Conference: SPE 8

SPE 8 will be hosted by Newnham College, University of Cambridge.

DATE: September 17-19, 2015 (conference), September 16, 2015 (tutorials)

VENUE: Newnham College, University of Cambridge

Invited speakers:
Herman Cappelen (University of St Andrews)
Tim Crane (University of Cambridge)
Ruth Kempson (King’s College London)
Alex Lascarides (University of Edimburgh)
Stephen Neale (City University of New York (CUNY))
Diana Raffman (University of Toronto)

Submission Deadline: March. 1, 2015.

Conference website:

The purpose of the Semantics and Philosophy in Europe colloquia is to provide a forum for presenting research in the interface between linguistic semantics and various areas of philosophy (philosophy of language, philosophy of mind/cognition, metaphysics etc.). Previous SPE meetings have taken place place in Paris (SPE1, 2008 and SPE3, 2010), London (SPE2, 2009), Bochum (SPE4, 2011), Turin (SPE5, 2012), St.Peterburg (SPE6, 2013) and Berlin (SPE7, 2014) .

In addition to the general session, SPE 8 will feature two special sessions:

Compositionality: Can formal semantics meet the challenges from psycho/neurolinguistics? (Markus Werning, Ruhr University Bochum)
Expressing the Self: Philosophical and Linguistic Aspects (Minyao Huang and Kasia Jaszczolt, University of Cambridge)
Two preconference tutorials will be offered:

Slurs (Stefano Predelli, University of Nottingham)
Clausal Complements (Friederike Moltmann, CNRS, Jane Grimshaw, Rutgers University)

Call for Papers:
We invite papers on any topic falling in the areas of natural language semantics, pragmatics, philosophy of language and interfaces between linguistic semantics and various areas of philosophy (e.g. philosophy of mind, metaphysics, or ethics). (See instructions for submission)

In addition to the general session, there will be two workshops for which abstracts are invited:

Compositionality: Can formal semantics meet the challenges from psycho/neuro-linguistics?
Workshop organizer: Markus Werning

According to the principle of compositionality, the meaning of a complex expression is a syntax-dependent function of the meanings of its syntactic parts. The principle is often regarded as an a priori constraint for any formal theory of meaning and, indeed, formal semanticist have been (arguably) rather successful in reconciling compositionality with prima facie challenges from linguistics involving, e.g., anaphoric reference, donkey sentences, propositional attitudes, genitives, quantifier scope, etc. However, in recent years the principle of compositionality has also be questioned on the basis of psycho- and neuro-linguistic results concerning, e.g., processing times, priming effects and event related potentials. The workshop will address the question if formal semantics can meet these challenges as well.

Expressing the Self: Philosophical and Linguistic Aspects
Workshop organizers: Minyao Huang and Kasia M. Jaszczolt

Referring to the self can be achieved in a variety of ways, including first-person pronouns, impersonal forms, reflexives, proper names, common nouns, and other types of expressions. While philosophers of language normally discuss first-person reference in terms of the indexical/nonindexical distinction, and in the case of belief reports, the de se/de re distinction, linguists point out the overwhelming variety of forms languages employ for this purpose (viz. 51 forms for ‘I’ in Japanese, 27 in Thai). Firstly, honorifics for the first person (e.g. in Thai, Korean, or Vietnamese) enable the speaker to refer to herself not in an immediately-given way. Secondly, in languages such as Amharic and Chinese, first-person pronouns can be used to attribute the immediate access to oneself to a third party. We invite talks on both the linguistic and philosophical aspects of self-referring, aiming at a cross-disciplinary discussion that will inform both disciplines.

We invite submissions for 45-minute presentations (including discussion) for the general session and for the workshops. Submissions are limited to 1 individual and 1 joint abstract per author. Abstracts have to be anonymous, not exceeding one page (font size 12) in length, excluding references. Please submit your abstract in the PDF format electronically via EasyChair.

To submit your abstract please follow the SPE8 submission link, sign in, click on “New Submission” at the top of the page and follow the instructions. EasyChair requires authors to be registered. To register for EasyChair, please click on the registration link and follow the instructions.
The submission deadline is 1 March 2015. Abstracts will undergo anonymous review. We expect to make notifications of acceptance in mid-April.