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Inferences in Interaction and Language Change

DateThursday, 10th November 2016
LocationFRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Seminarraum

veranstalter: Dr. Malte Rosemeyer, Dr. Oliver Ehmer
ansprechpartner: Malte Rosemeyer, Oliver Ehmer
institution: HPSL
language: Englisch
location institution: Freiburg
date_raw: 10.-13. November 2016
date_sort: 10.11.2016, 00:00:00
date_parsed: 13.11.2010, 20:16:00

Inferences in Interaction and
Language Change

to be held at the University of Freiburg (Germany)

November 2016


Dr. Oliver Ehmer

Dr. Malte Rosemeyer

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Romanisches Seminar
Platz der Universität 3
79085 Freiburg


The concept of inference is of
central relevance to studies on conversation and diachrony. However, these disciplines
tackle the problems inference poses from very different angles. Whereas studies
on diachrony focus on the potential of inferences to bring about semantic
change, they have only recently begun modeling the role of the relationship
between speaker and interlocutor in these processes. In contrast, studies on
conversation have long focused on the dialogical emergence of meaning and
understanding, but usually give preference to observable actions instead of
inferencing in discourse.

colloquium aims to bring together experts from both disciplines and thereby
further our knowledge of inference processes and contribute to a contextualized
model of the roles of speaker and interlocutor in the synchronic and diachronic
emergence of meaning.

contributions will deal with the notion of inference based on empirical
evidence from a historical and/or interactional perspective and address the
following or related topics:

  • Evidence for the relevance of
    the notion of inference in processes of language change or meaning construction
    in interaction
  • Inferences on different levels
    (action, semantics, syntax, phonology, rhetoric…)
  • Degrees of
    manifestness/explicitness of inferences
  • Speaker strategies and devices
    to raise and manage inferences, ranging from lexemes to discourse patterns
  • The importance of context for
    models of language use and change
  • Theoretical perspectives on
    modeling inferences including both speakers and hearers
  • The role of inferences in
    theoretical models of grammar such as construction grammar

You can download the detailed programme on the FRIAS website.