LINGUIST List 30.1511

Fri Apr 05 2019

Calls: Gen Ling, Psycholing, Semantics, Text/Corpus Ling/France

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Date: 31-Mar-2019
From: Céline Benninger <>
Subject: Clear vs Approximate Categorization: Searching for Signs of Differentiation
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Full Title: Clear vs Approximate Categorization: Searching for Signs of Differentiation
Short Title: CLAP19

Date: 03-Oct-2019 - 04-Oct-2019
Location: Strasbourg, France
Contact Person: Céline Benninger
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Psycholinguistics; Semantics; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Call Deadline: 25-Apr-2019

Meeting Description:

In recent decades, research on clear and/or approximate categorization and their manifestations in language has been generating a number of studies on syntax, semantics, pragmatics, psycholinguistics, philosophy, logic, etc. This is particularly interesting because these two operations have formally similar realizations even in languages belonging to different language groups. The existence of a large number of metalinguistic nouns in French and in other languages (Flaux & Van de Velde 2000: 26; Mihatsch 2007, 2016) such as sorte, type, espèce, forme, genre, manière, mode, variété, façon testifies to the productivity of these realizations. If these nouns serve to both categorize and approximate, the fundamental question one can raise is that of identifying the processes of interpretation concerned, since there is not always a consensus on interpretation. The parameters of specification are not clearly established thus leaving much to intuition. In fact, besides the highly grammaticalized cases (such as certain uses of genre in modern French as in fais pas genre tu t’y connais en catégorisation, hein ? or tipo / tipo che in Italian as in ecco una foto tipo che vi può fare la gentilissima fotografa!), it is hard to find criteria, especially in syntax, that would distinguish the two processes – the categorization by approximation and the clear categorization. The number and the nature of interpretations or of semantic and pragmatic effects also remain to be clarified.

First, from a conceptual point of view, a number of questions are pending: if we can categorize either in a strict manner or by approximation, where is the line to be drawn? What does it mean to approximate (see among others Bat-Zeev Shyldkrot et al. 2014, 2016; Gerhard & Vassiliadou 2014, 2017a, b)? Does a categorization by approximation cease to be a categorization? The issue becomes even more complex when we start questioning the meaning of categorization in general (placing an X in Y) and categorization in language. In fact, the possibilities offered by language vary from denominated categories, lexically and semantically structured fields to apprehend, formulate realities to ad hoc categorizations. Psycholinguistic studies suggest for instance that cognitive categories do not necessarily engage with their lexical counterparts (Kahlaoui et al. 2010).

Finally, it is sufficient to take into account the communicative intentions which imply (have in mind) the use of one or the other of these types of categorization: for example, the absence of denomination, the difficulty of identifying a reality to denote, the complexity of the world, the hesitation of the speaker as to his knowledge of the world or the language, the value-based judgements (good or bad copy), etc., adding to these more pragmatic phenomena, such as a tendency towards modality, which leads to approximate interpretations where clear categorization cannot be excluded.

Invited Speakers :

Anna Anastassiadi-Symeonidi (Université Aristote de Thessalonique)
Olga Inkova (Université de Genève)
Georges Kleiber (Université de Strasbourg)
Wiltrud Mihatsch (Université de Tübingen)

Language : French, English

Important Dates :

October 2018 : 1st call for papers
December 2018 : 2nd call for papers
March 2019 : Final call for papers
25 April 2019 : Extended Deadline for submission

Informations and modalities for submission :

2nd Call for Papers:

Extended Deadline : 25 avril 2019

With a view to clarification, this conference is open to all dimensions of the issue and welcomes proposals in monolingual or plurilingual perspectives, as well as synchronic and diachronic ones.

For more details on abstract submission visit the following webpage:

Page Updated: 05-Apr-2019