Discourse Coherence, Information Structure, and Implicatures

Workshop at the European Summer School for Logic, Language, and Information - ESSLLI 2013
Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf, Germany
5-9 August 2013
Organisers: Anton Benz & Katja Jasinskaja (ZAS, Berlin)

Meeting description:

This workshop provides a platform for discussion of new research on the interaction of discourse coherence, information structure, and implicatures. It thereby focuses the interface of three areas of linguistics and philosophy: (a) the structure and the semantics of discourse, the way meanings of sentences contribute to a coherent text or dialogue; (b) information structure, the way the informational status (topic vs. focus, given vs. new, etc.) of sentence constituents is reflected by the structure of the sentence; and (c) implicatures, pragmatic inferences driven by the assumption of the speaker’s rationality and cooperativity that enrich the literal meaning of a sentence. Each of these areas has a long history of research and it is widely agreed that the areas are closely interdependent. However, the exact ways in which they interact are the subject of a lot of on-going research and vivid debate.

The last decade has seen a growing interest in pragmatic phenomena, and the development of new logical and game theoretic frameworks. A trend that is particularly pronounced in recent years is the development of unified approaches, i.e. the attempt to explain pragmatic phenomena which had hitherto been treated as separate problems in a uniform framework with uniform principles. There have to be mentioned the attempts at integrating conversational implicatures in semantics (Chierchia, 2004), the explanation of information structure, presuppositions, and conventional implicatures from questions under discussion (Simons et al., 2011), the continued refinement and further application of discourse theories like segmented discourse representation theory (Asher and Lascarides, 2003), the rise of game theoretic pragmatics (Benz et al., 2006), and recent developments in bidirectional Optimality Theory (Benz and Mattausch, 2011). In addition to these theoretical approaches, there developed a substantial literature on experimental studies. It is getting increasingly clear that rhetorical structure, information structure and implicatures are closely interdependent.

We solicit original papers that report theoretical and empirical studies of discourse coherence, information structure and implicatures. We particularly welcome papers that focus on the interplay between two or all three of these aspects of language use. The workshop is open to all theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches including, but not limited to:

  • Bidirectional Optimality Theory
  • Game theoretic pragmatics
  • Question under Discussion theories
  • Relevance Theory
  • (Segmented) Discourse Representation Theory
  • Semantic approaches to information structure and implicatures
  • Experimental pragmatics

Invited Speakers:

  • Jacques Jayez (ENS de Lyon)
  • Craige Roberts (Ohio State University)

Reviewing board:

  • Maria Averintseva-Klisch (U Tübingen)
  • Anton Benz (ZAS Berlin)
  • Oliver Bott (U Tübingen)
  • Markus Egg (HU Berlin)
  • Jacques Jayez (ENS de Lyon)
  • Katja Jasinskaja (ZAS Berlin)
  • Andrew Kehler (UC San Diego)
  • Laia Mayol (U Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona)
  • Edgar Onea (U Göttingen)
  • Hannes Rieser (U Bielefeld)
  • Craige Roberts (Ohio State U)
  • Hannah Rohde (U Edinburgh)
  • Torgrim Solstad (NTNU Trondheim)
  • Manfred Stede (U Potsdam)
  • Noor van Leusen (U Tilburg)
  • Henk Zeevat (U Amsterdam)

Submission:

Abstracts should be strictly anonymous and should not exceed 2 single-column pages including literature. Abstracts must be submitted electronically in PDF format via Easychair at https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=cisi2013. The number of submissions is limited to 1 individual and 1 joint abstract or 2 joint abstracts per author. Abstracts will be evaluated through peer reviewing. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is April 15, 2013. Authors will be notified by May 22, 2013.

We plan to publish a selection of papers as a special issue of a journal.

Important Dates:

Deadline for submissions: 15 April 2013
Notification of acceptance: 22 May 2013
Conference: 5-9 August 2013

Registration and fees:

All participants of the workshop will have to register for ESSLLI 2013 summer school. For registration fees see ESSLLI 2013 homepage.

Organisation:

The conference is organized and sponsored by the ZAS programme area 6 "Interfaces between sentence semantics and discourse strategies" and the DfG project "Implicatures and Discourse Structure" (IDis).