4th Conference of the International Language and Law Association (ILLA)

The International Language and Law Association (ILLA), an assemblage of scholars from throughout the world, will hold its fourth general meeting and Conference to extend and deepen the society’s philosophical and theoretical orientation towards the intersection of these two fields of knowledge. Under the theme:

Taking Language and Law Seriously
September 11-14, 2019
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Law School

The conference will examine Language and Law’s early history, it’s recent developments, and some of its practical and political significance. To view the programme, see here: 


AMPRA-4 Keynote Abstracts Updated

The Pragmatics of Constituent Order in English

Betty Birner
(Northern Illinois University, USA)

In recent work, I have argued for the existence of sets of syntactic variants, or ‘alloforms’, of noncanonical-word-order constructions, defined by a shared discourse function but conditioned by their syntactic environment. For example, inversion and long passives share a functional constraint, but appear in complementary distribution syntactically, and thus may be considered alloforms of a single construction. At the same time, an analysis of inversion as an alloform of both preposing and postposing fully accounts for its distribution in discourse, without the need to stipulate an independent pragmatic constraint. Similar reasoning suggests alloform status for other pairs of noncanonical structures. But increasing numbers of such relationships raise a worrisome question: If, for example, long passives are an alloform of inversion, and inversion is an alloform of presentationals, what does that mean for the relationship between long passives and presentationals? In this talk, I confront the inevitable problem of tying it all together. Using patterns of both syntactic and functional distribution, I argue for a class of preposing structures that constitute one abstract construction with syntactically-conditioned alloforms, and a class of postposing structures that constitute another such construction, along with a class of argument-reversing structures constituting conditioned alloforms of both. I then consider the ramifications of this analysis for various approaches to the notion of a construction, and argue for a view of noncanonical constructions as functionally constrained structural templates for syntactically-conditioned alloforms.


What do experiments add to the field of pragmatics?

Ira Noveck
(Institut des Sciences Cognitives – Marc Jeannerod, Lyon, France)

Paul Grice’s seminal proposal placed intentions at the center of utterance understanding and laid the groundwork for a theory in which an addressee arrives at a speaker’s meaning (what the speaker intended to communicate by uttering a sentence) while encoding sentence meaning (the properties of a sentence assigned to it by the grammar). His armchair approach to pragmatics also provided researchers of a different stripe — experimentalists — with a framework to investigate pragmatic processes constructively, viz. by treating (mostly) addressees as naive participants. In this talk, I will show how Gricean analyses have led to experiments that provide the literature with original discoveries and reliable findings. Studies to be discussed include developmental and adult behavioral experiments as well as those using the tools of neuroscience. Among the topics I aim to cover are scalar implicature, irony and conventional implicature. I will describe how Gricean approaches along with alternative accounts collectively play an important role in experimental research because they provide a forum in which theoretical approaches can be compared. That is, experiments encourage researchers to agree on the contours and contrasts in a phenomenon and to make specific theory-driven predictions that can then be tested. Experimental work thus represents an opportunity for pragmatists to better delimit the field through generally accepted methods and objectives.

For more updates, please visit the conference website at www.albany.edu/ampra.


Workshops: 2nd Tomsk Workshop on Cognitive Linguistics and Pragmatics (TOWOCOLP-2)

2nd Tomsk Workshop on Cognitive Linguistics and Pragmatics
Short Title: TOWOCOLP-2

Date: 15-Oct-2018 – 15-Oct-2018
Location: Tomsk, Russia

Meeting Description:

Tomsk State University will hold its 2nd Tomsk Workshop on Cognitive Linguistics and Pragmatics (TOWOCOLP-2) on October 15, Monday, 2018. The bi-annual workshop has two goals. First, it intends to give an account on the latest research on how cognitive approaches affect the field of pragmatics by inviting internationally recognized scholars. Second, the workshop aims to bring together scholars from Russia with researchers from other parts of the world on a forum where they can exchange ideas and discuss their ongoing research with one another.


The format of the workshop is as follows. Each invited speaker will get a 90 minute session that consists of a 50 minute lecture and a 40 minute question and answer session (QA). The session is chaired by Prof. Olga Obdalova, Tomsk State University, Russia.

