACAN; yvonne.treis at cnrs.fr <mailto:yvonne.treis at cnrs.fr> ) 


Call for abstracts

In our workshop we would like to bring together researchers working on four cross-linguistically little studied demonstrative types: manner demonstratives (1), quality demonstratives (2), degree demonstratives (3) and quantity demonstratives (4) – whose exophoric use is illustrated with English and German examples in the following:


(1)   Peter walks like this. / Peter läuft so. 
(+ speaker mimicking a way of moving)

(2)   I also have such a cup. / Ich habe auch so eine / sone Tasse.
(+ speaker pointing to a cup on the table)

(3)   Anna is this tall. / Anna ist so groß 
(+ speaker demonstrating Anna’s height gesturally)

(4)   I never bought this many clothes before. / Ich habe noch nie so viele Klamotten gekauft. 
(+ speaker pointing at their shopping bag) 

A programmatic typological paper by König & Umbach (2018) – a pilot study on manner, quality and degree (MQD-)demonstratives based on a convenience sample of at least 15 languages – has shown that languages may use the same or formally related demonstratives for manner, quality and degree (see e.g. German so), whereas others oppose a manner/quality to a degree demonstrative (e.g. Spanish así vs. tan) or use a different one for each semantic category (archaic English thus vs. such vs. so). While many languages neutralize the deictic oppositions (e.g. between proximal, medial and distal) in the domain of manner, quality and degree demonstratives, languages such as Finnish retain these oppositions: näin ‘like this (speaker-proximal)’, noin ‘like this (hearer-proximal)’, distal/anaphoric niin ‘like that’ (distal/anaphoric). Finally, König & Umbach (2018) distinguish between languages with and without morphologically simplex (non-compositional) demonstratives. 

Although König & Umbach (2018) take a decidedly cross-linguistic perspective, their language sample is fairly small. In-depth studies of manner, quality and degree demonstratives in individual languages are still few in number; if such studies exist, they often concentrate on manner or quality demonstratives, or they do not clearly distinguish between them. The relevant literature includes, among others, Guérin (2015) on demonstrative manner verbs in the languages of the world; Umbach & Gust (2014) on German so; van der Auwera & Sahoo (2015), (2019) on English, Dutch and Odia (Indo-Aryan) quality demonstratives; van der Auwera & Coussé (2016) on English and Swedish quality demonstratives; or studies of the discourse functions of MDQ-demonstratives such as Keevallik (2010) on the Estonian manner demonstrative nii, Shor (2018) on the Hebrew manner demonstrative kaχa, and Vindenes (2017) on complex similarity (= MDQ) demonstratives in Norwegian. As recent work by Treis (2019 [forthc.]) has shown that languages may have monomorphemic quantity demonstratives (see Kambaata kanká ‘this much/this many’), this demonstrative type and its relation to MQD-demonstratives will also be considered in our workshop.


We invite contributions on manner, quality, quantity and/or quantity (MQDQ-)demonstratives in individual languages and language groups (in synchronic and/or diachrony) or from a cross-linguistic (areal, genetic and/or typological) perspective. We are interested in the following questions:

*        Content dimension: What is the formal relation between manner, quality, degree and quantity demonstratives? Are these semantic types distinguished or are they all expressed by the same (or formally) related forms? 

*        Deictic dimension: Are the deictic distinctions (degrees of distance) made for object, person, place demonstratives retained or neutralised in MQDQ-demonstratives?

*        Morphological compositionality: What is the morphological makeup of MQDQ-demonstratives? Are they unanalysable (lexicalised) forms or are they morphologically composite (derived) or are they phrasal? How have they developed in the recorded history of the language?

*        Word class membership: To which word class(es) do the MQDQ-demonstratives below? Do they all belong to the word classes of pronouns or are there also verbal MQDQ-demonstratives?

*        Functional extensions: What are the grammaticalization targets, semantic extensions and discourse uses of MQDQ-demonstratives in individual languages apart from the common and well-studied use of manner demonstratives as quotatives?

As the workshop will take place at the 12th International Conference of Nordic and General Linguistics, we especially invite contributions on MQDQ-demonstratives in Germanic, Finnic, Saamic and Greenlandic languages and, as the conference organizer Oslo University has long-standing research collaborations with Ethiopia, we also encourage contributions on Ethiopian languages. Despite these priorities, contributions on other languages of the world are equally welcome!




*        Auwera, Johan van der & Evie Coussé. 2016. Such and sådan – the same but different. Nordic Journal of English Studies 15(3). 15–32.

*        Auwera, Johan van der & Kalyanamalini Sahoo. 2015. On comparative concepts and descriptive categories, such as they are. Acta Linguistica Hafniensia 47(2). 136–173.

*        Auwera, Johan van der & Kalyanamalini Sahoo. 2019. Such similatives: a cross-linguistic reconnaissance. Language Sciences.

*        Guérin, Valérie. 2015. Demonstrative verbs: A typology of verbal manner deixis. Linguistic Typology 19(2). 141–199.

*        Keevallik, Leelo. 2010. Pro-adverbs of manner as markers of activity transition. Studies in Language 34(2). 350–381.

*        König, Ekkehard & Carla Umbach. 2018. Demonstratives of manner, of quality and of degree: A neglected subclass. In Marco Coniglio, Andrew Murphy, Eva Schlachter & Tonjes Veenstra (eds.), Atypical demonstratives: Syntax, semantics and pragmatics, 285–328. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

*        Shor, Leon. 2018. Discourse-anadeictic uses of manner demonstratives: A view from spoken Israeli Hebrew. Folia Linguistica 52(2). 383–413.

*        Treis, Yvonne. 2019 [forthcoming]. Similative and equative demonstratives in Kambaata. Faits de Langues 51.

*        Umbach, Carla & Helmar Gust. 2014. Similarity demonstratives. Lingua 149. 74–93.

*        Vindenes, Urd. 2017. Complex demonstratives and cyclic change in Norwegian. Oslo: University of Oslo PhD dissertation.




Yvonne TREIS • Chargée de recherche

Directrice Adjointe •  <http://llacan.vjf.cnrs.fr/> LLACAN (UMR 8135 du CNRS)

Rédactrice en chef •  <http://llacan.vjf.cnrs.fr/lla/index.html> Linguistique et Langues Africaines

Web :  <http://llacan.vjf.cnrs.fr/p_treis.php> Page personnelle • Publications sur HAL <https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/search/index/?q=yvonne+treis&sort=producedDate_tdate+desc&rows=100>  
Tél. : +33-1-4958-3703
yvonne.treis at cnrs.fr <mailto:yvonne.treis at cnrs.fr>  


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