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Conference Information

Full Title: Different Perspectives on Proper Noun Modifiers

Location: Vigo, Spain
Start Date: 28-Sep-2017 - 30-Sep-2017
Contact: Tine Breban
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: Convenors:

Tine Breban (The University of Manchester) & Julia Kolkmann (University of York)


Proper nouns used as modifiers, as e.g. in the Watergate scandal, a London theatre, the Ghana problem, another Hillary phone call, are a relatively new and productive phenomenon in English (see Biber and Gray 2011, Rosenbach 2007). There are only a few studies on the phenomenon in English (Rosenbach 2007, 2010) and a few on similar constructions in other Germanic languages (Schlücker 2013 on German and Koptjevskaja-Tamm 2013 on Swedish), which rather than fully explaining the phenomenon, in fact identify a variety of issues for further study. These issues fall within different traditional areas of linguistics, morpho-syntax, semantics and pragmatics, phonetics, sociolinguistics, etc. We believe that only by investigating these issues ‘in dialogue’ can we fully understand this new use of proper nouns in English. The aim of this workshop is then to bring together experts from different areas around the topic of proper noun modifiers. The workshop is seen as a stepping stone towards a special journal issue, in which the contributors can work with and benefit from the findings of their co-contributors, in order to reach a fuller level of understanding of this new phenomenon as well as, more generally, of the interplay of different fields of linguistics.

Outstanding issues (see workshop full CfP for contextualization and clarification of these issues):

- The morpho-syntactic status of the proper noun modifiers as compounds or phrases
- The stress patterns in natural language data, which a.o. bears on the morpho-syntactic question
- The role of pragmatics in the interpretation of the proper noun, which, similar to other genitive constructions, is underspecified
- Qualitative discourse study of use in context
- Variation with other genitive constructions
- The role of newspapers and other genres
- The historical development
- The relation to constructions in which the proper nouns modify other types of elements, e.g. adjectives

The workshop will consist of full papers and work in progress reports, which will be allotted 20 minutes for presentation (plus 10 minutes for discussion).
Linguistic Subfield: Discourse Analysis; General Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Pragmatics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: English
LL Issue: 28.224

This is a session of the following meeting:
7th Biennial International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English (BICLCE)

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