9:00 – 9:15:
Opening Words by Prof. Svetlana K. Gural (Distinguished Dean, Tomsk State University, Russia)Continue reading

Calls: Full Title: Language, Identity and Education in Multilingual Contexts (LIEMC19)

Full Title: Language, Identity and Education in Multilingual Contexts
Short Title: LIEMC19

Date: 14-Feb-2019 – 16-Feb-2019
Location: York, United Kingdom
Web Site: http://liemc19.wordpress.com

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Neurolinguistics; Psycholinguistics; Sociolinguistics

Call Deadline: 15-Nov-2018

Meeting Description:

After a huge success of LIEMC18 in Dublin https://liemc18.wordpress.com we would like to cordially invite all researchers interested in the issues related to multilingualism to participate in the second edition of LIEMC, which will be held at the University of York, Northern England.

The conference considers all aspects of the linguistic and sociolinguistic competences and practices of bi-/multilingual speakers who cross existing social and linguistic boundaries, adopting or adapting themselves to new and overlapping linguistic spaces.

Confirmed keynote speakers are:Continue reading

Calls: Pragmatics of English as a Lingua Franca Discourse 

Full Title: Pragmatics of English as a Lingua Franca Discourse 

Date: 09-Jun-2019 – 14-Jun-2019 
Location: Hong Kong, China 
Web Site: https://pragmatics.international/general/custom.asp?page=CfP 

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics

Call Deadline: 15-Oct-2018 

Meeting Description:
Understanding Non-native Speaker Communication: Pragmatics of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) discourse 
Panel organized by Hatime Çiftçi (Bahçeşehir University) and Yasemin Bayyurt (Boğaziçi University) 
This panel will be focusing on subtleties of pragmatic features in ELF discourse, in which ELF users co-construct, negotiate, and maintain their meaning. When ELF users engage in social interaction, they indeed contribute to variations in ELF discourse (Mauranen, 2018) by employing various pragmatic strategies (e.g., repetitions, paraphrasing, code-switching, idioms, etc.) and displaying a high level of interactional and pragmatic competence (Jenkins et al., 2011) to keep communication on. Examining language use in ELF discourse, the panel thus focuses on micro-pragmatic or macro-pragmatic aspects of ELF discourse in alignment with the contributors.

Call for Papers: 

The potential panel participants are expected to focus on qualitative, quantitative, mixed, corpus-based, and/or textual analysis of focal pragmatic features in either face-to-face or online communication where ELF interactions take place. In terms of ELF domains, studies may analyze instances of ELF discourse in business/workplace, academic, family, and other relevant settings. We welcome papers that explore mainly but not only on the following research questions: 

(1) How do ELF users construct and sustain mutual understanding and intelligibility in such interactions?  
(2) What pragmatic strategies do they utilize to do so? And how?  
(3) How does their use of pragmatic strategies help construct discourse-level meaning, such as identity, stance, resistance, (inter)subjectivity, and more?  

Other relevant aspects pertaining to pragmatics of ELF discourse might include pragmatic creativity, discourse markers, multilingual resources with pragmatic functions, as well as power dynamics. Additionally, studies on sociopragmatic understanding of ELF users regarding social factors (e.g., social status and distance) and/or relevant attitudes are of great importance in this panel. The concluding discussion will identify intersecting ideas across studies highlighting the similarities and differences between domains of ELF discourse and modes (face-to-face or online) being investigated in relation to pragmatics. This panel aims to have an impact on ELF research while specifically delineating pragmatics of ELF discourse for a further understanding of nonnative communication in its own right.     

If you wish to contribute to our panel, please send your abstracts (min. 250, max 500 words) via both of the mails hatime.ciftcies.bau.edu.tr (Hatime Çiftçi) and bayyurtyboun.edu.tr (Yasemin Bayyurt), and via the conference website: https://pragmatics.international/general/custom.asp?page=CfP by October 15, 2018.Continue reading

Calls: Anaphora at the Syntax-Semantics-Pragmatics Interface in Endangered and Understudied Languages 

Full Title: Anaphora at the Syntax-Semantics-Pragmatics Interface in Endangered and Understudied Languages 

Date: 07-May-2019 – 07-May-2019 
Location: Oslo, Norway 
Contact Person: Patrick Grosz
Web Site: https://glowlinguistics.org/42/workshops/w1-anaphora/ 

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Pragmatics; Semantics; Syntax

Call Deadline: 02-Nov-2018 

Meeting Description:

The syntax and semantics of pronominal elements has been at the center of much theoretical research throughout the history of modern syntactic and semantic theory (e.g., Chomsky 1981). In recent years, an increasing role has been played by cross-linguistic comparison (e.g. Cardinaletti & Starke 1999, Déchaine & Wiltschko 2002, Patel-Grosz & Grosz 2017, Jenks to appear), highlighting significant yet constrained variation in the behavior of pronominal and anaphoric elements across languages. Inspired by these findings, this workshop aims to bring together current research on the syntax and semantics of pronouns and other anaphoric elements from a cross-linguistic perspective, with a focus on languages that are understudied, underrepresented and/or endangered.

