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LINGUIST List 22.3499

Wed Sep 07 2011

Calls: General Linguistics/Netherlands

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <alisonlinguistlist.org>

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        1.     Ad Backus , 5th Conference of Formulaic Language Research Network

Message 1: 5th Conference of Formulaic Language Research Network
Date: 06-Sep-2011
From: Ad Backus <a.m.backusuvt.nl>
Subject: 5th Conference of Formulaic Language Research Network
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Full Title: 5th Conference of Formulaic Language Research Network
Short Title: Flarn 5

Date: 28-Mar-2012 - 30-Mar-2012
Location: Tilburg, Netherlands
Contact Person: Ad Backus
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Call Deadline: 15-Oct-2011

Meeting Description:

The purpose of the Formulaic Language Research Network (FLaRN) is to co-ordinate research work in the field of formulaic language, to share ideas and resources, and to create a sense of community between researchers who are not necessarily in geographical proximity. The network is a tool for keeping a group of like-minded people from around the world in touch with each other, and has been the focal point for three postgraduate conferences in Cardiff 2004, Twickenham 2005 and Nottingham 2008, and a first full conference for researchers at all stages of the academic life cycle in Paderborn in 2010.

Conference Theme:

The Representation and Processing of Fixed Expressions

Construction and Usage-based conceptions of linguistic knowledge posit, in one format or another, a continuum of regularity, ranging from fully lexicalized idiosyncratic expressions to fully abstract regular ‘rules’. Any construction can thus be characterized either by a list of common examples from which novel forms can be produced by analogy, or as an abstract pattern that can be applied to produce novel utterances by generalization. The relation between the two extremes is often modelled as inheritance hierarchies that can range from the use of non-productive ‘ready-made’ utterances the use of fully productive schemas which only specify typological and syntactic information.

At present, we witness a search for attempts to find empirical evidence favouring one of these conceptions over the other. Processing issues concern, for example, speakers’ tolerance to variation in the word order of larger fixed expression, or variation in selection of words. Some prefabs are at the core of what speakers recognize as fully fixed expressions, not allowing any sort of lexical or syntactic variation (idioms, for example), whereas others do allow such variation, and can be used in a variety of ways despite their prefab status. Another issue concerns the relation between fixedness as a gradient concept and the application of rule based alternations and usage.


Two plenary workshops will be organized during the conference, one led by Arie Verhagen and one by Antal van den Bosch. In addition to their plenary talks, these workshops will contain six short presentations and an integrated poster session. Each workshop will last approximately two and a half hours.

Plenary Lectures:

There will be two plenary lectures outside the workshops, and they will both be held on Wednesday evening (28 March). Speakers are Alison Wray and Ewa Dąbrowska.

Additional Information:

The conference will take place at Tilburg University. More information on site and accommodation will be announced in a 2nd circular at the end of summer. The conference fee will be 120 Euro.

The FLaRN 2012 Organising Committee:

Ad Backus
Joost Schilperoord


Ad Backus: a.m.backusuvt.nl
Joost Schilperoord: j.schilperoorduvt.nl

Call for Papers:

The 2012 FLaRN conference will again be a full conference. We invite professional and student academic researchers working on topics associated with formulaic language such as idioms, chunks, phrases, recurrent strings from any theoretical framework and any area of linguistics (e.g. corpus research, L1 acquisition, L2 acquisition/learning/teaching, language disorders, etc).

For this conference, we especially invite proposals dealing with issues such as the following:

1. The empirical basis for the representation of fixed expressions, taking lexical, prosodic, syntactic and conceptual aspects into account
2. The relation between elements within fixed expressions and their representation 'outside' them
3. The processing of prefabs: variation and facilitation, in speaking and in learning (both in the classroom and in 'life': becoming a member of a speech community).
4. Definitions: what exactly is included in the mental representation of the prefab (e.g. sociolinguistic information, grammatical context, encyclopaedic semantics, etc.), and what constitutes evidence
5. The typology of prefabs in terms of linguistic levels of representation, and the relation between fixed expressions, partially schematic constructions and schematic templates

We invite contributions in three categories:

1) Regular papers for 20-minute slots (+ 10-minute discussion)
2) Short 10-minute presentations within one of the two workshops
3) Posters

We will have room for 36 regular papers in two parallel sessions, 12 short papers within the workshop format, and an as yet unlimited number of posters. As before, papers may be about any aspect of formulaic language, but we especially welcome contributions about the themes outlined above.


Abstracts (no more than 300 words in Word) are to be submitted by 15 October 2011. Please send abstracts to flarn5uvt.nl.

You will be notified by 1 December 2011.

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