Workshop: Redrawing Pragmasemantic BordersMarch 19-20, 2015, Groningen, The Netherlands

Semantics and pragmatics have long recognized multiple meaning types: asserted and entailed meaning, world knowledge and lexically based inferences, presupposition, expressive content, and conversational and conventional implicature. These each get their own separate treatments and/or are thought of as separate ‘dimensions’ of meaning.

There are two main strands of research that question the traditional divisions: accounts that seek more unifying characteristics and accounts that identify exceptional behavior in a subset of a certain meaning type.

UNIFYING PROPOSALS. The first type of research has been pursued by a number of researchers who make a binary distinction between at-issue content (asserted or entailed meaning) and non-at-issue content (e.g. presupposition, expressives) (Simons 2007, Tonhauser et al. 2013), arguing for a major division based on projection properties, relating it to discourse semantic constructs such as questions-under-discussion.

DIVERSIFYING PROPOSALS. The second type of work focuses on identifying differences in what are often treated semantically as uniform classes, often on the basis of corpus or experimental results, e.g. empirical results that show that not all presuppositions behave similarly (e.g. Zeevat 2002; Spenader 2002), or that lexical inferences may have different origins (e.g. Bott & Solstad, 2012).

The aim of the workshop is to discuss how to cut the pragmasemantic pie. More specifically, we solicit submissions dealing with:

-- formal arguments or empirical data that support unifying different information types based on for instance projection properties

-- formal arguments or empirical data suggesting new distinctions

-- work that integrates the analysis of different meaning types with contextual or discourse effects

-- new theoretical approaches to representing and integrating different types of information (e.g. multi-dimensional semantics)


-- Craige Roberts (Ohio State University, currently Central European University, Budapest)

-- Judith Tonhauser (Ohio State University, currently ZAS, Berlin)

-- Hans-Martin Gärtner (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest).


University of Groningen, The Netherlands


-- Workshop: Thu, March 19, 2015 -- Fri, March 20th, 2015


-- Jennifer Spenader:

-- Emar Maier:



ERC (project BLENDS)

Stichtung Groninger Universiteitsfonds (GUF)