Call for Papers: 
Continue reading

Books: Learning Pragmatics from Native and Nonnative Language Teachers: Cohen

Title: Learning Pragmatics from Native and Nonnative Language Teachers 
Series Title: Second Language Acquisition 
Published: 2018 
Publisher: Multilingual Matters http://www.multilingual-matters.com/ 

Book URL: http://www.multilingual-matters.com/display.asp?isb=9781783099917 

Author: Andrew D. Cohen 
Hardback: ISBN: 9781783099924 Pages: 312 Price: U.S. $ 149.95
Hardback: ISBN: 9781783099924 Pages: 312 Price: U.K. £ 109.95
Paperback: ISBN: 9781783099917 Pages: 312 Price: U.S. $ 49.95
Paperback: ISBN: 9781783099917 Pages: 312 Price: U.K. £ 34.95

This book deals with intercultural pragmatics and how both nonnative teachers (NNTs) and native teachers (NTs) may enhance their classroom instruction regarding target language (TL) pragmatics. It focuses primarily on the experiences of instructors as they teach their learners about the pragmatics of the TL, both in second and foreign language learning settings. It makes clear that there are aspects of teaching pragmatics where it may help to be an NT and other areas where it may help to be an NNT and proposes creative ideas that both sets of teachers may draw on to compensate for gaps in their knowledge. Further themes in the book include ideas for motivating students who want to learn about pragmatics, the role of technology in teaching and learning pragmatics, the role of learning strategies, the assessment of pragmatics and ways to research pragmatics. The book will be of interest to teachers, teacher educators and students interested in researching and improving the teaching of pragmatics.

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics 
Written In: English (eng)

Books: Further Advances in Pragmatics and Philosophy: Capone, Carapezza, Lo Piparo (eds.)

Title: Further Advances in Pragmatics and Philosophy 
Subtitle: Part 1 From Theory to Practice 
Series Title: Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology 
Published: 2018 
Publisher: Springer http://www.springer.com 

Book URL: http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319721729 

Editor: Alessandro Capone 
Editor: Marco Carapezza 
Editor: Franco Lo Piparo 
Hardback: ISBN: 9783319721729 Pages: 314 Price: Europe EURO 89.99

This book builds on the idea that pragmatics and philosophy are strictly interconnected and that advances in one area will generate consequential advantages in the other area. The first part of the book, entitled ‘Theoretical Approaches to Philosophy of Language’, contains contributions by philosophers of language on connectives, intensional contexts, demonstratives, subsententials, and implicit indirect reports. The second part, ‘Pragmatics in Discourse’, presents contributions that are more empirically based or of a more applicative nature and that deal with the pragmatics of discourse, argumentation, pragmatics and law, and context. 

The book presents perspectives which, generally, make most of the Gricean idea of the centrality of a speaker’s intention in attribution of meaning to utterances, whether one is interested in the level of sentence-like units or larger chunks of discourse.

Linguistic Field(s): Philosophy of Language; Pragmatics 

Written In: English (eng)

Calls: Written Language Use in Old and New Media

Full Title: Written Language Use in Old and New Media 

Date: 09-Jun-2019 – 14-Jun-2019 

Location: Hong Kong, China 

Contact Person: Imogen Marcus

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics; Pragmatics; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Writing Systems

Call Deadline: 15-Oct-2018 

Meeting Description:
(Panel organised by Imogen Marcus (Edge Hill University, UK) and Magdalena Leitner (University of Zurich, Switzerland). 

Language and new media is a rapidly emerging area of pragmatics which considers a number of topics, including, for example, pragmatic innovations emerging from the affordances and practices of digital communication, interactional phenomena and broader meta-pragmatic issues, such as code choice (Herring et al. 2013: 15). Research suggests that written language use in digital spaces is highly innovative in its forms and functions, on both a macro-linguistic level, in relation to larger units of discourse such as genre and on a micro level, in relation to structural features. 

