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  • Wed

    Languages as Mechanisms for Interaction: Explorations and Repercussions 2016 Workshop

    Blandijnberg 2: room 120.083

    It is uncontentious that language lies at the core of human interaction. However, the broad significance of this observation is only beginning to receive due recognition. In the past, the emphasis has been on the precise identification of what an individual speaker’s capacity for language amounts to in terms of a grammar, and/or individual cognitive processes. These approaches usually posit a grammar or cognitive architecture with independent modules whose elements are assigned discrete, identifiable meanings, all attributes being defined independently of other cognitive sub-systems. However, the horizon is shifting in a number of ways. Some see grammar as interfacing with a rich inferential system even though the two systems remain independent (e.g. Asher & Lascarides 2003; Carston 2002; Clark 1996; Sperber & Wilson 1986). Others focus on the need for grammars of dialogue (e.g. Ginzburg 2012). Yet others consider language a system of procedures for licensing communicative interaction (e.g. Gregoromichelaki et al. 2011). However, what most of these approaches have in common is a belief in the interdependence of the grammar system and processes of general cognition.

    This shift in perspective has given rise to an array of new developments: cross-linguistic studies developing new synchronic and diachronic accounts of linguistic phenomena reflecting dialogue dynamics; computational models of ongoing dialogue dynamics, and formal grammar learning; cross-disciplinary investigations of foundational issues such as the concepts of individuation and identity that reflect language plasticity; articulation of formal  and cognitive constraints on what are possible language processes, the interaction of these with constraints determining effective cross-modular processing in real time, the inter-relation between mechanisms internal to language and other cognitive systems such as for gesture and music, and perception. This workshop seeks to bring together those working within these cross-disciplinary approaches to interaction.

    The updated programme and abstract booklet can be consulted here.

    Abstracts are welcome relating to:
    models of conversational dialogue purporting to model speaker and hearer interaction in jointly developing structures in context;
    accounts of how these interactions allow for clarifications, corrections or negotiations through which such development takes place;
    accounts of language acquisition in which such interactions are assigned central status;
    accounts of how such interactive adaptations consolidate via ongoing use to yield language variation and change;
    accounts of how incremental language processing interfaces with other modalities such as gesture.
    Abstracts should be anonymous and no longer than one page, including references and examples, in 12-point Times New Roman, with margins of at least 2.5 cm. Submissions are limited to a maximum of one individual and one joint abstract per author. The deadline for submission is 29 February, 2016. Abstracts are to be submitted in pdf-format via the EasyChair system at submit an abstract, you must follow these steps:

    To begin, login at
    If you do not have an existing EasyChair account, click on “Sign up for an account”. You will be asked to fill out a simple form to create an account.
    Click ”New Submission” at the top of the page.
    Select the track relevant for your submission and click “Continue”.
    Enter author information in the provided fields. Tick the ”Corresponding Author” box for all authors who wish to receive e-mail correspondences or notifications.
    Enter your title in the “Title” field.
    In the “Abstract” field, please enter a one sentence summary. Do not paste your full abstract into this field.
    Enter at least three keywords.
    Upload your abstract in the “Paper” field. Only .pdf files will be accepted. Do not include your name or affiliation in the abstract/file name!
    Do not tick the “Abstract only” box, or your .pdf will not be uploaded.
    Click “Submit”. You will be taken to a summary page of your submission – this is your confirmation that it has been saved. Abstracts will be reviewed anonymously.
    You may make any necessary updates until the deadline by logging in and clicking on “My Submissions”.
    For more information, please contact interaction2016@easychair.orgCited referencesAsher, N. & A. Lascarides (2003) Logics of Conversation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Carston, R (2002) Thoughts and Utterances: The Pragmatics of Explicit Communication. Oxford: Blackwell.Clark, H. (1996) Using Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Sperber, D. & D. Wilson (1986) Relevance: Communication and Cognition. Cambridge, M.A.: Harvard University Press.Ginzburg, J. (2012) The Interactive Stance: Meaning for Conversation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Gregoromichelaki, E., R. Kempson, M. Purver, G.J. Mills, R. Cann, W. Meyer-Viol & P.G.T. Healey (2011) ‘Incrementality and Intention-Recognition in Utterance Processing.’ Dialogue and Discourse2: 199-233.

    Local organisers:

    Miriam Bouzouita
    Sol Sansiñena Pascual
    Programme committee:

    Miriam Bouzouita
    Hannah Gibson
    Ruth Kempson
    Jieun Kiaer
    Chris Howes


    Ibis Gent Centrum Opera
    Marriott Hotel Ghent
    Hotel Harmony
    Ghent River Hotel
    Most hotels have corporate rates for guests of the university.

    Charm hotels

    Hotel Gravensteen
    Monasterium Poortackere
    Bed & Breakfasts, guesthouses
    PPP Guesthouse
    NOTE that you will always have to pay a separate ‘city tax’ of €2,50 per night on top of your normal hotel bill.

    Travel information
    Getting to Ghent (from Brussels National Airport or a Brussels train station)Take a train to Ghent St-Pieters station. For information about train timetables, click here.Getting to the conference venue from the train station (St-Pieters): 15 minutes
    Take tram #1 in the direction of Wondelgem/Evergem/Centre from the tram platform (“to city centre”) outside the train station. Get off at Verlorenkost. You are now on the Kortrijksepoortstraat, at the corner turn right onto Sint-Kwintensberg, continue straight till you reach on the left-hand side the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy (Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte), turn left onto Blandijnberg. Enter through the main entrance and take stairs to the second floor. The presentations will be held in room 120.083 (2nd floor).More information on how to get there: (in Dutch), or more specifically, Getting around in GhentThere is a good bus and tram network throughout the city (see Tickets cost 3 euros from the vending machine. A ticket valid for 10 rides costs 14 euros (1,40 cents per ride). You will find the ticket vending machines outside the station, on the tram platform. Ghent is pretty manageable on foot as well, however. All hotels suggested on this website are in the center of town, as is the conference venue. For a map of the city, click here (or many other websites).

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