[Lingtyp] Call for papers: Workshop on Discourse Functions of Demonstratives

Åshild Næss ashild.nass at iln.uio.no
Mon Oct 23 15:34:10 UTC 2017

(Apologies for multiple postings)

Call for papers: Workshop on Discourse Function on Demonstratives, Oslo, 14-15 June 2018

The class of forms referred to as ‘demonstratives’ is large and varied, both crosslinguistically and often within individual languages. Traditional classifications of demonstrative forms (e.g. Diessel 1999, Dixon 2003) focus especially on the deictic distinctions made in demonstrative systems, and the morphology, syntax and grammaticalisation of demonstrative forms. Apart from being used in exophoric function, it is also well established that demonstratives often show endophoric functions. Himmelmann (1996), among others, discusses the use of demonstratives in introducing, identifying and tracking referents in discourse. 
Beyond reference-tracking and discourse deixis, there is evidence that demonstratives are linked to a range of further discourse functions which have not been generally acknowledged in the typological literature (see e.g. functions discussed by Reesink 1987, de Vries 1995, François 2001, 2005, Schapper and San Roque 2011, Kratochvil 2011). Furthermore, despite extensive research over the last decades on demonstrative systems cross-linguistically and within individual languages, we know surprisingly little about markedness distinctions in demonstrative paradigms (Himmelmann 1997), i.e. about which member is the unmarked choice in a particular type of use and which member (and in which use) has the tendency to further grammaticalise into which target domain.
This two-day workshop focuses on the functions of demonstratives and related forms as discourse-structuring devices beyond their already well-described reference tracking and discourse-deictic uses. We are interested in functions including the foregrounding or backgrounding of information (e.g. referents, events, stretches of discourse), marking presupposed or asserted information, marking discourse topics, marking stretches of discourse as forming a unit, clause-linking and subordination-like functions, as well as functions relating to information structure (i.e. clause-level topic/focus relations).
We are further interested in how the structure of a demonstrative paradigm interacts with discourse functions. That is, does the type of system (person-based vs. distance-based) and/or the number of contrasts within the system (two-term, three-term, larger systems) have any impact on which member(s) of the paradigm take on specific functions? 
We are interested in little-studied discourse functions of demonstratives referring to persons, places and objects, but also in demonstratives expressing other ontological categories (e.g. manner, quality, degree, quantity), as well as in contributions on the discourse function of presentative demonstratives.
We invite abstracts for 20-minute presentations to be submitted by 31 January 2018. Abstract should be maximum one page in 12-point font, including examples and references. Please submit your abstract to demonstratives2018 at iln.uio.no . Notification of acceptance: 28 February 2018.  

Organising committee: 
Åshild Næss, University of Oslo
Jozina Vander Klok, University of Oslo
Anna Margetts, Monash University 
Yvonne Treis, CNRS-LLACAN

Workshop website: http://www.hf.uio.no/iln/forskning/aktuelt/arrangementer/konferanser/2018/discourse-functions-of-demonstratives/index.html

Diessel, Holger. 1999. Demonstratives: Form, function, and grammaticalization. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 
De Vries, Lourens. 1995. Demonstratives, referent identification and topicality in Wambon and some other Papuan languages. Journal of Pragmatics 24(5). 513–533.
Dixon, R.M.W. 2003. Demonstratives: a cross-linguistic typology. Studies in Language 27:1, 61-112. 
François, Alexandre. 2001. Contraintes de structures et liberté dans l’organisation du discours: une description du mwotlap, langue océanienne du Vanuatu. Univ. Paris.
François, Alexandre. 2005. A typological overview of Mwotlap, an Oceanic language of Vanuatu. Linguistic Typology 9. 115–146.
Himmelmann, Nikolaus. P. 1996. Demonstratives in narrative discourse: a taxonomy of universal uses. In Fox ed., Studies in Anaphora, 205-254. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 
Himmelmann, Nikolaus P. 1997. Deiktikon, Artikel, Nominalphrase: zur Emergenz syntaktischer Struktur. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
Kratochvíl, František. 2011.  Discourse-structuring functions of Abui demonstratives. In Foong Ha Yap, Karen Grunow-Hårsta and Janick Wrona (eds.), Nominalization in Asian languages: Diachronic and typological  perspectives, 757–788. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Reesink, Ger P. 1987. Structures and their functions in Usan. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Schapper, Antoinette, and Lila San Roque. 2011. Demonstratives and non-embedded nominalisations in three Papuan languages of the Timor-Alor-Pantar family. Studies in Language 35:2, 380-408.

Åshild Næss

Professor i lingvistikk/Professor of Linguistics
Email: ashild.nass at iln.uio.no
Tel. (+47) 22 84 40 93
Kontor/Office: HW531

Institutt for lingvistiske og nordiske studier
Postboks 1102 Blindern
0317 Oslo

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