From: Olivier Simonin <o.p.simonin.03cantab.net>
Subject: Fixed Phrases in English: Use and Rhetorical Strategies
E-mail this message to a friend
Full Title: Fixed Phrases in English: Use and Rhetorical Strategies
Date: 22-Oct-2010 - 23-Oct-2010
Location: Perpignan, France
Contact Person: Olivier Simonin
Meeting Email: o.p.simonin.03cantab.net
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Historical Linguistics; Pragmatics;
Semantics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language(s): English (eng)
Call Deadline: 10-May-2010
Fixed Phrases in English: Use and Rhetorical Strategies
University of Perpignan - Via Domitia : 22-23 October 2010
The primary purpose of the conference is to examine fixed phrases in English,
and especially fixation/fossilization, and the pragmatic functions they can assume.
Call for Papers
Fixed phrases are understood as idioms in the sense of Huddleston & Pullum
(2002, 3): "items with special meanings that consist of more than one word."
Fixed phrases make up a vast category, which can be divided into a variety of
syntactic classes: fixed NPs (jack-of-all-trades), VPs (shovel up; kick the
bucket), AdvPs (or rather), AdjPs (difficult to swallow), PPs (because of), as
well as sentences or "ready-made utterances" (Lyons 1968, e.g. Every cloud has a
The foundational properties of fixed phrases deserve investigation in order to
determine precisely which expressions belong to the category, or indeed whether
it is actually fruitful to postulate such a broad category - which includes both
lexical and functional items (lexical: kick the bucket; functional: or rather).
It is equally pertinent to examine constraints on the use of fixed phrases,
their syntactic and distributional properties, or to tackle the question of
semantic transparency, or rather the non-compositionality of their meaning (cf.
Cruse 2000, 72-73). Some fixed phrases - and especially fixed VPs and NPs -
characteristically conjure up a whole new image or semantic representation.
Equally, since such phrases are "fixed", they must involve some degree of
fossilization. Fixed phrases can therefore be analyzed with a special focus on
the processes of fossilization or univerbation - the diachronic process by which
several words may fuse to become one.
In addition to fossilization, fixed phrases or constructions share a common
pragmatic potential. They can be used strategically in discourse, and are
frequently employed for their discursive, rhetorical or argumentative effects.
How can the actual use of fixed phrases be accounted for in terms of such
pragmatic functions? Many of the fixed phrases can be analysed in terms of
inferences or procedural meaning. Some are used for conjunction purposes, and
correspond to another strategic use as they reinforce cohesion or argumentation.
Others reflect a given register or textual genre and correlatively generate
multiple connotations and inferences. These can be used strategically by
speakers to pitch communication at some pre-established ground or standard. Yet
others contribute to conveying some rhetorical force (illocutory/perlocutory),
which is best understood with reference to the contexts in which they are used.
All theoretical approaches are considered legitimate for selection. Papers can
be presented in English or in French, and papers in each language will be
grouped on either day (All the papers given on 23 October will be in English).
Pierre Cotte (Paris-Sorbonne: Paris 4) title to be communicated
Hendrik De Smet (University of Leuven): Measuring Transparency
Nicolas Ballier (Paris 7)
Jacques Francois (University of Caen)
Evelien Keizer (University of Amsterdam)
Laetitia Leonarduzzi (University of Provence)
Maria Jose Lopez-Couso ((University of Santiago de Compostela)
Sandrine Oriez (Rennes II)
Meike Pfaff (University of Osnabrück)
Joëlle Rethore (University of Perpignan - Via Domitia)
Corinne Rossari (University of Freiburg)
Elena Seoane (University of Santiago de Compostela)
Tim Wharton (University College London)
Paper proposals are to be sent to one of the two conference organizers:
Olivier Simonin (University of Perpignan - Via Domitia):
Blandine Pennec (University of Perpignan - Via Domitia):
This Year the LINGUIST List hopes to raise $65,000. This money will go to help
keep the List running by supporting all of our Student Editors for the coming year.
See below for donation instructions, and don't forget to check out our Space Fund
Drive 2010 and join us for a great journey!
There are many ways to donate to LINGUIST!
You can donate right now using our secure credit card form at
Alternatively you can also pledge right now and pay later. To do so, go to:
For all information on donating and pledging, including information on how to
donate by check, money order, or wire transfer, please visit:
The LINGUIST List is under the umbrella of Eastern Michigan University and as
such can receive donations through the EMU Foundation, which is a registered
501(c) Non Profit organization. Our Federal Tax number is 38-6005986. These
donations can be offset against your federal and sometimes your state tax return
(U.S. tax payers only). For more information visit the IRS Web-Site, or contact
your financial advisor.
Many companies also offer a gift matching program, such that they will match
any gift you make to a non-profit organization. Normally this entails your
contacting your human resources department and sending us a form that the
EMU Foundation fills in and returns to your employer. This is generally a simple
administrative procedure that doubles the value of your gift to LINGUIST, without
costing you an extra penny. Please take a moment to check if your company
operates such a program.
Thank you very much for your support of LINGUIST!
Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue