This is a call for papers for a theme session on viewpoint at CogLingDays-7, to take place at Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, on January 5-6, 2017.
Cross-linguistic Perspectives on Viewpoint: Methods, Benefits, and Challenges
Human beings are unique creatures. They are famous for their relative high level of social cognition, reflected in the capacity to take, assess, and report on the mental and emotional states of others. This brings us to the study of viewpoint in narrative discourse, which has a long scholarly history in poetics, stylistics, and narratology. What characterizes narratives is that they represent the speech, thought, feelings, and attitudes of the characters involved, which can be covered by an umbrella term of “viewpoint”.
Recent years have witnessed a growing body of research on viewpoint in individual languages and discourse genres (e.g. Dancygier and Sweetser 2012; Dancygier, Verhagen and Lu 2016; Pascual and Sandler in press). However, comparing and contrasting viewpoint constructions in different languages and discourse genres is still an under-investigated issue. Therefore, we would be interested in seeing discussions on the following research issues:
– How do we compare the linguistic resources employed in different languages to construe viewpoint, and what is the role of cultural norms, cognitive strategies, and pragmatics?
– In cases where a given language has some grammatical feature of viewpoint not found in other ones, how would that reshape our understanding of viewpoint?
– What are the cognitive prerequisites for users of different languages to acquire the ability to process viewpoint in language-specific ways? How does this experience in turn affect (social) cognition?
– How can the question of viewpointing be treated within Construction Grammar models (especially in a contrastive way)?
In addition to the above theoretical pursuits, also of great interest to us are methodological issues:
What constitutes a useful research method for studying viewpoint cross-linguistically?
What is the advantage of a certain (experimental, corpus, etc.) research method and what is the downside of it?
Does a certain research method on viewpoint allow us to see meaningful data that others cannot?
We are happy to have Prof. Arie Verhagen (Leiden University) on board as discussant.
If interested, please send a 200-word presentation proposal to Dr. Wei-lun LU (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 15 May 2016. Notification of selection will be sent by 31 May. We look forward to receiving your proposal.