[Lingtyp] 2nd Call for papers: Typological approaches to discourse phenomena - Workshop Proposal, SLE2020 Bucharest

Simone Mattiola simone.mattiola at unibo.it
Wed Oct 30 15:39:00 UTC 2019


Workshop proposal for the 53rd SLE Conference (Deadline: 8 November 2019)
Bucharest (Romania), 26 – 29 August 2020

Convenors: Alessandra Barotto & Simone Mattiola (Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna)

This workshop aims at investigating discourse phenomena in cross-linguistic perspective, adopting the methods and instruments of typology. Our purpose is to create a forum in order to discuss the theoretical relevance of discourse phenomena for typology and how to investigate these structures in cross-linguistic perspective.
With the term ‘discourse phenomena’, we mean linguistic elements and constructions that typically occur in oral speech and help to manage the organization, flow and outcome of communication. These phenomena range from connectives and information managing structures (e.g. topic shift strategies) to interjections and discourse markers (e.g. reformulation).
It is a well-established idea in functional-typological approaches that grammar is shaped by ‘discourse use’ (cf. Givón 1979, Du Bois 1985, Bybee & Beckner 2010, Diessel 2019 among others). This means that phenomena that typically occur in oral speech should be of great interest for typologists. Yet, systematic typological cross-linguistic investigations on discourse phenomena are relatively rare (e.g. Brown & Levinson 1987, Ameka 1992, Lambrecht 1994, Dingemanse 2012).
The rarity of typological studies on these issues goes hand in hand with a scarcity of detailed accounts in descriptive grammars, in a circular loop that provides a critical challenge for the cross-linguistic investigation of this kind of phenomena. This empirical problem results in the need for mixed methodologies, providing evidence coming from different types of data, such as corpora, grammars, and behavioral experiments.
We are interested in contributions presenting i) cross-linguistic analyses, synchronically and diachronically oriented, on one or more discourse phenomena, and ii) methodological proposals on how to collect, examine and compare cross-linguistic data on discourse phenomena. Language-specific investigations will be taken into consideration only to the extent that they raise issues that are relevant for the broad typological picture.

Possible phenomena and topics to be investigated include:
-              Discourse connectives
-              Discourse markers
-              Ideophones and interjections
-              Prosody
-              Repetitive patterns
-              List constructions
-              General extenders
-              Intentional vagueness and non-exhaustivity
-              Information structure management (e.g. topic shift)
-              …

Call for papers:
We invite short abstracts of 300 words. Abstracts should be in an editable format (.doc/.docx). Abstracts should be sent to the two workshop organizers:

alessandra.barotto at unibo.it<mailto:alessandra.barotto at unibo.it>
simone.mattiola at unibo.it<mailto:simone.mattiola at unibo.it>

The deadline for the submission of the short abstract is November 8, 2019.

Note that if your abstract has been included in the workshop and the workshop has been accepted, you will also have to prepare a full abstract and submit it to be reviewed by the SLE scientific committee. The deadline for the submission of full abstracts is January 15, 2020.

Ameka, F. 1992. Interjections. The Universal yet Neglected Part of Speech. Journal of Pragmatics, 18, 101-118
Bybee, J. & C. Beckner. 2010. Usage-based theory. In Heine, B. & H. Narrog (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis, 827–55. Oxford: OUP
Brown, P. & S. Levinson. 1987. Politeness: Some Universals in Language Use. Cambridge: CUP
Diessel, H. 2019. The Grammar Network. How linguistic structure is shaped by language use. Cambridge: CUP
Dingemanse, M. 2012. Advances in the cross-linguistic study of ideophones. Language and Linguistics Compass, 6, 654-672
Du Bois, J. 1985. Competing motivations. In Haiman, J. (ed.), Iconicity in Syntax, 343–65. Amsterdam: Benjamins
Givón, T. 1979. On Understanding Grammar. New York: Academic Press
Lambrecht, K. 1994. Information structure and sentence form. Cambridge: CUP

Dr. Simone Mattiola
Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna
Dipartimento di Lingue, Letterature e Culture Moderne
Via Cartoleria, 5 - 40124 Bologna

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