News

Program published. Virtual workshop on “QUDs and exhaustivity” on September 25-26, 2020

The program of the workshop “QUDs and exhaustivity: experiments, computation, and theory” to be held virtually September 25-26, 2020 is online now. The workshop is organized by Anton Benz (ZAS Berlin, SIGames) and Edgar Onea (Graz, ExQ).

The event will be hosted on Zoom. For an invitation, send an email to edgar.onea-gaspar@uni-graz.at or benz@leibniz-zas.de.

More details and the programm can be found here.

Program published. Workshop on “The Processing of Negation and Polarity” to be held mostly virtually, October 1-2, 2020

The program of the workshop “The Processing of Negation and Polarity” to be held mostly virtually, October 1-2, 2020 is online now. The workshop is organized by Carolin Dudschig (University of Tübingen, MoLCINS), Barbara Kaup (University of Tübingen, MoLCINS), Mingya Liu (Humboldt University of Berlin, SPOCC) and Juliane Schwab (Osnabrück University).

The workshop will take place online over ZOOM as well as, partially, on site (only for travellers within Germany). Please register for the conference by Sept. 25, 2020 to mingya.liu@hu-berlin.de with your full names, affiliations and email addresses if you are interested in attending the conference online or onsite.

More details and the programm can be found here.

XPrag.de at the virtual AMLaP 2020 conference

Two posters will be presented by XPrag.de members at The 26th Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP) Conference, which will be held as an online conference from 3rd — 5th September 2020.

On September 4th, Claudia Felser and Janna-Deborah Drummer (project L2PronRes) will present a poster on “Binding out of relative clauses in L1 and L2 comprehension”. On September 5th, Petra Schumacher (Project InfoPer) and her colleagues present a poster on A Bayesian approach to modelling German personal and demonstrative pronouns

XPrag.de at virtual Sinn und Bedeutung 25

There are several contributions by XPrag.de members at the Sinn und Bedeutung 25 co-hosted virtually by University College London (UCL) and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) on September 1st – 9th, 2020.

At the special session on ‘Gestures and Natural Language Semantics’ to take place on September 1st and 2nd 2020, Cornelia Ebert from project PSIMS in Frankfurt talks together with Andreas Konietzko (Tübingen) and Thomas Weskott (Göttingen) on “Recovering Gestured and Spoken Material in VP Ellipsis and Pro-forms“.

At the main session to take place September 3rd – 9th 2020, there will be five further talks:

3-year postdoc position in Experimental Pragmatics, starting January 2021

The University of Potsdam invites applications for a three-year full-time postdoctoral researcher in experimental pragmatics. The position is part of the Emmy Noether research group on ‘Scales in language processing and acquisition: Semantic and pragmatic contributions to implicature computation’, led by Dr. Nicole Gotzner.

The starting date is January 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. The initial appointment will be until December 2021, with an extension until at least October 2023. The position is remunerated according to E13 of the German TV-L pay-scale.

The responsibility of the postdoctoral researcher is to conduct experimental research into the pragmatics and processing of scalar meaning. Furthermore, tools from theoretical pragmatics and computational modeling will be used to develop a formal model of scalar expressions.

The ideal candidate will have:
– A PhD in linguistics or related field with a specialization in experimental pragmatics or psycholinguistics
– Knowledge of semantic and pragmatic theories and experience in testing these theories experimentally
– Expertise in statistical methods (e.g., mixed-effects regression modeling)
– A willingness to further improve methods skills and to transfer knowledge to doctoral researchers and student assistants

Expertise in at least one of the following areas is advantageous but not required:
– Theories of scales and degrees
– Computational modeling
– Language acquisition
– Eye tracking
– General programming skills

Emmy Noether project:
The project ‘Scales in language processing and acquisition: Semantic and pragmatic contributions to implicature computation’ (SPA) investigates the meaning of scalar expressions. Scales are hidden behind many words. If something is large, it could also be huge, for example. The project SPA will shed new light on long-standing debates about the nature of scales, by investigating a large number of such expressions in language processing and acquisition. The overarching goal is to develop a new model of scales and implicature, that accounts for variability among such expressions. We will examine (a) the extent to which a single mechanism underlying implicature computation can be retained for different scales and (b) the kinds of alternatives that constitute the basis for implicature computation. A major focus will lie on the interpretation of adjectival scales, which have been well-studied in semantics but remain underexplored in pragmatics. We will employ a variety of psycholinguistic methods as well as probabilistic modeling tools in order to integrate insights from semantic and pragmatic theory and cognitive science. This project represents the first large-scale attempt at testing how various scales are processed, and how semantic and pragmatic representations of scales develop in tandem.

