Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

E-mail this page

Conference Information

Full Title: Pragmatics and Constructions

Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Start Date: 16-Jul-2017 - 21-Jul-2017
Contact: Rita Finkbeiner
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: Contributions are invited to a panel on “Pragmatics and Constructions” to be held at the 15th International Pragmatics Conference (IPrA 2017), Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, 16-21 July 2017.

Organizer: Rita Finkbeiner, Mainz University

Most linguists will agree that constructions such as, e.g., the NPN construction (student after student, cf. Jackendoff 2008), the Incredulity Response Construction (Him be a doctor?, cf. Kay 2004), the N be that construction (The problem is that …, cf. Schmid 2001), or the that noun thing construction (Tony is off doing that dissertation thing, cf. Salmon 2015), play an important role in language. As other linguistic categories, such as lexical categories or sentence types, constructions should not only have syntactic and semantic aspects, but also systematically interact with pragmatics.

However, constructionist approaches to grammar usually do not draw a clear distinction between semantics and pragmatics. This is in line with standard definitions of Construction Grammar as a non-modular theory (Goldberg 2013; cf. also Langacker 1987). Furthermore, constructionist approaches usually do not incorporate a theoretical explication of the role of general pragmatic principles, e.g., Gricean maxims (Grice 1989), in the theory.

Neo-Gricean and Relevance-theoretical approaches to the semantics/pragmatics interface, on the other hand, unanimously believe that utterances are only in part determined by their encoded meaning, while a great deal is achieved inferentially by hearers in context (e.g., Levinson 2000, Carston 2016, Ariel 2016). This should be true not only for utterances of sentences, but also for utterances of all kinds of constructions (or constructs) – be it morphological, phraseological, syntactic, lexically specified, or schematic constructions.

However, while constructionist approaches tend to neglect inferential pragmatics, Neo-Gricean and Relevance theoretic frameworks tend to neglect specific constructions. Against this background, it seems to be a fruitful enterprise to bring together both strands of research.

This panel offers a forum for researchers interested in constructions, theoretical pragmatics, and the semantics/pragmatics interface, addressing

- Competing theoretical approaches to constructional meaning
- The role of pragmatics in Construction Grammar
- The role of constructions in theoretical pragmatics
- The relationship between conventional and inferential meaning in constructions
- The nature of the meaning of different types of constructions, e.g., morphological constructions, sub-sentential constructions, sentence types
- The meanings of constructions in different languages
- The role of pragmatics in construction acquisition, constructional variation and constructional change
Linguistic Subfield: General Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Pragmatics
LL Issue: 27.2986

This is a session of the following meeting:
15th International Pragmatics Conference

Calls and Conferences main page