call for papers: Post ALT workshop on semantic maps

Andrej Malchukov andrej_malchukov at EVA.MPG.DE
Wed Oct 18 14:31:28 UTC 2006

=== Call for Papers ===

Semantic maps: methods and applications

workshop to be held adjacent to the seventh meeting of the Association 
for Linguistic Typology
on Saturday, 29 September 2007
in the Centre André-Georges Haudricourt (CNRS linguistic research 
units), Villejuif (Paris Metro area).

Organized by:
Michael Cysouw, Martin Haspelmath, and Andrej Malchukov
Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig

=== Theme ===

In recent years the semantic map methodology has enjoyed increased 
popularity in cross-linguistic studies. Although there are various ways 
to make semantic maps, they all are attempts to visually represent 
cross-linguistic regularity in semantic structure. It has become 
increasingly clear that these attempts to map out linguistic 
categorization provide an empirically testable tool to the study of 
semantic variation across languages. The semantic map approach has 
further shown convergence with grammaticalization theory, as well as 
with the research using (implicational) hierarchies, as found in 
functional typology and optimality theory.

Some general discussion and references on the (recieved) method of 
building semantic maps can be found in Croft 2001 and Haspelmath 2003. 
Further, different kinds of semantic maps have been proposed for diverse 
parts of linguistic structure, including tense/aspect (e.g., Anderson 
1982; Croft fc.), modality (Anderson 1986; van der Auwera & Plungian), 
voice (Kemmer 1993; Croft 2001), pronouns (Haspelmath 1997a; Cysouw 
fc.), case-marking (Haspelmath 2003; Narrog & Ito 2006), clause linkage 
(Kortmann 1997; Malchukov 2004), spatial and temporal domain (Haspelmath 
1997b; Levinson & Meira 2003), as well as to a number of syntactic 
domains, such as intransitive predication (Stassen 1997) and secondary 
predication (van der Auwera & Malchukov 2005).

Yet various aspects of the semantic maps approach remain unsettled and 
open to discussion: it is the goal of the workshop to address these 
topics, in order to contribute - both empirically and theoretically - to 
the development of the semantic map methodology.

=== Topics ===

This workshop invites contributions related to the further understanding 
of the semantic map method. Possible topics include, but are not limited 

- Status of semantic maps in linguistic theory
- Methods of building semantic maps from data
- Limits of the semantic map approach
- Possibilities for and problems of the interpretation of semantic map
- Relation between semantic maps and grammaticalization chains
- Presentation and discussion of particular semantic maps
- Scalability of the method to build semantic maps (e.g. the problem of 
the “vacuous” semantic maps, which might arise when more empirical data 
is included)
– Implications of cross-linguistically rare phenomena for semantic maps
- In what way can the semantic map approach guide and be guided by the 
deductive (decompositional) approaches in (formal) semantics;
- Relation between semantic maps and psycholinguistic research (i.e. 
issues of mental reality of the structures discovered by the semantic 
map methodology)

=== Call for Papers ===

Send your one-page abstract to Michael Cysouw at the address below, 
preferably by email (in plain text or in PDF format) or as hard copy, to 
arrive no later than January 31st, 2007. Notification of acceptance is 
by March 1st, 2007.

The normal time allotted for presentation is 30 minutes plus 15 minutes 
for discussion.

=== Further information ===

Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at <mailto:haspelmath at>)
Andrej Malchukov (andrej_malchukov at 
<mailto:andrej_malchukov at>)
Michael Cysouw (cysouw at <mailto:cysouw at>)

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
D-04103 Leipzig

Webpage of this workshop: 

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