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CCLS Lecture Series

Programm Sommersemester 2019

Lassen Sie sich das Abstract mit einem Klick auf den Titel anzeigen.

15.04. | Wolfram Hinzen (Barcelona)
Language across the autism spectrum

Carl Wernicke remarked in 1874 that from time immemorial, people have hoped that disturbances of language can be a key to understanding mental disorders. This would be expected, if normal language functioning was an inherent aspect of normal cognitive functioning, including social and communicative functioning. This talk will investigate this opportunity for the case of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Although ASD is diagnosed today as occurring either with or without intellectual disability (ID), and with or without language impairment (LI), both ID and LI are very common in ASD. ASD is even arguably unique among countless common or rare neurodevelopmental disorders in including 25-30% of individuals who never develop language; and in involving language dysfunction of various kinds and at different levels even in its ‘highest-functioning’ parts. In this sense, the autism spectrum is a ‘language spectrum’, telling us something about both autism and language, and how these two connect. I will present four studies from our lab reviewing language and cognitive profiles across this language spectrum. Irrespective of ASD, studying mental functioning when language is absent confronts us with some of the deepest questions we can ask about what language is, and what makes the mind we have the mind it is.

29.04. | Pamela Perniss (Köln)
Talking about space with space: Insights from cross-linguistic comparison and language development

Sign languages use the hands and the space in front of the body for linguistic encoding. For spatial relationships, e.g. cup on table, this affords the direct and iconic expression of a real-world relationship in the signing space: one hand, curved to represent the shape of a cup, is placed on top of the other hand, flat to represent the shape of a table. Such analogical representation of spatial relations seems straightforward. Indeed, these direct mapping affordances of the visual modality have been assumed to give rise to a high degree of similarity between sign languages in the spatial domain. However, the use of space to talk about space poses a number of challenges. For example, how are more complex spatial scenes represented in space, when the mapping between referents and articulators is no longer straightforward? How are viewpoint-dependent spatial relationships, e.g. cup to left of table, represented? Signing interlocutors are canonically positioned face-to-face; for viewpoint-dependent relationships, this means that what a signer places on the left of signing space (e.g. a cup) is seen by the addressee as being on the right. In this talk, I explore encoding in the spatial domain in the visual modality. I offer cross-linguistic comparison of locative expression, as well as insights from children learning to sign and from bimodal (spoken-signed) bilinguals on the effects of modality on encoding of spatial relations and on the interplay of spatial semantics and conceptual representation.

06.05. | Stefan Grohé (Köln)
Interdisziplinärer Vortrag: Leerstellen und Wimmelbilder. Zur Steuerung visueller Aufmerksamkeit in der Malerei


13.05. | Stefan Baumann & Klaus von Heusinger (Köln)
Discourse Prominence, Accent Type and Information Status


20.05. | Volker Gast (Jena)
Impersonal constructions in Germanic, Romance and Slavic: An overview and some open questions


27.05. | Arndt Riester (Köln)
QUD trees and their applications

According to a common assumption (von Stutterheim & Klein 1987, van Kuppevelt 1995, Büring 2003, Roberts 2012, Beaver & Velleman 2016 and others), Questions under Discussion (QUDs) are the key concept underlying the structural organisation of discourse. Often, however, researchers have found it very difficult to determine the implicit QUDs within natural discourse, and false conclusions have been drawn from ill-constructed examples, in which overt questions followed by incongruent responses have been mistaken for the actual QUDs.
QUD trees (Reyle & Riester 2016, Riester et al. 2018, Riester 2019) are a discourse-analytic framework which defines precise rules for the reconstruction of QUDs in natural data. A QUD tree is a discourse representation in which (implicit or explicit) QUDs form the non-terminal nodes, thereby reflecting the topical organization of a text. The method is simpler and arguably less ambiguous than approaches to discourse structure that are based on the identification of rhetorical relations. Moreover, it allows for a reliable assessment of the focus/background (plus at-issue/non- at-issue) divide of each utterance.
The resulting analyses are of interest in various fields of linguistics in which an objective, pragmatic analysis of discourse is required. I will briefly address three such areas: (i.) analysis of political discourse, (ii.) field-work data, and (iii.) arriving at a clearer picture of topic notions within narrative texts.

Büring, D. (2003) On D-trees, beans, and b-accents. Linguistics and philosophy 26:511-545
Klein, W. & von Stutterheim, C. (1987) Quaestio und referentielle Bewegung in Erzählungen. Linguistische Berichte 109:163-183
van Kuppevelt, J. (1995) Discourse structure, topicality and questioning. Journal of Linguistics 31:109-149
Reyle, U. & Riester, A. (2016) Joint information structure and discourse structure analysis in an Underspecified DRT framework. In Proceedings of SemDial, New Brunswick, NJ, USA (pp. 15-24)
Riester, A. (2019) Constructing QUD trees. In M. Zimmermann, K. von Heusinger & E. Onea (Eds.) Questions in Discourse. Vol. 2: Pragmatics, CRiSPI (pp. 163-192). Leiden: Brill
Riester, A., Brunetti, L., & De Kuthy, K. (2018) Annotation guidelines for Questions under Discussion and information structure. In E. Adamou, K. Haude & M. Vanhove (Eds.) Information Structure in Lesser-Described Languages: Studies in Prosody and Syntax (pp. 403-443). Amsterdam: John Benjamins
Roberts, C. (2012) Information structure: Towards an integrated formal theory of pragmatics. Semantics and Pragmatics 5:1-69
Velleman, L. & Beaver, D. (2016) Question-based models of information structure. In C. Féry, & S. Ishihara (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Information Structure (pp. 86-107). Oxford University Press

17.06. | Sonja Riesberg & Jakob Egetenmeyer (Köln)
Voice choice in Totoli: Insights from narrative structure


01.07. | Student Day: André Welters (Köln)
Datenbankschulung für Studierende im Schulungszentrum der USB: Raum 4.06
08.07. | Bodo Winter (Manchester)
Gesture and prominence


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