21.3377, Calls: Morphology, Pragmatics, Semantics, African Langs/United Kingdom

Mon Aug 23 14:08:47 UTC 2010

LINGUIST List: Vol-21-3377. Mon Aug 23 2010. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.

Subject: 21.3377, Calls: Morphology, Pragmatics, Semantics, African Langs/United Kingdom

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Date: 23-Aug-2010
From: Clement Appah < c.appah at lancaster.ac.uk >
Subject: Morphopragmatics of Diminutives in African Languages

-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2010 10:06:22
From: Clement Appah [c.appah at lancaster.ac.uk]
Subject: Morphopragmatics of Diminutives in African Languages

E-mail this message to a friend:

Full Title: Morphopragmatics of Diminutives in African Languages 

Date: 03-Jul-2011 - 08-Jul-2011
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom 
Contact Person: Nana Aba Amfo
Meeting Email: morphopragmatics at gmail.com

Linguistic Field(s): Morphology; Pragmatics; Semantics 

Other Specialty: African Languages 

Call Deadline: 30-Sep-2010 

Meeting Description:

Diminutives have been studied quite extensively. They are known to have 
varied range of senses, including small size, affection, approximation, 
intensification, limitation, female gender, etc. It has even been suggested 
that diminutives may communicate contradictory meanings such as 
appreciation and depreciation, intensification and attenuation, etc (Jurafsky 
1996). While some researchers insist that diminutives primarily denote 
smallness and meaning components like affection or evaluation are 
secondary, others claim that the meanings communicated by diminutives are 
primarily affective and evaluative. An attempt to provide a satisfactory 
account of the different and sometimes even contradictory meanings of 
diminutive forms have led some researchers to consider pragmatic 
alternatives to the analyses of the different meaning components 
communicated by a single diminutive form, arguing that the relevant 
specific reading of a diminutive form can be appropriately determined only 
within a given context. Recent diminutive research has recognized the need 
to combine formal and functional approaches in accounting for the functions 
of diminutives since an adequate understanding of language use is 
achieved when the interaction between different domains of grammar is 
studied (Schneider 2003, Dressler and Merlini Barbaresi 1994).

In spite of the rich history of diminutive research, not much has been done 
on the form and communicative import of diminutives in African languages. 
The minimal diminutive research on African languages has mostly 
concentrated on Bantu languages, particularly Swahili (Contini-Morava 
1995). The panel will thus seek to increase our knowledge of the nature 
and use of diminutives in African languages and, in so doing, help to 
provide a fuller picture of the nature of diminutives in the world's languages 
as well as test the robustness of existing theoretical accounts of the 
meaning of the diminutive and provide alternatives where these are found to 
be inadequate. 

The panel aims to provoke discussion on the forms and communicative 
significance of the diminutive in a number of African languages, particularly, 
yet not restricted to languages of the Volta basin. Proceeding on the 
assumption that the diminutive is a universal category, the panel will on the 
one hand, seek to explore the forms and origins of the diminutive in 
respective languages and on the other hand, account for the range of 
meanings that are often associated with a single diminutive form. Another 
point of interest is the productiveness (or otherwise) of the diminutive forms 
and how it reflects on the different meanings communicated by the same 
diminutive form. 

2nd Call For Papers

We invite contributions focussed on the form(s), meaning(s) and pragmatic 
function(s) of diminutive markers in African languages. Contributions may 
aim at addressing the following questions, indicating clearly the relevance of 
the work for pragmatics 

- What is/are the form(s) of the diminutive in the respective language? 
- How are the various forms of the diminutive formally related? 
- What is/are the meaning(s) of the diminutive? 
- How are the various meanings of the diminutive related? 
- What is/are the pragmatic function(s) of the diminutive form(s)? 
- Where a language has no diminutive morpheme, how is/are diminution 
and/or related meaning components expressed? 

Abstracts (not exceeding 500 words) should be sent as an email attachment 
Nana Aba Appiah Amfo 
Clement Kwamina Insaidoo Appah 
Email: morphopragmatics at gmail.com 

Additional information: 
Please note that: 
- if accepted, abstracts will have to be submitted via IPrA conference site 
before 29 October 2010, following the instructions available at 
- submitting the abstracts in accordance with the general guidelines is the 
individual responsibility of contributor(s) 
- IPrA membership is required for the submission of abstract and for 
participation in the conference 
- it is not acceptable to have more than one contribution with the same 
person as first or single author.

LINGUIST List: Vol-21-3377	


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