CfP: Workshop on Approaches to Coercion and Polysemy

Workshop on Approaches to Coercion and Polysemy
November 20-21, 2017
University of Oslo (Blindern)

The phenomenon of coercion, where the interpretation of an expression seems to change depending on another expression that it stands in a predication or modification relationship with (e.g. ‘Fred began a book / began an essay / finished his drink / finished the kitchen / is a good boy / is a good pianist / froze the water / froze the bottle / has red hair / eats red meat / drinks coffee / drank two coffees’) is widespread and has often been remarked on within formal semantics, pragmatics and computational linguistics (Asher 2011, Egg 2003, Nunberg 1979, Piñago&Deo 2016, Pustejovsky 1995, Recanati 2004). However, it remains not well-understood, especially as regards the following questions:

  • To what extent do these examples represent a unified phenomenon, and what constrains the availability of these kinds of enriched interpretations?
  • What do these examples tell us about the nature of the lexicon, and the nature of predication?
  • To what extent do we need lexical meaning to be context-dependent?
  • To what extent do we need a more sophisticated compositional system than is commonly assumed in formal semantics?
  • How can the coerced interpretation be implemented?
  • We wish to create a forum that will enable comparison of lexical, compositional and pragmatic approaches to these questions, and interaction between people coming from formal semantics, pragmatics and computational linguistics backgrounds.  We are particularly interested in the interaction between coercion and the wider issue of polysemy, where a word may have more than one closely-related meaning.

    Invited speakers
    Nicholas Asher (CNRS/IRIT)
    Robyn Carston (UCL)
    Robin Cooper (University of Gothenburg)

    Guidelines for submission
    We invite submissions for 30-minute talks plus 10 minutes for discussion. Abstracts are to be uploaded via EasyChair, at <>.
    Abstracts must be anonymous, in PDF format, no more than two A4 pages long including any references, in a font size no less then 12pt, and with margins of no less than 1 inch / 2.5 cm.

    Important dates
    Submission deadline: 8 August 2017
    Notification of acceptance: 4 October 2017
    Workshop dates: 20-21 November 2017

    Alexandra Spalek and Matthew Gotham

    CfP: Meaning in flux: connecting development, variation, and change

    Meaning in flux: connecting development, variation, and change
    Yale University, New Haven, CT
    October 12th-14th, 2017

    The connections between meanings and the way in which they are linguistically packaged and conveyed vary systematically within a speech community and change systematically over time. Although many synchronic and diachronic patterns that instantiate such varying connections have been well described, understanding the cognitive and communicative motivations of such systematic variability and change would provide crucial bridging between and integration of the discourse-based, linguistic, conceptual, and cognitive components that are expected to support such meaning dynamics. This is the focus of the workshop.

    We invite abstracts for talks and posters at the intersection of semantics/pragmatics, information/discourse structure, language variation, development, and change, from empirical and experimental perspectives addressing this question. We highly encourage submissions presenting in-progress empirical and experimental results, covering both methodological challenges as well as connections between existing semantic or pragmatic analyses to cognitively grounded explanatory models.

    Specifically, in this workshop we would like to address the following questions:
    (a) to what extent are trajectories of meaning dynamics construable as dynamics that emerge from and are and guided by real-time implementation of the architecture of language and the larger cognitive system?
    (b) how are the actuation and propagation of these dynamics driven by discourse context and other communicative constraints?
    (c) are there causal relations between the arcs of acquisition/development and change as they are informed by processing constraints?

    We are planning this very much as a workshop with discussion driven by foundational questions on meaning development, variation and change and the struggle of messy data. As exemplified by our invited speakers, we are seeking to bring together all kinds of perspectives on meaning representation, including model-theoretic, discourse representation, conceptual semantics/pragmatics, and all experimental and
    empirical approaches.

    Invited speakers:
    Ashwini Deo, The Ohio State University
    Lyn Frazier, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Ray Jackendoff, Tufts University
    Ann Senghas, Barnard College
    Mandy Simons, Carnegie Mellon University

    Deadline: 11:59 PM of your local time zone on July 3rd, 2017
    Notification: July 31st, 2017
    Format: Two pages, 8.5” x 11” or A4, comprising text, figures, tables, references, etc., as needed. Please
    maintain 1” margins on all sides, and use at least size 12 font. Abstracts should be headed by the title in bold,
    and should not contain any author information.

