At the beginning of July, Katie went to Sociolinguistic, Psycholinguistic and Formal Perspectives on Social Meaningin Paris, organised by Heather Burnett and Judith Degen. There, Katie presented joint work with Elena and local friend Augustín Vicente with a talk entitled ‘On the social meaning of stereotypes: A comparison in the realm of expressives’. This work investigates the differences between slurs and what we call ‘ESTIs’ (Ethnic/Social Terms used as Insults) in European Spanish. ESTIs are a particular type of word which have both a neutral, denotational use, and an insulting use which capitulates on stereotypes of the respective group; interestingly, the insulting use (ESTI) can only be used for people outside of the ethnic or social group. Examples we’ve found include portera‘doorwoman’, which is used for targets perceived as lazy gossips, and gitan@ ‘gipsy’, which can be used for people perceived as scamming or liars. [Note: we do not endorse these stereotypes of the social groups.]
The workshop itself was very interesting, with lively discussion and a fun social programme. Some highlights included Elin McCready’s work on Honorification and Norms, Sunwoo Jeong’s work on the social meaning of rising declaratives, and Teresa Pratt’s discussion of the social meaning of interactional moments, where she reported on sociolinguistic data collected during her PhD. Thanks for great organisation, Heather and Judith!
Last week, Katie went to Brussels to give a talk in the CRISSP research seminar. Her talk described the latest developments of her dissertation work: the grammaticalisation of posture verbs in English and how the semantics of the locative use interacts with aspect. She reported her most recent corpus data and proposed the beginnings of a theory about the differences between ‘to sit’ and ‘to lie’ when they are used with inanimate subjects. Thanks to the audience for really helpful feedback!
Also in Belgium: Katie was able to attend a lecture series by Bronwyn M. Bjorkman. The lectures were about tense from a morphosyntactic and semantic perspective. Bronwyn is a very good teacher and she presented the various puzzles of tense in an interesting way. Overall very enjoyable! During the week, Katie and her co-author Cora had the chance to talk to Bronwyn about their work on the grammaticalisation of Dutch and Afrikaans posture verbs (+ the motion verb ‘to walk’), more specifically on their use as aspectual markers in the periphrastic progressive. Bronwyn gave them some nice suggestions for future avenues. Thanks for a nice week in Brussels!
We are very excited to let you know that the book entitled The Semantics of Gradability, Vagueness, and Scale Structure: Experimental Perspectives, co-edited by Elena Castroviejo, Louise McNally and Galit W. Sassoon, and partially supported by the MEAT project, is finally out! The volume has been published in the Springer series “Language, Cognition, and Mind”, and it was inspired by the talks presented at the workshop of the same name that took place at the Instituto de Lengua, Literatura y Antropología of the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid on May 28th and 29th, 2015.
We hope you find it interesting. Don’t hesitate to spread the word!
The program of the forthcoming 41.Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft, which will take place in Bremen on March 6-8, 2019, is now published. Among the Arbeitsgruppen, you can find two workshops organized by MEAT-ers!
Katie is co-organizing the Workshop “Encoding emotive attitudes in non-truth-conditional meaning” along with Curt Anderson.
Berit, Elena and Laia are co-organizing the Workshop “Concessives vs. Adversatives: Opposing opposition“.
Too bad we can’t attend each others’ workshops!!!
Don’t miss the deadlines and submit your abstracts this summer.
Elena has finished her spring tour in Konstanz, where Andrea Beltrama, María Biezma, Erlinde Meertens, Maribel Romero and Ramona Wallner from the DFG funded research unit (FOR2111) Questions at the interfaces organized the workshop “Meaning in non-canonical questions.”
Elena presented recent work on Catalan interrogative tag “eh?”, which has two pragmatic uses which have not been adressed from a formal perspective. This talk was interspersed with other presentations on various types of biased questions, modal particles in questions, prosody or scope-marking in interrogatives across languages.
Konstanz welcomed us with a summer-like weather, which permitted nice strolls along the river, by the lake and through the old town.
Elena participated in the 28th Colloquium on Generative Grammar, which took place at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) in Tarragona, and was organized by former colleague and friend, Isabel Oltra-Massuet (see a report from URV’s digital journal here). The conference was preceded by a workshop on argument structure from the perspective of processing, and joined various invited presenters besides the CGG’s invited speakers (Loes Koring, Alec Marantz, Jaume Mateu, Colin Phillips, Gillian Ramchand, Linnaea Stockall, Andrew Nevins and Elena Castroviejo). As always, there was a selection of papers from international researchers.
Elena presented recent research based on her collaborative work with Berit on the intensification semantics of evaluative and manner modifiers.
The nice scientific program was accompanied by a fantastic social program, including a walk through Roman Tarragona on Wednesday and a walk through Medieval Tarragona on Thursday. Moreover, the conference signed up for COSWL pop-up mentoring event for the first time in Europe. In this event, senior women linguists spend some time with junior women linguists adressing questions, fears and sharing experiences. In fact, there will be another pop-up mentoring event at Sinn und Bedeutung 23 in Barcelona, so if you are not familiar with this program, don’t miss the chance and sign in!
Katie was in Cambridge for a few sunny days, representing MEAT at CamCos 7. She presented joint work with Cora Pots (KU Leuven) on aspectual markers in Dutch and Afrikaans periphrastic progressive constructions. Their corpus data has shown that the more grammaticalised the marker is, the more likely it also encodes an evaluative component concerning the lexical verb’s eventuality. The particularly interesting aspectual markers are the motion verb ‘walk’ and core posture verbs ‘sit’/’stand’/’lie’. Although the conference is mainly a syntactic audience, they received a lot of interesting and positive feedback!