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Conference Information

Full Title: Coercion Across Linguistic Fields

Location: Saarbrücken, Germany
Start Date: 08-Mar-2017 - 10-Mar-2017
Contact: Hana Filip
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: This workshop takes place during the 39th Annual Meeting of the Linguistics Society of Germany (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft) in Saarbrücken.

Coercion is a process of reinterpretation triggered by a type mismatch between an operator and its argument which is repaired by enriching the overt input with implicit material, modulo context. Coercion is widespread across different parts of the grammar, including not only semantics and pragmatics (Asher 2011), but also morphology, syntax and phonology; its modeling in computational linguistics raises non-trivial problems. In phonology, for instance, coronal nasals [n], if followed by labial [np] or dorsal stops [nk], are coerced as labial [mp] or dorsal [Nk] (Boersma 1998). Well-known, though not yet well understood, are common meaning shifts between mass and count, and parallel shifts between atelic and telic interpretations, which in English are triggered by syntactic context, interacting with extra-linguistic context: e.g., “?three waters” (mass-to-count) and “(?)swim three times” (atelic-to-telic); “There’s too much apple in this fruit salad” (count-to-mass) and “Bill ate the apple bit by bit for ten minutes (and still didn’t finish it)” (telic-to-atelic). Resolving a type mismatch involves an interaction of factors coming from different parts of the grammar (Booij 2010). Coercion is a highly powerful process, not any type of type mismatch can be resolved, and the strategies for type mismatch resolution via coercion seem to follow certain restricted paths. One of the outstanding puzzles concerns the proper constraints on the value of a coercion operator.

Suggested Topics:

(i) Similarities and differences among coercion processes across different parts of grammar
(ii) Mechanisms of coercion (e.g. type shifting and contextual enrichment)
(iii) Constraints on coercion
(iv) Computational aspects of coercion resolution

Invited Speaker: Nicholas Asher.

Targeted Participants:

This workshop will bring together scholars from different fields of theoretical and computational linguistics with the aim of establishing similarities/differences among different coercion processes in natural language.
Linguistic Subfield: Computational Linguistics; General Linguistics; Phonetics; Semantics
LL Issue: 27.4115

This is a session of the following meeting:
39th Annual Meeting of the DGfS (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft)

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