    Please submit your abstracts using the form at:

    Workshop website:

    Sponsor: NSF-INSPIRE (#1248100) grant to Maria Piñango (Yale), Ashwini Deo (OSU), Mokshay Madiman
    (UDel) and Todd Constable (Yale).
    Scientific committee:
    Hans Boas, University of Texas at Austin
    António Branco, University of Lisbon
    Kathryn Davidson, Harvard University
    Ashwini Deo, The Ohio State University

    CfP: Evaluative meanings: Theoretical and computational perspectives

    Evaluative meanings: Theoretical and computational perspectives
    Workshop at DGfS 2018, University of Stuttgart, 7-9 March 2018


    Valentina Bianchi (University of Siena)
    Patrick Georg Grosz (University of Oslo)

    Invited speakers:
    Andrea Beltrama (Universität Konstanz)
    Farah Benamara (IRIT-Université de Toulouse)

    Interest in the encoding of evaluative meanings has significantly increased in recent years, both in theoretical and in computationally oriented research. Much recent research in formal linguistics (in particular, but not exclusively, semantics and syntax) has turned towards topics such as evaluativity (e.g. Grosz 2012, Bianchi et al. 2016), subjectivity (e.g. Lasersohn 2005, Beltrama 2017) and expressivity (Potts 2007, Constant et al. 2009). In parallel, computational linguistics has given rise to fields such as sentiment analysis, which explicitly aim at the computational investigation of evaluative phenomena. While theoretical and computational approaches have largely been pursued in parallel, recent discussions such as Benamara et al. (2017) highlight the importance of an interdisciplinary discourse between the two fields.
    The aims of the workshop are to address current issues in the investigation of evaluativity within formal semantics and syntax, and at the same time, to allow for cross-fertilization with computational linguistic research.

    Call for papers
    We invite submissions that address evaluativity from a theoretical and/or computational angle, with an overarching goal of furthering an interdisciplinary discourse.
    Possible topics include (but are not limited to) the following and combinations thereof:

  • scalarity in predicates of personal taste, in concessive meaning (e.g., “even / at least”), in expressive elements (intensifiers, diminutives, interjections, epithets, swear words);
  • the impact of Information Structure on evaluative meanings (QUD-based approaches to evaluativity; “emphatic” and scalar focus);
    evaluation scores and the nature of sentiment-related scales (e.g. positive-neutral-negative);
  • sentiment analysis and negation, modality, evidentiality, nonveridicality;
  • semantic/syntactic analysis of evaluative/expressive speech acts (optatives, exclamatives, etc.); detection of such speech acts in corpora;
    how to derive evaluative/expressive/subjective meanings in a concrete discourse model;
  • linguistic underpinnings of computational extraction methods; context and discourse factors in the automatic extraction of evaluativity/subjectivity from corpora;
  • the role of implicit evaluative judges and attitude holders in semantic/syntactic analysis; detection of such entities in corpora;
    evaluativity and polarity (scalar properties of NPIs and PPIs)
  • diachronic semantics of evaluativity/subjectivity (e.g., “totally”).
  • Abstracts must be anonymous, in PDF format, at most 2 pages long (A4 or letter), in a font size no less than 12pt, and with margins of 1 inch/2.5cm. Every author can submit at most one single-authored abstract and one co-authored abstract.
    Abstracts must be submitted via Easychair at:

    Deadline for abstract submission: 6th August 2017
    Notification of acceptance: early September 2017

    Quarterly meeting of SIGGRAM members from UAB and UPF

    The meeting is next Thursday, May 25, from 14:30 till 16:30 at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, in room B7/1056 Sala d’actes.

    Here is the program of the meeting:

    14:30-14:40 Opening remarks

    14:40-15:10 Presentation “Russian Bare Plurals in Object Position” by Dària Serés (UAB)

    15:10-15:20 Questions and discussion

    15:20-15:50 Presentation “Back to our senses” by Gemma Boleda (UPF)

    15:50-16:00 Questions and discussion

    16:00-16:10 Closing remarks

    Everybody will be welcomed.

