Encoding emotive attitudes in non-truth-conditional meaning

The work of Kaplan (1999) spurred broad interest in non-asserted, non-truth conditional meaning, especially in what has recently been termed expressive or use-conditional meaning (Potts, 2005; Gutzmann, 2015). Much has been accomplished in different frameworks in understanding how expressive meaning interacts with truth-conditional meaning. However, many questions remain in characterizing the types of expressive meaning predicates available, exploring which linguistic constructions encode expressive meaning, and formalizing expressive meaning. In this workshop we narrow our focus to properties, particularly emotive attitudes, of the expressive content itself. Questions we hope to address in this workshop include (but are not limited to):

  • What is the range of emotive attitudes that can be expressed (e.g., GOOD, BAD, SURPRISE) in non-truth-conditional meaning and what do they encompass? 
  • Can an expression encode multiple attitudes simultaneously? Do their availability vary cross-linguistically? Can (and how do) different syntactic configurations encode particular emotive attitudes?
  • What linguistic mechanisms encode non-truth-conditional attitudinal content? 
  • Are there particular grammatical means for encoding the content? How do certain expressions, such as exclamatives, make use of expressive meaning (i.e., Castroviejo, 2008)?
  • Does intonation, either in spoken and sign (=non-manual markers), mark or otherwise influence the expression of attitudinal content, and in what way?
  • How can we formalize attitudinal content? Is a multi-dimensional semantics, a dynamic semantics with context updates (AnderBois et al., 2013), or a combination of both best?

Invited speakers:
  • Jessica Rett (UCLA)
  • Patrick D. Elliott (ZAS)


We welcome submissions from theoretical and experimental perspectives that address the questions above or related questions. Accepted submissions will be given 20 minutes to present, plus 10 minutes for discussion. The workshop will be held as part of the 41st DGfS meeting in Bremen, Germany, March 6-8th, 2019.

Abstracts should be anonymous and have no more than 800 words of narrative text (text excluding titles, linguistic examples, formulae, trees, tables, figures, captions, and references), with data interspersed throughout the main text. Submissions should be in PDF format, and should be submitted via EasyChair at http://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=emo20190 no later than July 31st, 2018.

Note: DGfS rules prohibit any one person from presenting in multiple DGfS workshops.


  • Abstract deadline: July 31st, 2018
  • Notification: August 31st, 2018
  • Workshop: March 6-8th, 2019 (two of these days, tbd)


  • Curt Anderson (HHU, SFB 991)
  • Katherine Fraser (UPV/EHU)

Contact: Workshop Email: emo2019dgfs@gmail.com

This workshop has been partially supported by project FFI2015-66732-P, funded by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness and the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER, UE), the IT769-13 Research Group (Basque Government), and UFI11/14 (University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU), and partially supported by DFG Collaborative Research Center 991 "The Structure of Representations in Language, Cognition, and Science," project C10.