25.3241, Calls: Discourse Analysis, Lang Documentation, Pragmatics, Typology/Belgium

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LINGUIST List: Vol-25-3241. Sat Aug 09 2014. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 25.3241, Calls: Discourse Analysis, Lang Documentation, Pragmatics, Typology/Belgium

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Date: Sat, 09 Aug 2014 00:03:23
From: Claudia Brugman [cbrugman at umd.edu]
Subject: Reference-Tracking Strategies Beyond Pronouns

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Full Title: Reference-tracking strategies beyond pronouns 

Date: 26-Jul-2015 - 31-Jul-2015
Location: Antwerp, Belgium 
Contact Person: Claudia Brugman
Meeting Email: cbrugman at umd.edu

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Language Documentation; Pragmatics; Typology 

Call Deadline: 15-Sep-2014 

Meeting Description:

The panel organizers are part of a research group doing a cross-linguistic exploration of strategies for reference-tracking that go beyond closed-class pronouns. The languages that the research group has considered exhibit reference-tracking strategies that are either underrepresented or overlooked in the European languages that are the focus of much language description. On the one hand, languages such as Dhivehi make extensive use of open-class nouns that denote kin or other social relations, but have anaphoric or exophoric reference (different from vocative function). On the other, languages such as Chinese permit zero anaphora in a wider range of syntactic contexts than would be predicted by Eurocentric models of grammar. Languages such as Indonesian use both kinds of strategy, and Korean adds to them speech level and honorific systems that narrow the search space for identifying referents (as opposed to providing anaphors).

A broadly typological perspective on reference tracking strategies--beyond closed-class pronouns--and their pragmalinguistic implications.  Representations of non-Indo-European languages are especially welcome.

Call for Papers:

We invite papers that address the following kinds of questions:

- Moving beyond constructs like ''pro-drop,'' what are other potential syntactic, semantic, and discourse constraints on zero anaphora? (For example: animacy, discursive proximity/distality, topicality.)
- What constraints, either language-specific or cross-linguistically valid, obtain on the anaphoric use of descriptive expressions, and what are the implications for linguistic theory? (Collins and Postal 2012 address this question within a particular model of language organization.)
- How do producers and interpreters negotiate the common ground necessary to successfully track reference in languages that use relatively high-context strategies?
- What are the micro and macro social implications of the choice of particular reference strategies and their implementation?

Our goal is to develop an approximation to the cross-linguistic inventory of such strategies and view them not as compensations for a lack of (or avoidance of) anaphoric elements, but rather to see the alternative views of argument fulfillment and reference that emerge from each system. While we see it as critical to answer the issues of formal criteria and constraints, our focus of interest is an understanding of reference strategies as reflecting potentially radically different conceptualizations of personal identification within these communities of speakers.

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