    Congrés internacional ¿Sin orden ni concierto? L’estructura informativa en alemany, espanyol i català

    La estructura informativa en alemán, español y catalán    L’estructura informativa en alemany, espanyol i català    Informationsstruktur im Deutschen, Spanischen und Katalanischen
    Universitat de València
    4-6 octubre 2017

    Tot esdeveniment comunicatiu és el producte d’un acte intencional. Els parlants construeixen els seus discursos adaptant-los al propòsit de la seva acció i a les expectatives dels seus interlocutors. Per fer-ho, es valen de tot un ample ventall de recursos idiomàtics i estratègies argumentatives, que seleccionen i despleguen d’acord amb un pla preestablert.

    Un d’aquests recursos —potser el que condiciona en major mesura l’elecció de les relacions gramaticals que es manifesten a nivell superficial del text— és l’estructura informativa, és a dir, el mode com l’emissor desplega i organitza el contingut proposicional dels seus enunciats. Mitjançant una ordenació concreta de l’enunciat, l’emissor pot topicalitzar un del seus components, oposar-lo a altres o posar de manifest la seva especial rellevància informativa. Igualment, el mode con se succeeixen els fets presentats en un enunciat o el tipus de vincle que estableixen amb aquells que els precedeixen o succeeixen afavorirà una interpretació del text molt concreta i sempre adaptada als interessos de l’emissor.

    Els estudis sobre estructura informativa són abundosos tant en l’àmbit alemany com en l’hispànic. Tanmateix, l’aparició de noves metodologies i l’impuls que han donat teories como l’Argumentació, la Formulació i la Rellevància a l’anàlisi dels processos de construcció i segmentació del discurs, obliguen a revisar qüestions per les quals no sempre s’ha ofert una solució satisfactòria: De quines diverses maneres es manifesta l’estructura informativa en diferents llengües? Posseeix la llengua típicament oral una estructura distinta de la llengua escrita? Quines inferències genera una particular disposició dels membres d’un enunciat? De quin mode diferents recursos fònics, lèxics i gramaticals contribueixen a una forma peculiar de construcció del discurs? Quines unitats informatives formen el discurs i quines relaciones s’estableixen entre elles?

  • Ponents plenaris:
  • Prof. Dra. Jenny Brumme (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
    Prof. Dra. Maria Josep Cuenca Ordinyana (Universitat de València)
    Prof. Dra. Gerda Haßler (Universität Potsdam)
    Prof. Dr. Óscar Loureda Lamas (Ruprecht Karl Universität Heidelberg)

  • Presentació de resums
  • Els interessats a participar amb una comunicació hauran d’emplenar el full d’inscripció adjunt, en el qual inclouran les seves dades personals i filiació, així com un resum (d’uns 2500 caràcters amb espais), que enviaran a abans del 15 de maig de 2017. Les llengües del congrés són l’alemany, l’espanyol i el català. Es privilegiaran els estudis dedicats a, si més no, dues d’aquestes llengües; no obstant, s’admetran comunicacions sobre una d’elles.

    Està prevista la publicació d’una selecció dels treballs presentats al congrés. Es procurarà que els volums que en resulten posseeixen el necessari caràcter temàtic unitari.

    Més informació en:
    Universitat de València, Institut de Llengües Modernes Aplicades (IULMA) / Departament de Filologia Anglesa i Alemanya
    Universität Leipzig, Institut für Angewandte Linguistik und Translatologie
    University of California – Berkeley, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

    Lisa, Laia and Xavier at DETEC2017

    Lisa, Laia, and Xavier will present the paper “Driving expectations on dislocation types from bridging anaphora” at the congress Discourse expectations: Theoretical, Experimental, and Computational Perspectives. Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen (the Netherlands). June 26th-27th (2017).

    Here you have the complete program.

