Quirky conditionals workshop

Next March, there is a workshop on “quirky conditionals” in Leipzig during the German Linguistics Society meeting, where I will be the invited speaker. Below is the description and call for papers (also on LinguistList). The deadline for submitting the two page abstracts is August 15.

Modelling conditionality

This workshop is part of the DGfS 2015 meeting in Leipzig.

Conditionals are a particularly interesting part of language because they offer insight into the way humans reason about possibilities. While analyses traditionally focus on the syntax and semantics of English hypothetical conditionals, other languages employ different strategies to talk about conditionality. Recently there has been an effort to broaden the focus from modelling only English hypothetical conditionals to include other languages, other types of conditionals (e.g. anankastics; relevance conditionals; Imperative And/Or Declarative constructions), and insights from language processing. Nonetheless modelling the interaction of different types of conditionals with tense and mood remains a difficult challenge to compositional semantics.

This workshop aims to provide a forum to discuss models for the syntax and semantics of different conditional constructions in natural language (particularly understudied languages, but also English and German), and to challenge these models with experimental data.

Invited Speaker: Kai von Fintel (MIT)

Organizers: Ryan Bochnak (UC Berkeley), Eva Csipak (Göttingen)

Call for Papers:

Topics for the workshop include, but are not limited to, the following questions:

(1) What constructions are used cross-linguistically to express conditionality, and how should this shape current theories of conditionals? How do these constructions influence our understanding of the nature of modals in general?
 (2) How do recent analyses of anankastics, relevance conditionals, and Imperative-and/or-Declarative constructions hold up when tense and mood come into play? (3) Does data from language processing support current theories of the syntax and semantics of conditionals? Can a probabilistic theory account for the ‘quirky’ non-hypothetical conditionals?

We invite abstracts for 30-minute presentations (20+10) that address any of the questions above or related topics. Abstracts should be anonymous and not exceed two pages (including examples and references; using a 12-point font and 2.5cm/1 inch margins on all four sides).

Please send your abstracts electronically in pdf format by August 15, 2014 to the following address: conditionals2015@gmail.com

Please include your name, affiliation, and title of the abstract in the body of your email.

Important Dates:

Abstract deadline: August 15, 2014
Notification of acceptance: September 15, 2014
Workshop dates: March 5-6, 2015

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