Constructional semantics: Cognitive, functional and typological approaches

Call for papers

Constructional semantics: Cognitive, functional and typological approaches

Organized by The Linguistic Association of Finland, Research project "Temporal movement and manner of motion" and the University of Helsinki
The University of Helsinki, August 24–25, 2018

As a sign-based theory of grammar, Construction Grammar (CxG) in its different variants aims at a balanced description of syntax and semantics. However, such a goal does not in any way diminish the traditional problems of describing semantics pertaining to e.g. the means used and the possible need to distinguish between semantics, pragmatics, and encyclopaedic knowledge. As a consequence, CxG analyses have tended to concentrate on the morphosyntax of constructions, often making do with rather sketchy semantic representations. On the other hand, recent years have seen the rise of frame-based projects aimed at compiling constructica of various languages and even comparing and contrasting them. Since such projects necessarily encounter the problem of dealing with constructional semantics, and due to the dearth of systematic CxG engagement with semantic description until now, it seems that the time is right for a conference focusing on this topic.

Our symposium aims at providing a forum for the discussion of constructional semantics from various perspectives ranging from frame-based descriptions of constructions in the technical sense of CxG to typological findings related to the meaning of constructions in the traditional sense; in addition, conceptual and cognitive approaches to (constructional) semantics are equally welcome. The role of metaphors in constructional semantics is a specific point of interest. Given the relevance of compiling, comparing and contrasting constructica for translation and artificial intelligence, we especially welcome papers focusing on such applications of constructional semantics.

Possible topics for talks and posters may relate to (but are not restricted to) the following aspects of constructional semantics:

We also call for workshop proposals pertaining to the topic of the symposium.

The following plenary speakers have confirmed their participation:

Abstract submission

Anonymous abstracts of no more than 500 words, excluding data and references, should be submitted by April 10, 2018. They will be evaluated by the organizing committee and by the members of the scientific committee. Notifications of acceptance will be announced by May 15, 2018. The talks will be 30 minutes long: 20 min for presentation and 10 min for discussion (including the 2-3 minutes needed for changing rooms between talks).

Workshop convenors should submit a general description of the workshop (up to 1000 words) along with a list of speakers by April 10, 2018. The proposal should be sent to the organizers at The participants of the workshops are requested to submit their abstracts via Easychair as they will go through the same evaluation process as the abstracts submitted to the general session.

Please submit your abstract at: h

For all correspondence concerning the symposium, please contact:

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