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AISB event Bulletin Item

CALL FOR PAPERS: Quotation:Perspectives from Philosophy & Linguistics, Sep 27-29, 2012, Bochum, GERMANY

There are many varieties of quotation in natural language, ranging from pure quotation ("cat" has 
three letters) and direct quotation ("That's ridiculous," said Mary) to indirect discourse (Mary 
said that that was ridiculous), and including also less well studied phenomena like scare quotes, 
free indirect discourse, and role shift in sign language.

Where philosophers have been fascinated with the self-referential aspects of pure and direct 
quotation, linguists have been focusing primarily on indirect reports. Over the past 10-15 years 
the two traditions have joined forces to study (i) various forms of perspective shifting in 
indirect discourse (cf. Schlenker 2003), and (ii) the ubiquitous phenomenon of "mixed quotation" 
(Mary said that that's "ridiculous", cf. Cappelen & Lepore 1997).

It is becoming increasingly clear that quotation challenges fundamental assumptions about (i) the 
semantics-pragmatics interface (Potts 2007); (ii) the use-mention / direct-indirect dichotomies 
(Maier 2009); (iii) the nature of indexicality and context shift (Recanati 2000); and (iv) 
compositionality (Werning 2005). It is issues like these that will be the topic of our workshop. 
In order to move the discussion forward, we aim at a truly interdisciplinary exchange of ideas, 
bringing together interested philosophers and linguists from a variety of subdisciplines.


- Regine Eckardt (U Gttingen, semantics/free indirect discourse)
- Dan Everett (Bentley University, field linguistics)
- Stefano Predelli (U Nottingham, philosophy)
- Francois Recanati (Institut Jean Nicod/CNRS, Paris, philosophy)
- Josep Quer Villanueva, (UPF Barcelona, sign language)
- Chung-chieh Shan (Rutgers, semantics/computer science)
- Mark de Vries (U Groningen, syntax)
- Dag Westerstahl (U Stockholm, philosophy)


We invite authors to submit an anonymous two-page abstract by May 1, 2012, for a talk of 25 minutes
plus 10 minutes discussion. Submissions should be made via Easychair 
(details at


- the distinction between direct and indirect discourse (syntactically, semantically and/or 
- opacity, compositionality and recursion of quotation
- role shift and constructed action in sign languages
- indexical/perspective/context shifting in reported speech
- the semantics of free indirect discourse
- unifying or distinguishing the many varieties of quotation (direct, pure, indirect, 
hybrid/mixed/open quotations, free indirect discourse, scare quotes etc.)
- modeling the two dimensions of (mixed) quotation (e.g. in terms of presupposition, 
conventional implicature, (not)-at-issue content)


- deadline for 2 page abstracts: May 1, 2012
- notification of acceptance: May 30, 2012
- conference dates: Thu, Sept 27 - Sat, Sept 29, 2012
- venue: Department of Philosophy II, Ruhr University Bochum