    DETEC 2017 –
    See below for a preliminary version of the program (NB subject to change). 
    MONDAY June 26
    09.00 opening
    09.15 KEYNOTE 1: Joshua Hartshorne (title tba)
    10.15 coffee
    10.45 The persistence of linguistic prominence in language production: Evidence from spoken Mandarin Chinese
    Fang Yang, Martin Pickering & Holly Branigan
    11.15 Thematic role predictability affects the time course of utterance planning
    Sandra Zerkle & Jennifer Arnold
    11.45 Speakers’ expectations about upcoming discourse: Effects of Modality and Topicality
    Binh Ngo & Elsi Kaiser
    12.15 lunch
    14.00 Expectations about transitivity during comprehension: evidence from English and Portuguese
    Ana Besserman & Elsi Kaiser
    14.30 Driving expectations on dislocation types from bridging anaphora
    Lisa Brunetti, Laia Mayol & Xavier Villalba

    15.00 When coreference is not anaphoric: Speaker expectation influences name repetition
    Alexandra Lawson & Jean-Pierre Koenig
    15.30 Topic versus surface prominence in pronoun resolution
    Markus Bader, Yvonne Portele, Emilia Ellsiepen & Vasiliki Koukoulioti
    16.00 coffee
    16.30 KEYNOTE 2: Torgrim Solstad
    (title tba)
    17.30 drinks
    18.30 conference dinner
    TUESDAY June 27
    09.00 KEYNOTE 3: Pia Knoeferle
    Uncovering causal flows: What we can learn from situating language processing in relation to visual attention
    10.00 coffee
    10.30 Shaping discourse expectations by restricting referents
    Jet Hoek, Hannah Rohde, Jacqueline Evers-Vermeul & Ted Sanders
    11.00 The role of connectives in tracking the source of information: evidence from the visual world paradigm
    Yipu Wei, Pim Mak,  Jacqueline Evers-Vermeul & Ted Sanders
    11.30 Does script knowledge constrain fragment usage? – An experimental study
    Robin Lemke
    12.00 Scalar implicatures in the context of full and partial information. Evidence from ERPs
    Maria Spychalska, Ludmila Reimer, Petra Schumacher & Markus Werning
    12.30 lunch + POSTER SESSION
    14.30 The president gave her inauguration speech. No, they didn’t! The interaction of explicit world knowledge, implicit gender stereotypes, and discourse expectations
    Titus von der Malsburg, Till Poppels & Roger Levy
    15.00 Listeners use pause length to anticipate the type of upcoming response in conversation
    Sara Bögels, Kobin Kendrick & Steve Levinson
    15.30 How focus particles affect what we will talk about next
    Katharina Spalek, Nicole Gotzner & Beate Bergmann
    16.00 Discourse particles modulate expectations about upcoming referents
    Geertje van Bergen
    16.30 coffee
    17.00 Discussion / closing remarks

    1st International Workshop on the interface of Information Structure and Argument Structure: CfP

    1st International Workshop on the interface of Information Structure and Argument Structure
    October 26-27, 2017

    The main goal of this workshop is to bring together linguists who investigate the different factors that influence sentential syntax, by contrasting Germanic and Romance languages from an interface perspective. These may be discourse factors (e.g., the re-ordering of sentential constituents motivated by information structure and the assigning of topic and focus functions), argumental factors (e.g., the type and number of arguments that a predicate may select), syntax-discourse factors (e.g., the discourse nature of grammatical features that trigger movement to the clause periphery in different types of root and subordinate clauses with respect to fronted focus and dislocated topics), and morphological/phonological (the use of specific forms to induce an information strucutre interpretation or the prosodic visibility of the displaced constituent).

    The workshop will be framed within the threshold of the Research Project Information structure and argument structure: An interface investigation of the contrastive syntax of Germanic and Romance languages of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (FFI2013-41059-P). Our research has been focused on types of topics and foci (with their syntatic, semantic and prosodic properties), the syntactic position occupied by different discourse categories, root phenomena, argument structure and the impact of information structure on it. This theory-based approach has been implemented by an analysis of data which hinges upon the use of experimental work to support the theoretical findings.

    We welcome submissions which deal with any topic of information structure and argument structure which is theory-based, experiment-focused or both in cross-linguistic perspective (including both macrovariation and microvariation). In particular, we are interested in works which take on the following issues:
    Debate on whether informative functions should be analyzed as i) a cartographic sequence of heads, each of which involving very specific semantics, more or less rigidly organized, à la Rizzi (1997, 2004, et suseq.), Haegeman (2012), Frascarelli (2007), or ii) instructions from Logical Form to interpret (probably multiple) specifiers of the same head, a Complementizer head or a Tense head in terms of A-bar movement vs. A- movement, as in Miyagawa (2010, 2017), Jiménez-Fernández & Miyagawa (2014).

