Conference announcement: Modes of Modality

Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Leiss e.leiss at GERMANISTIK.UNI-MUENCHEN.DE
Wed Nov 2 12:20:36 UTC 2011

Conference announcement
Conveners: Werner Abraham & Elisabeth Leiss

Modes of Modality - two conferences
Munich, 10-12th May 2012, German Linguistics Department, LMU Munich

The aim of both conferences ("Function(s) of modality" and "Modality,
Typology, and Universal Grammar") is to uncover the range of functions
and patterns of modality as they are currently known and discussed. The
main questions are: What is modality? What are the sub-types of
modality? And what are the main characteristics of these subtypes
concerning their degree of complexity and their hierarchical order?

Conference 1: Modality, Typology, and Universal Grammar (11-12 May 2012)
The conference aims at a universal definition of modality or
"illocutionary force" that is strong enough to capture the whole range
of the different subtypes and varieties of modality in different
languages of the world. The conference is part of a research project on
"Un-Cartesian Linguistics". The aim of this project is to design an
alternative approach to Cartesian/ Rationalist models of Universal
Grammar. It is a functional approach being rooted in the UG of Modist
Universal Grammar of the late 13th century and revived much later by
Charles S. Peirce and Roman Jakobson. The aim of the conference is thus
to treat modality as part of Universal Grammar, however by avoiding the
dead ends of naïve formalism as well as of simplistic anti-functionalism
or miss-understood functionalisms.
Invited speakers: Foong Ha Yap (Hong Kong), Patrick Grosz (MIT
&Tübingen), Malte Zimmermann (Humboldt-University, Berlin)

Conference 2: Function(s) of Modality (Meeting of the working group
"Modalität im Deutschen"; 10-11 May 2012)
The meetings of the international working group on "Modality in German"
(Arbeitskreis für "Modalität im Deutschen") focus on different subareas
of modality. This time, the aim is to obtain an overall view and provide
a definition for the function(s) of modality and its subtypes in German
which is able to stand the test in cross-linguistic comparison and to
provide a solid basis for the understanding of modality within the
architectural structure of grammatical categories.
Invited speakers: Gabriele Diewald (Hannover), Michail Kotin (Zielona
For more details, see the announcement URL:

Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Leiss
Lehrstuhl für Germanistische Linguistik
Department für Germanistik, Komparatistik und Nordistik, Deutsch als
LMU München
Schellingstraße 3/RG
80799 München
Tel.: +49 (0)89 2180 2339 (Büro)
Tel.: +49 (0)89 2180 5744 (Sekr.: Frau Grebner)
Tel.: +49 (0)89 769 969 23 (priv.)

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