The Emmy Noether research group is funded by the DFG for a duration of six years, with an intermediate evaluation. The group consists of the PI (Dr. Nicole Gotzner), the postdoctoral researcher, 2 Phd students, who will join the project in the coming years, and several research assistants. The project also has two Mercator fellows, Prof. Dr. Louise McNally and Prof. Dr. Ira Noveck, who will visit the project regularly. The group members will be able to carry out their own research within the focus of the project. Ample financial support is provided to attend summer schools and conferences. More information on the project can be found on the following site: https://sites.google.com/view/nicolegotzner/emmy-noether-group-spa

Host institution:
The project is hosted by the Cognitive Science Department at the University of Potsdam, a leading international center for research in cognitive science, theoretical linguistics and computational modeling. The group will also be associated with the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center 1287 ‘Limits of Variability in Language: Cognitive, grammatical and social aspects’. The CRC and the Cognitive Science Department has an active program of workshops and colloquia, exceptional facilities for experimental research, and ample opportunities for collaboration. Potsdam is an attractive historical city and its palaces are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Potsdam is close to the vibrant city of Berlin. Both cities have a high quality of life at modest living costs.

Applications must be submitted via e-mail and include the following items (single PDF):
– A letter of intent stating the nature of your interest in the project and the expertise that you could contribute, as well as your desired starting date;
– A CV including a complete list of publications;
– Electronic copies of up to three representative publications or thesis chapters; and
– The names and e-mail addresses of at least two scholars to be contacted for letters of recommendation.

The University of Potsdam is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants from underrepresented minorities are highly encouraged to apply. In accordance with the German law (TzBfG), the position can be carried out part-time. To combine family care with pursuing an academic career, the candidate will be able to work remotely and receive a contract extension in the case of parental leave.

Application Deadline: 31.8.2020 (Open until filled)

Email Address for Applications: nicole.gotzner@uni-potsdam.de
Dr. Nicole Gotzner

Call for submissions to “The Semantics and Pragmatics of Conditional Connectives” February 24-26, 2021 in Freiburg, Germany

On February 24th to 26th, 2021 the workshop “The Semantics and Pragmatics of Conditional Connectives” will take place as part of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the German Linguistics Society (DGfS) at the University of Freiburg, Germany. The workshop is organized by Mingya Liu & Mathias Barthel from project SPOCC, HU Berlin.

Logical connectives and operators in natural language have been a key empirical domain of study in theoretical and psycholinguistics. However, Conditional Connectives are quite understudied, especially in comparison to the well-studied negation, disjunction and quantifiers. The workshop aims to bring together current studies that address the distribution, syntax, semantics and pragmatics of CCs in relation to narrow linguistic or broad pragmatic contexts across languages, as well as studies on conditionals in general. We welcome contributions using different (e.g., formal semantic/pragmatic, diachronic, experimental, corpus-linguistic) methods. Deadline for submissions is September 15th, 2020. More details and the call for papers can be found here!

Deadline extended to June 30th! Workshop “The Processing of Negation and Polarity” at Humboldt University Berlin in October

On October 1st to 2nd, 2020, the workshop “The Processing of Negation and Polarity” will take place at Humboldt University Berlin. The workshop is organized by Carolin Dudschig (University of Tübingen, MoLCINS), Barbara Kaup (University of Tübingen, MoLCINS), Mingya Liu (Humboldt University of Berlin, SPOCC) and Juliane Schwab (Osnabrück University).