    Types of topics and foci and their grammatical properties from a comparative perspective (Bianchi, Bocci and Cruschina 2016, Bianchi and Frascarelli 2010, Frascarelli and Hunterhölzl 2007, Jiménez-Fernández 2015a,b). More specifically, we are interested in the connection between the occurrence of this information structure typology and pro-drop vs. Non pro-drop languages. Also, the interaction between types of topics and foci and the root vs. non-root contexts where they are allowed in different languages of the Germanic and Romance families is particularly welcome.

    Connection of argument structure/eventive structure and information structure. The association of semantic class and aspectual properties of verbs with a specific word order to induce a salient discourse interpretation, as discussed in Alexiadou, Anagnostopoulou and Schäfer (2015), Fábregas, Jiménez-Fernández and Tubino (2017), Jiménez-Fernández & Rozwadowska (2017), Ojea (2016), among others.

    Linguists working in any theoretical framework of Generative Grammar and/or experimental studies are invited to participate, provided they discuss issues concerning the interaction between information structure and argument structure. Each presentation will be allotted 30 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion. A limited number of abstracts will also be accepted for two poster sessions.

    Authors are asked to submit their abstracts in an anonymous PDF file to the following site:

    Abstracts should be no longer than two pages in length (including examples and references), in Times New Roman 12-point lettertype, single line spacing and 2,5 cm. margins. Submissions are limited to a maximum of one individual and one joint abstract per author.

    The official language of the conference will be English.

    Keynote speakers:
    Artemis Alexiadou (Humboldt University, Berlin)
    Valentina Bianchi (University of Siena, Italy)

    Deadline for abstract submission: May 31, 2017

    Xavier will give an invited talk at the XXI Hispanistentag


    Xavier will give the invited talk “Estructura informativa, sintaxis y forma lógica” at the Panel III-7: Gramática y estructura informativa, coordinated by Manuel Leonetti (Alcalá) and Marco García García (Köln). This panel is part of the XXI Congreso de la Asociación Alemana de Hispanistas / Hispanistentag (München, Germany, March 29-April 2, 2017).
    Here you have the program:

    Jueves, 30 de marzo de 2017
    García & Leonetti: Introducción

    Heidinger, S.: Afinidad con el foco y orden básico en español

    Cruschina, S.: Mirative implicature and information structure: Focus Fronting in Spanish

    Jiménez, Á.: Negative Preposing in embedded domains: is it a true root device?

    Garassino, D. & D. Jacob: Estrategias para el foco de polaridad en español: sí, sí que, y otras

    Torregrossa, G.: Encoding exhaustivity in Spanish and Italian

    Escandell-Vidal, V. & M. Leonetti: Pronombres sujeto postverbales no focales

    Gutiérrez Bravo, R.: Las oraciones pseudo-escindidas en español. Sintaxis y propiedades informativas.

    Viernes, 31 de marzo de 2017
    Robles Sabater, F.: Estructura informativa y reformulación en alemán y español: ¿regresión o distribución?

    Kocher, A.: Towards a unified analysis of root clause complementizers

    Ojea, A.: Word order in unaccusative structures: the role of core-intentional features

    Kailuweit, R.: Romance intransitive Subject-Experiencer Verbs – Pragmatical Impact on Macrorole Assignment

    García Marchena, Ó.: The syntax and information structure of Spanish predicative verbless clauses

    Villalba, X.: Estructura informativa, sintaxis y forma lógica

    Sábado, 1 de abril de 2017
    Méndez-Vallejo, C.: Syntactic variation of focus marking: the case of the focalizing Ser in Colombia

    Borreguero, M.: Anáfora en foco – usos no focalizadores de las oraciones escindidas

    Remberger, E.: Spanish es que – development pathways and information-structural properties

    Feldhausen, I. & A. Lausecker: Variación diatópica de la realización prosódica de las dislocaciones en español

    Hennemann, A.: Entre la gramática y el léxico: marcadores de tópico en español y su cambio diacrónico

    Obrist, P. & A.: Wall Topic-worthiness y el estudio diacrónico de la MDO en español

    Elordieta, G.: tba