Appel: Extended Deadline CFP Special Issue Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Signalling Text Organisation

Thierry Hamon thierry.hamon at UNIV-PARIS13.FR
Sat Aug 27 20:14:18 UTC 2011

Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2011 16:35:08 +0200
From: mad2010 at
Message-ID: <20110826163508.2wxjtuhy8ko084g8 at>

Due to the adoption of a new publication calendar by the electronic
journal Discours, the submission deadline for the special Issue on
Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Signalling Text Organisation is
extended to 17th October 2011.

Call for papers - DISCOURS special issue MAD 2010

The interdisciplinary journal Discours (
opens a call for papers for a special issue on Multidisciplinary
Perspectives on Signalling Text Organisation, the theme of the MAD'10
workshop held in March 2010 in Moissac, France
( Workshop participants are
warmly invited to submit, but this call is open to anyone interested.

MAD stands for Multidisciplinary Approaches to Discourse. Accordingly,
this special issue seeks to bring together studies from different
disciplines interested in discourse and discourse processing:
linguistics, computational linguistics, psycholinguistics, educational
and cognitive psychology, ergonomics and document design, semiotics,
information and communication sciences, typography, etc.

Important dates:

* 17 October 2011: submission of articles for evaluation ( .doc or
  .rtf), (articles will be subject to the usual blind-reviewing
* 20 December 2011: notification of acceptance.
* 27 February 2012: submission of final versions.
* June 2012: publication of special issue.

Signalling text organisation refers to the observation that within
texts, certain features or elements seem to have a special instructional
role with regard to text organisation. These text organisation
signalling devices have been described under a variety of names:
signals, structure indicators, advance organisers, discourse markers,
layout properties, surface structure features, organisational cues,
stylistic writing devices and so on. Their scope ranges from a very
local level to a more global one. Their nature is also very diverse:

- linguistic: words (e.g. connectives), phrases (e.g. emphasis phrases),
  sentences (meta-discourse sentences) and beyond (overviews,

- graphic: typographical and spatial variation (e.g. paragraph breaks,

- hybrid (e.g. enumerations, headings, tables of contents, links and
  pop-up windows in electronic documents);

- more elusively: textual position, first mention, length or repetition
  of particular text units, structural parallelism.

Different disciplines have taken an interest in these devices, either as
a core object of study or as an element to be taken into account.  As a
consequence, research concerned with the signalling of text organisation
is far from constituting a unified field. The notion of signal itself
may be associated with different key concepts according to discipline
and models: document structure, discourse organisation, layout
structure, text architecture, etc. As far as function is concerned, they
may be seen as discourse construction devices, traces of metalinguistic
segments, as reading or processing instructions, as traces of the
writer's cognitive processes, or as cues revealing the author's
intentions, etc.

Since the 1970?s, research into the signalling of text organisation has
produced considerable results. The environment for this research is at
present undergoing a twofold transformation: first, new methods are
appearing, linked to technological advances (corpus linguistics, natural
language processing, eye movement recording techniques for the analysis
of cognitive processes during reading, etc.); second, new fields of
application are opening (in connection with the expanding use of digital
documents in the professional and educational worlds). In this new
context, novel research questions open up, requiring the integration of
contributions from different disciplines or fields of study.

We invite contributions on topics and questions such as the following
(the list may be extended):

- What are text signals and what role do they play?
1. reader's viewpoint
2. writer's viewpoint
3. analyst's viewpoint

- What may be relevant theoretical models and methods of data collection
  and analysis to study the signalling of text organisation and its
  cognitive effects?
1. naturalist approaches and corpus studies
2. empirical approaches
3. micro vs. macro approaches
4. inter- and pluridisciplinary approaches

- Text signals and literacy
- Text signals in document design, natural language processing and
  language technologies

We welcome different types of contributions: literature reviews,
theoretical and methodological considerations, reports of empirical
data, corpus based-studies, etc.

Submission procedure:

Articles may be written in French or English; the expected length is
between 40,000 and 60,000 signs (punctuation and spaces included). For
more details, see (style sheet)
and (instructions for authors).
Articles should be accompanied by an abstract of around 1500 characters,
together with 5 to 8 key words, in English (and, if possible, also in
Submissions should be sent to mad2010 at and specify 'MAD  
publication' in the title of the message.

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