New deadline for submissions is June 30th, 2020.

The workshop aims at establishing a broad perspective on the processing of negation and polarity, with a focus on (but not limited to) the following topics:
• One- versus two-step models of language comprehension through investigations employing negative sentences
• Experimental approaches to the semantics and pragmatics of canonical and noncanonical negation (negative concord, pleonastic negation)
• Processing of entailment cancelling contexts (negation, modals, questions, conditionals)
• Negative and positive polarity items
• Experimental computational/developmental/sociolinguistic approaches to negation and polarity

More details and the call for papers can be found here.

XPrag.de at virtual CUNY 2020

Several XPrag.de members presented their research at the 33rd Annual CUNY Human Sentence Processing Conference, which took place at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, from March 19th-21st 2020 virtually.

XPrag.de associate Florian Schwarz (UPenn) gave a talk on “Reflections on (some of) the roles of linguistic theory in psycholinguistics: Case studies in presupposition projection” in the session Friday, Session 5, chaired by XPrag.de Mercator Fellow Jesse Snedeker. It is worthwhile to watch the recorded session.

In addition, there were many poster presentations by XPrag.de members. Some posters can be found at https://osf.io/meetings/cuny2020/.

  • “Investigating the grammatical SNARC effect for collective nouns” by Fabian Hurler (MoLCINS, Tübingen), Nikole Patson, Tessa Warren and Barbara Kaup (MoLCINS, Tübingen).
  • “Lexical and contextual cue effects in discourse expectations: experimenting with German zwar…aber vs. English sure…but” by Juliane Schwab and Mingya Liu (SPOCC, HU Berlin)
  • “Exhaustivity of questions embedded under know, predict, agree and surprise” by Lea Fricke and Edgar Onea (both ExQ, Graz)
  • “Is sonderlich losing its NPI-status?” by Juliane Schwab, Mingya Liu (SPOCC, HU Berlin) and Jutta Mueller
  • “Order, relevance and script knowledge: Revising temporal structures” by Maria Spychalska (ImpliPer, Cologne)
  • “New data on the nature of competition between indefinites and definites” by Nadine Bade (ObTrEx, Tübingen) and Florian Schwarz
  • “Processing implicatures: a comparison between direct and indirect SIs” by Paul Marty, Romoli Jacopo, Yasutada Sudo, Bob van Tiel (MUQTASP, ZAS Berlin) and Richard Breheny
  • Every Horse didn’t Jump over the Fence: Scope Ambiguity via Pragmatic Reasoning” by Sherry Yong Chen (former XPrag.de Intern) and Bob van Tiel (MUQTASP)
  • “Binding options of German demonstrative pronouns: a large-sample study and a computational model” by Umesh Patil and Stefan Hinterwimmer (XPrag.de associate, Cologne)

XPrag.de at the 43rd Generative Linguistics in the Old World (GLOW) virtual conference

Several XPrag.de members will present their research at the 43rd Generative Linguistics in the Old World (GLOW) conference, which will take place (virtually) at Humboldt University Berlin from April 8th to 20th, 2020.

Attendance is free of charge. Please find further information about how to attend virtually here: https://glowlinguistics.org/43/going-virtual/attending/.

There will be two contributions by XPrag.de members at the main colloquium. Cornelia Loos and Sophie Repp from project YesNo2 in Cologne will present a poster together with former XPrag.de member Markus Steinbach (University of Göttingen) on “Responding to positive and negative assertions in German Sign Language (DGS)”. Furthermore, XPrag.de associate Andreea Nicolae (ZAS Berlin) will present a poster on “The polarity of additive particles”.

XPrag.de member Nicole Gotzner (SIGames, ZAS Berlin) will give a talk on “The dual function of L+H* pitch accents” at the “Workshop I: Prosody in Speech Signal, Perception and Gestures”

Furthermore, XPrag.de coordinator Uli Sauerland organizes together with Wataru Uegaki (University of Edinburgh) the “Workshop II: Semantic Universals in the Modal and Attitudinal Domain”

There are time slots to interact with presenters. Please check the conference program.