29.3045, Calls: Chinese, Mandarin, Sino-Tibetan; Pragmatics, Psycholinguistics, Semantics/China

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LINGUIST List: Vol-29-3045. Mon Jul 30 2018. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 29.3045, Calls: Chinese, Mandarin, Sino-Tibetan; Pragmatics, Psycholinguistics, Semantics/China

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Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2018 14:26:24
From: Mingya Liu [liu.mingya at uni-osnabrueck.de]
Subject: Counterfactuals in Chinese Languages

Full Title: Counterfactuals in Chinese Languages 

Date: 09-Jun-2019 - 14-Jun-2019
Location: Hong Kong, China 
Contact Person: Mingya Liu
Meeting Email: liu.mingya at uni-osnabrueck.de

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics; Psycholinguistics; Semantics 

Subject Language(s): Chinese, Mandarin (cmn)

Language Family(ies): Sino-Tibetan 

Call Deadline: 15-Oct-2018 

Meeting Description:

Counterfactuals in Chinese Languages
(Panel for the 16th International Pragmatics Association Conference, 9-14 June

Co-organised by:
- Jiang Yan (SOAS University of London, the U.K.) 
- Mingya Liu (Institute of Cognitive Science, Osnabrück University, Germany)

Counterfactuals are a topic key to the understanding of language and thought.
In the earlier literature (e.g. Bloom 1981), it was claimed that Mandarin
Chinese lacked grammatical means of counterfactuals and thus speakers of
Mandarin were less capable of counterfactual thinking. This aroused mixed
responses in experimental works such as Au (1983/1984) as well as in
linguistic works (Wu 1994, Feng and Yi 2006, Jiang 2000/2014, Jing-Schmidt
2017) that documented Mandarin counterfactual expressions. However, a systemic
description of the distributional, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic
properties of these expressions is still lacking. Formal accounts of the
identified counterfactual expressions only focus on a small range of related
data (cf. Hsu 2014, Ippolito and Su 2014). Furthermore, most of the studies
focus on Mandarin Chinese in comparison to for example, English - the other
Chinese languages and the comparison of them with languages other than English
have been largely neglected, whereas these are crucial in making any claim
about cross-linguistic and cross-cultural differences in counterfactual

Selected references:
Au, T. K. (1983). Chinese and English counterfactuals: The Sapir-Whorf
hypothesis revisited. Cognition 15, 155-187. 
Au, T. K. (1984). Counterfactuals: In reply to Alfred Bloom. Cognition 17,
Bloom, A. H. (1981). The Linguistic Shaping of Thought: A Study in the Impact
of Language on Thinking in China and the West. Hillsdale. Erlbaum Associates. 
Feng, G. and L. Yi. (2006). What if Chinese had linguistic markers for
counterfactual conditionals? Language and thought revisited. Conference paper
of the 28th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.
Hsu, C. (2014). Semantic-based mental representation of Chinese
counterfactuals: Evidence from a psycholinguistic study of yaobushi. Language
and Linguistics 15(3): 391-410. 
Ippolito, M. and J. Su. (2014). Counterfactuals, negation and polarity. In L.
Crnĭc and U. Sauerland (Eds.), The Art and Craft of Semantics: A Festschrift
for Irene Heim, 225-243. Cambridge: MITWPL. 
Jiang, Y. (2000). Counterfactual interpretations of Chinese conditionals.
[Studies and Explorations on Syntax (Chinese)] 10, 257-279.
Jiang, Y. (2014). On the lexical meaning of conditional connectives in
Chinese. In X. Su and T. He (Eds.): CLSW 2014, LNAI 8922, 43-54.
Jing-Schmidt, Zhuo. 2017. What are they good for? A constructionist account of
counterfactuals in ordinary Chinese. Journal of Pragmatics 113: 30-52.
Wu, S. H. 1994. ''If Triangles Were Circles,...''- 'A Study of Counterfactuals
in Chinese and in English'. Taipei: The Crane Publishing Co., Ltd.

Call for Papers:

The proposed workshop aims at identifying the form and meaning of
counterfactual expressions (e.g. counterfactual optatives such as ''If only I
were rich!'' in English, counterfactual conditionals - ''If I were rich, I
would buy an iPhone.'') in Chinese languages including and beyond Mandarin and
the formal modeling thereof. We welcome contributions that take a pragmatic
and/or experimental-pragmatic perspective as well as those taking
cross-cultural, evolutionary, developmental, psychological perspectives that
will shed light on the understanding of counterfactual thinking in general.
Contributions focusing on non-Chinese languages should relate to aspects of
Chinese languages. All approaches (e.g. descriptive, formal, experimental,
computational linguistic) are welcome as long as they present relevant data or
insightful analyses that address well-formulated research questions.

We cordially invite abstract submissions (min. 250 and max. 500 words) to be
considered for oral (30-minute lecture) or poster presentations by 15 October
2018 via the IPrA2019 conference site:
https://pragmatics.international/page/Submit as well as via email to both
Mingya Liu  (liu.mingya at uni-osnabrueck.de) and Yan Jiang (yj9 at soas.ac.uk).

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the panel co-organizers
any time.


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