Gareth Roberts to speak in Cologne, Germany

Gareth Roberts has been invited to speak at a workshop in Cologne Germany in November:


XPrag Meets Historical Pragmatics

Workshop organized as part of the SPP 1727 " New Pragmatic Theories based on Experimental Evidence" in Cologne, Germany, November 14-15, 2016.


Organizers: Gerhard Jäger (Tübingen), Ira Noveck (CNRS Lyon) & Petra B. Schumacher (Cologne) 

In 2014, Eitan Grossman and Ira Noveck organized a first roundtable “Historical linguistics meets experimental pragmatics” in Jerusalem, which brought together researchers working on pragmatic approaches to language change and on experimental pragmatics.  This triggered discussion of potential links between semantic change that is motivated by pragmatic principles on the one hand and the processing of pragmatic operations on the other hand.

We would like to host another meeting in this tradition, bringing together historical linguists and experimentally oriented researchers with the aim of exchanging ideas and hypotheses from the different disciplines and identifying areas of interest for joined research. Semantic but also grammatical change has been associated with principles of language use; for example meaning alternations may start out within a focused group of users and the initially specialized meaning may, across time, be adopted by the entire speech community (Koch 2004). These different stages of dispersion and language use may be reflected in the underlying processes (cf. Schumacher 2013, 2015 for lexicalized vs. ad-hoc alternations).  Psycholinguistic investigation may also inform the directionality of semantic change (Jäger & Rosenbach 2008). The interplay between linguistic form, pragmatic function and language processing may thus open up new avenues for the study of language in use from which both disciplines (historical pragmatics and experimental pragmatics) may benefit.

Invited Participants:  

Billy Clark (Middlesex University London)

Johannes Dellert (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)

Ashwini Deo (Ohio State University)

Eitan Grossman (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Gareth Roberts (University of Pennsylvania)


Call for papers:

We invite submissions for 20-minute talks plus 10 minutes for discussion on topics relating historical pragmatics and experimental pragmatics. Abstracts must be anonymous, in PDF format, max. 2 pages including references. Please send abstracts to schumacher - info @ uni - koeln . de no later than October 5, 2016.