Discourse Coherence, Information Structure, and Implicatures

Organisator(en) Anton Benz & Katja Jasinskaja
Workshop/Tagung ESSLLI 2013, U Düsseldorf.
Veranstaltungsbeginn 05.08.2013, 09.00 Uhr
Veranstaltungsende 09.08.2013, 18.00 Uhr
Ort Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf, Germany

This workshop provides a platform for discussion of new research on the interaction of discourse coherence, information structure, and implicatures. It thereby focuses the interface of three areas of linguistics and philosophy: (a) the structure and the semantics of discourse, the way meanings of sentences contribute to a coherent text or dialogue; (b) information structure, the way the informational status (topic vs. focus, given vs. new, etc.) of sentence constituents is reflected by the structure of the sentence; and (c) implicatures, pragmatic inferences driven by the assumption of the speaker’s rationality and cooperativity that enrich the literal meaning of a sentence. Each of these areas has a long history of research and it is widely agreed that the areas are closely interdependent. However, the exact ways in which they interact are the subject of a lot of on-going research and vivid debate.

The last decade has seen a growing interest in pragmatic phenomena, and the development of new logical and game theoretic frameworks. A trend that is particularly pronounced in recent years is the development of unified approaches, i.e. the attempt to explain pragmatic phenomena which had hitherto been treated as separate problems in a uniform framework with uniform principles. There have to be mentioned the attempts at integrating conversational implicatures in semantics (Chierchia, 2004), the explanation of information structure, presuppositions, and conventional implicatures from questions under discussion (Simons et al., 2011), the continued refinement and further application of discourse theories like segmented discourse representation theory (Asher and Lascarides, 2003), the rise of game theoretic pragmatics (Benz et al., 2006), and recent developments in bidirectional Optimality Theory (Benz and Mattausch, 2011). In addition to these theoretical approaches, there developed a substantial literature on experimental studies. It is getting increasingly clear that rhetorical structure, information structure and implicatures are closely interdependent.

We solicit original papers that report theoretical and empirical studies of discourse coherence, information structure and implicatures. We particularly welcome papers that focus on the interplay between two or all three of these aspects of language use. The workshop is open to all theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches including, but not limited to:

  • Bidirectional Optimality Theory
  • Game theoretic pragmatics
  • Question under Discussion theories
  • Relevance Theory
  • (Segmented) Discourse Representation Theory
  • Semantic approaches to information structure and implicatures
  • Experimental pragmatics

Invited Speakers:

  • Jacques Jayez (ENS de Lyon)
  • Craige Roberts (Ohio State University)

Reviewing board:

  • Maria Averintseva-Klisch (U Tübingen) 
  • Anton Benz (ZAS Berlin)
  • Oliver Bott (U Tübingen)
  • Markus Egg (HU Berlin) 
  • Jacques Jayez (ENS de Lyon)
  • Katja Jasinskaja (ZAS Berlin)
  • Andrew Kehler (UC San Diego)
  • Laia Mayol (U Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona)
  • Edgar Onea (U Göttingen)
  • Hannes Rieser (U Bielefeld) 
  • Craige Roberts (Ohio State U)
  • Hannah Rohde (U Edinburgh)
  • Torgrim Solstad (NTNU Trondheim)
  • Manfred Stede (U Potsdam) 
  • Noor van Leusen (U Tilburg) 
  • Henk Zeevat (U Amsterdam)


Monday, August 5

Anton Benz & Katja Jasinskaja (Centre for General Linguistics / ZAS, Berlin)  
Discourse Coherence, Information Structure and Implicatures: An Introduction.

Chris Cummins (U Bielefeld)  
Priming and QUD versus implicatures

Maria Spychalska (U Bochum)  
Pragmatic effects in processing superlative and comparative quantifiers: The role of clausal implicatures

Tuesday, August 6

Elaine Stranahan (Harvard U)  
Local vs. Global Maximize Presupposition and the Temporal Duration Parameter

17:30-18:30 - invited talk 
Jacques Jayez (ENS de Lyon)
The Discourse Contribution of Oblique Material

Wednesday, August 7

Matthijs Westera (U Amsterdam)  
The Rise and Fall of Cooperativity

Malte Rosemeyer & Daniel Jacob (U Freiburg)  
Towards an explicit model of Common Ground: Implications for information structure

Philip Schulz (U Tübingen / ILLC, U Amsterdam)  
Focus as a discourse functor 

Thursday, August 8

Daniel Altshuler (U Düsseldorf)  

Sophia Döring (Humboldt-U Berlin)  
The Interplay of Modal Particles and Discourse Relations

Jennifer Spenader (U Groningen)  
Discourse connectives vs. paraphrases: What influences likelihood and form of reference in the absence of verb semantics?

Friday, August 9

Upsorn Tawilapakul (U York)  
What comprises a counter-expectation

17:30-18:30 - invited talk
Edgar Onea (U Göttingen)  
Potential Questions: From Specificational Particles to Discourse Analysis

Alternate speakers

Edo Collins and Amit Vrubel (U Tübingen)  
To say or not to say

Chungmin Lee (Seoul National U)  
Contrastive Topic, Contrastive Focus, and (Scalar) Implicatures