Conjunctions vs. Contextualizers

Workshop „Conjunctions vs. Contextualizers:
Between Clauses and Discourse Units“

November 2011, 18–19, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Arts


Organizing Committee

Mirjam Fried, Eva Lehečková


The goal of this workshop is to address the poorly understood relationships between conjunctions and contextualizers (or certain types of discourse markers) in various languages. We aim at a close investigation of the grammatical and semantic properties and functions of these expressions, which often show a good degree of overlap between a purely syntactic function of structuring the relations between clauses and a more discourse-based function of structuring utterances in (primarily) spoken interaction.  This complex topic continues to attract serious attention and has been now investigated from various perspectives, but many fundamental questions remain unanswered, especially in the context of cross-linguistic variability.

The questions that the workshop would like to address are:

  1. What are the properties shared between conjunctions and contextualizers? What are the relevant features and functions that distinguish them?
  2. How can we delimit categorial boundaries between the classes of conjuntions and contextualizers? How can we integrate categorial indeterminacy in the description of these categories?
  3. How do languages differ with respect to the distribution and function of conjunctions and contextualizers?
  4. How does the evolution of particular expressions influence their meaning and function?

The workshop is open to papers that are based on empirical research, focus on various languages, take into account both written and spoken language, are cognitively and functionally oriented, investigate the topic either from a synchronic or diachronic perspective, including contributions on grammaticalization of conjunctions or contextualizers.




DAY 1: Friday, November, 18
8:30-9:30 Registration
9:30-9:40 Opening remarks
9:40-10:40 Invited speaker: Kiki Nikiforidou (Athens): From relativizer to connective and complementizer. Discourse and constructional motivation for grammatical categories.
10:40-11:00 Coffee break
11:00-11:30 Sandra Birzer: Formal unity and functional diversity: the Russian adverbial participle govorja ‘speaking’ between discourse and grammar
11:30-12:00 Elena Uryson: Conjunctions, contextualizers, and valency theory
12:00-12:30 Ulrike Freywald: From complementiser to assertion marker? Novel usages of the particle ‚dass‘ in spoken German
12:30-14:00 Lunch
14:00-14:30 Nobuko Hasegawa: Conditional clauses as contextualizers: The To clause in Japanese
14:30-15:00 Pavlína Jínová: Connective means of causal relation in the Prague Dependency Treebank
15:00-15:30 Ondřej Pešek: Argumentative connectives as a discourse category – a proposal of a description method
15:30-15:50 Coffee break
15:50-16:20 Mira Ariel: Relational and independent „and“ conjunctions
16:20-16:50 Sören Schalowski: Between syntax and discourse. Multiple prefields in spoken German
16:50-17:20 Daisuke Suzuki: The discourse function of modal adverbs in English as a contextualizer
19:00 Dinner
DAY 2: Saturday, November, 19
9:30-10:30 Invited speaker: Arie Verhagen (Leiden): The structure of communication and dimensions of discourse connections-a general framework for analysis
10:30-10:45 Coffee break
10:45-11:15 František Martínek: The old Czech particle and conjunction buď
11:15-11:45  Tatiana Schwochow Pimpão: Causal clauses introduced by a negation: more than a conjunction?
11:45-12:15 Eva Lehečková: Conjunctions and contextualizers in L2 production: Case study on written Czech texts of Czech Deaf
12:15-12:25  Concluding remarks
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