CALL: Workshop on Quotative markers (SLE 42, Lisbon, 9-12 Sep, 2009)

Idiatov Dmitry dmitry.idiatov at UA.AC.BE
Tue Jan 6 16:06:44 UTC 2009

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Start Date: 09-Sep-2009 - 12-Sep-2009

Contact: Dmitry Idiatov

Meeting Email: dmitry.idiatov at

Meeting Description:

A workshop at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea,
University of Lisbon, 9-12 September, 2009.
“Quotative markers: origins and use”

Linguistic Subfield: General Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Typology;
Descriptive Linguistics


“Quotative markers: origins and use”

Dmitry Idiatov (University of Antwerp)
Hubert Cuyckens (University of Leuven)

Keynote speaker:
Tom Güldemann (University of Zürich / Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary
Anthropology, Leipzig)

Quotative markers are linguistic signs conventionally signaling the presence
of an adjacent representation of reported discourse, i.e. the quote.
Semantically, they are largely similar to generic speech verbs, such as say
and tell in English, with which they share the feature of reference to an
utterance. Functionally, however, they differ from the latter in being
conventionalized in relation to reported discourse. That is, either they are
not used in other contexts at all or they lack (fully or partially) the
feature of reference to an utterance when no representation of reported
discourse is adjacent. Consider, for instance, _be like_ in English in _And
he’s like: “That’s great!”_. Following Güldemann (2008), the quote frame
based on a quotative marker or/and a speech verb is called a quotative
index. Güldemann (2008) also provides a detailed classification of quotative
markers. Thus, syntactically, quotative markers can be either predicative or
nonpredicative elements. Morphosyntactically, predicative quotative markers
may behave as regular verbs and are then classified as quotative verbs.
Those predicative quotative markers that do not fully qualify for the status
of verb in a given language are referred to as quotative predicators.
Nonpredicative quotative markers are often referred to as quotative
complementizers, especially when they are also used for purposes of clause

Historically, quotative markers may derive from a large number of sources,
such as generic speech verbs, generic verbs of equation, inchoativity,
action, and motion, markers of similarity and manner, markers of focus,
presentation and identification. Somewhat surprisingly, according to
Güldemann (2008:295), at least in African languages, generic speech verbs
appear to be “far less important” as sources of quotative markers than is
usually assumed in the literature. At the same time, it is remarkable that
quotative markers of various nonpredicative origins often tend to gradually
acquire verbal features up to becoming full-fledged verbal lexemes through
their conventionalized use as core elements of quotative indexes. In many
African languages, quotative markers are also regularly employed for
purposes of clause combining and extended to constructions expressing
intention and various kinds of modal meanings.

The proposed workshop is intended to bring together scholars interested in
the origins and use of quotative markers in individual languages, language
families or linguistic areas from any part of the world. Particularly
welcome are papers based on data from spontaneous and spoken language use
and data from less documented languages. Authors are also encouraged to
situate their findings in a broader cross-linguistic perspective, both as
regards the known sources of quotative markers as well as their typical
secondary extensions to contexts not involving instances of reported
discourse in the strict sense.

Güldemann, Tom. 2008. Quotative indexes in African languages: A synchronic
and diachronic survey. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. (Empirical Approaches to
Language Typology 34)


Abstracts in English are invited for 30 minute (20+10) presentations.
Abstracts should not exceed 500 words (exclusive of references) and should
state research questions, approach, method, data and (expected) results. The
abstract should not mention the presenter(s) nor their affiliations or
addresses. Abstracts are preferably in DOC or RTF format; if your abstract
contains special symbols, please include a PDF version as well.

The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2009. Please submit your
abstract to dmitry.idiatov at AND the organizers of the SLE
conference. As to the latter part of the submission procedure, please follow
the instructions on the conference website at
When submitting the title of your abstract on the conference website, please
indicate between brackets (Workshop on quotative markers) after the title of
your abstract.


31 January 2009: Deadline for submission of abstracts

31 March 2009: Notification of acceptance

1 April 2009: Early registration starts

1 June 2009: Registration (full fee)

9-12 September 2009: Conference

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