Our panel, ‘Bridging the gap: pragmatic perspectives on written language use in old and new media’, provides a space in which researchers are encouraged to re-evaluate the assumptions and claims of digital communication research. It examines the extent to which digital practices really are ‘new’. Are there precedents to be found in earlier periods? Are there practices that demonstrate continuity between the pre-digital and the digital age? Are there practices that constitute genuine innovation within digital spaces? As various scholars have pointed out, innovation and continuity in digital communication practices need to be more carefully traced and differentiated (e.g. Herring et al. 2013, Fritz and Jucker 2000: 1). Our focus is on written communication that involves asynchronous interaction between at least two participants, that is, participants do not have to be logged-in simultaneously or be in the same physical space to communicate with each other. Examples range from letters on paper and letter-like exchanges in print to digital communication, such as email, instant messaging, text messaging, and the use of text on digital platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. 
Continue reading

Calls: Post-truth: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Saying “what you believe to be false” (DGfS 2019)

Full Title: Post-truth: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Saying “what you believe to be false” (DGfS 2019)

Date: 06-Mar-2019 – 08-Mar-2019
Location: Bremen, Germany
Contact Person: Katharina Turgay

Contact Email: turgay@uni-landau.de

Call Deadline: 15-Sep-2018

Meeting Description:

Grice’s first maxim of quality says ”do not say what you believe to be false”, but we often do. We tell lies (”I did not have sexual relations with that woman”), we deceive (e.g. by lying by implicature), we bullshit (”Trade wars are easy to win”), we make up stories (”When Harry Potter first came to Hogwarts …”), we pretend (Kids playing: ”You were Batgirl and I was Wonder Woman”), or we use irony (”Losing the key was very smart!”). In all such speech acts there is a clear sense in which we’re not, or at least not literally, speaking the truth. Clinton did have a sexual affair, trade wars are probably not easy to win, there is no Hogwarts, the kids are no superheroes, losing keys is not smart. On the other hand, except in (typical cases of) lying, these speech acts also convey something true: Harry did go to Hogwarts in the well-known series of novels, the kids are superheroes in their play, and the attitude which speakers intend to communicate with their bullshit or irony may be true as well.

Semantics has typically focused on idealized cooperative conversation, where every assertion contributes to a lofty shared truth-seeking endeavor in order to establish a common ground of shared beliefs between speaker and hearer. However, since the phenomena like the above all run counter to this idea, their explanation is usually left to pragmatics, philosophy, or literary theory. And while Grice’s other maxims have gained a lot of attention and sparked entire research traditions (quantity implicatures, relevance theory, Horn’s division of pragmatic labor and Levinson’s M-principle), the role of the quality maxim remained a bit underexplored in linguistic semantics and pragmatics.

In this workshop we want to discuss the challenges that these and other deviations from the Gricean norm of quality pose for semantics and pragmatics and see if we can incorporate ideas from philosophy, literary theory, cognitive science and other related fields to extend the coverage of our theories of meaning and our understanding of the dynamics and logic of (non-)cooperative conversation.

Topics of interest include:

– truth in fiction, literature, narration
– analyses of lying, bullshitting, pretending, story-telling, irony etc.
– the relation of non-truthful language to notions like common ground, discourse updates, and commitments
– the role of lying and deception and other non-cooperative language for conversations, discourse structure and the common ground
– approaches to non-cooperative discourse
– psycho- and neurolinguistic studies of these phenomena and their acquisition and their relations to Theory of Mind and other cognitive capacities

Invited speakers:

– Regine Eckardt (Konstanz)
– Jörg Meibauer (Mainz)

Organized by Daniel Gutzmann (Cologne), Emar Maier (Groningen), and Katharina Turgay (Landau)

Call for Papers:

We invite submissions of anonymous two-page abstracts (including references etc.) for 20 minute talks (plus 10 minutes discussion). Please submit them in pdf-format via email to: turgayuni-landau.de

The workshop will be part of the 41st annual meeting of the German Linguistics Society (DGfS 2019) to be held at the University of Bremen from March 6-8, 2019. Participants will have to register for the conference and are not supposed to give talks at other workshops.


Deadline for abstract submission: August 15, 2018.
Notification of acceptance: September 15, 2018.
Workshop: March 6-8, 2019 (two days; excat dates tba)