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LINGUIST List 25.3147

Sat Aug 02 2014

Calls: Pragmatics, Semantics, Syntax, Psycholinguistics, Typology/Germany

Editor for this issue: Anna White <awhitelinguistlist.org>

Date: 02-Aug-2014
From: Mingya Liu <liu.mingyauni-osnabrueck.de>
Subject: DGfS 2015 Workshop: Varieties of Positive Polarity Items
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Full Title: DGfS 2015 Workshop: Varieties of Positive Polarity Items

Date: 04-Mar-2015 - 06-Mar-2015
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Contact Person: Mingya Liu
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://conference.uni-leipzig.de/dgfs2015/

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics; Psycholinguistics; Semantics; Syntax; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Typology

Call Deadline: 15-Aug-2014

Meeting Description:

In the past, the rich literature on polarity sensitivity mostly focused on negative polarity items (NPIs); positive polarity items (PPIs) were believed to be less impressive in number, productivity, and strength (Horn 1989:157). Recent literature, however, shows that PPIs are empirically just as robust as NPIs and raise theoretically intriguing questions at the interfaces between syntax, semantics and pragmatics. In this workshop, we seek to bring to discussion questions about:

1) Language-specific and cross-linguistic varieties of PPIs
2) Their formal modeling in different theoretical frameworks

Positive polarity is known to be highly language-dependent. Speaker-oriented adverbs such as unfortunately/leider act as PPIs in English and German, but their Czech correspondents do not (Junghanns 2006). Similarly, Zeijlstra (2013) argues that, unlike in English, the universal quantifier iedereen 'everybody' in Dutch is a PPI. This diversity challenges the plausibility of a unified account of positive polarity. One of the main theoretical debates in this respect concerns the nature of PPIs in relation to the better-studied NPIs. In Szabolcsi (2004), for instance, anti-additivity is as important for PPIs as downward entailment for NPIs. Another concern is the relevance of notions such as scalarity and scope to the modeling of PPIs within and across individual languages. Nilsen (2004) and Sawada (2011) analyze PPI modal adverbs like probably and Japanese minimizer PPIs like chotto/sukoshi 'a bit' by means of scales, but others propose alternate non-scalar approaches (e.g., Ernst 2009, Giannakidou 2011, Liu 2012, Iatridou & Zeijlstra 2013, Homer t.a.). While most PPIs can outscope negation, a promising research question relates to PPIs that ban negation altogether (see German *schon nicht / *nicht schon, Löbner 1999) and their modeling by comparison to inversely licensed NPIs (see Korean amwu-to 'anyone' in Sells & Kim 2006).

Our workshop will provide the ideal platform for such empirical and theoretical discussions, but also for experimental (see Saddy et al. 2004, Vasishth et al. 2008, Yurchenko et al. 2012), diachronic and computational
studies towards a better understanding of polarity in natural language.

Invited Speakers:

Vincent Homer (CNRS - Institut Jean-Nicod, Paris, France)
Osamu Sawada (Mie University, Japan)


Gianina Iordachioaia (University of Stuttgart)
Mingya Liu (University of Osnabrück)

2nd Call for Papers:

We invite abstracts for thirty-minute talks including 10 minutes of discussion on any topic that relates to the formal modeling of PPIs and their variety across languages, as mentioned in the workshop description above. Among the topics that are relevant for the workshop discussion we welcome contributions that target well-established PPIs and their NPI cognates, but also other topics that consider particular syntactic, semantic and pragmatic conditions that help to identify a PPI-specific environment, as well as investigations of special scope interactions between negation and various linguistic items (evaluative adverbs, modal verbs, quantifiers etc). These may include (synchronic and diachronic) theoretical studies in various linguistic frameworks, as well as
computational and experimental studies.

Abstract Guidelines:

Abstracts should be anonymous, at most 2 pages long, with 2.5cm margins on all sides and a font size of 12pt, including data, references and diagrams. Author names and affiliations should be included in the body of the email. Each individual may submit up to one single authored paper and one joint paper.

Please submit your abstract in PDF format to the following address: ppi.workshop.2015gmail.com

Important Dates:

Submission deadline: 15 August 2014
Notification of acceptance: 15 September 2014
Workshop: 4-6 March 2015 in Leipzig

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