Information Structure in Non-Assertive Speech Acts


Workshop at the 34th Annual Meeting of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS), 7-9 March 2012
organized by Andreas Haida und und Sophie Repp (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Deutsche Version

Webpage of the 34th Annual Meeting of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS) (with information about venues, accommodation, travelling, evening program, other workshops, abstracts etc.)
Please register at this webpage.

Program & abstracts - printer-friendly version

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Andreas Haida & Sophie Repp (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Information structure in non-assertive speech acts

Victor Pan (LLF-UMR-7110, CNRS & University Paris Diderot-Paris 7)
When wh-questions interact with information structure

Clemens Mayr (ZAS Berlin)
Alternative semantics and intervention effects

Markus Egg (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Accented discourse particles in questions and answers

11:00-11:30 BREAK

Tue Trinh (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Prefixing Rising Declaratives

RafŤu Sichel-Bazin[1/2], Carolin Buthke[1] and Trudel Meisenburg[1] ([1]Universitšt Osnabrück, [2]Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
Does information structure influence prosody in Occitan and French wh-questions?

Dimos Konstantinos (University of Leiden)
The phonetic structure of the Greek rhetorical wh-questions: Production and perception

Friday, 9 March 2012

Franz d'Avis (Universität Mainz)
On the placement of the main accent in exclamatives

Patrick Grosz (Universität Tübingen)
On the information structure of optative exclamations

Bjarne ōrsnes (Freie Universität Berlin)
Information structure and the interpretation of optative clauses in Danish

Hans-Martin Gärtner (ZAS Berlin) & BeŠta Gyuris (RIL-HAS Budapest)
Hungarian quotative inversion

Call for papers
For assertive speech acts information structure phenomena have been investigated in detail and with considerable success. For non-assertive speech acts there are markedly fewer investigations and hardly any standard analyses. There are rather more programmatic approaches, which assume for all illocutionary operators that they associate with focus but apart from interrogatives this hypothesis has not been substantiated. For interrogatives, approaches especially within the framework of alternative semantics have shown that the focus meaning of a clause interacts in a specific way with the (semantic) question operator. Syntactically the role of focus movement in constituent questions has been suggested to be crucial for instance for the explanation of certain superiority patterns. As far as imperatives are concerned there are sporadic observations with respect to the role of information structure but no systematic investigations. For exclamatives and other speech act types characteristic syntactic and prosodic patterns have been identified but the relevance of these in terms of information structure is unclear.

This workshop, which is to be held at the 34. Annual Meeting of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS), will be dedicated to the discussion of empirical and theoretical aspects of information structure in speech acts like questions, exclamatives, imperatives and optatives. This discussion is particularly urgent since most recent approaches to information-structural phenomena are based on the truth-conditional character of assertions (e.g. Rooth's Alternative Semantics, Schwarzschild's Givenness approach, Krifka's pragmatic concept of Common Ground Management). As the truth-conditional approach is not readily transferrable to other types of speech acts, one of the main questions in the workshop will be the general modelling of information structure at the semantics-pragmatics interface. The other key aspect will be speech-act-dependent morphosyntactic and phonological marking of information structure.

Submission details
Authors are invited to submit an anonymous abstract, max. 2 pages, 12 pt., examples and references included, pdf-format to the following E-mail address: (.xx. = @)
Name(s), affiliation(s), and title of the abstract should be included in the body of the email.
Submission deadline: August 31, 2011
Notification of acceptance: September 15, 2011

Workshop format:
The talks will be 20 minutes plus 10 minutes discussion.


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