Symposium: The Pragmatics of Aspect in Varieties of English
Innsbruck, 16-17 April 2012
Aspect is one of the linguistic categories in which varieties of English seem to differ to a great extent; this concerns certainly the formal elements involved and their strictly aspectual values, but also the possible overtones conveying stance, attitude, and other pragmatically significant values, as in paradigmatic cases like the „irritation/impatience“ overtone of „You‘re always complaining“, where the apparent incompatibility between the progressive aspect and the habitual/iterative value of always is overrun precisely to convey this subjective element of attitude.
The often-mentioned, but rarely investigated in detail, „over-extension“ of the progressive aspect to stative verbs in many varieties of English could be linked to this phenomenon, as could other expressions combining specific tense-aspect reference with specific subjective values, such as the hot-news perfect of Irish English.
- Bernd Kortmann, University of Freiburg (title to be announced)
- Raymond Hickey, University of Duisburg Essen (title to be announced)
Papers will be concerned with this theme, including explorations on:
- Synchronic and diachronic dialects of English
- Extra-territorial varieties
- Specific text- and discourse-types
- Specific acquisitional phenomena
- Intercultural pragmatics
The conference aims at gaining new insight into, among others:
- The semantics/pragmatics interface of the forms involved
- Conservation/innovation in varieties of English
- Moot or debatable concepts such as progressive/continuous/durative etc. in relation to the occurrence of specific forms in actual samples or corpora.
The programme can be downloaded here.
A registration form for guests is available here.
The conference will take place in the historic main building of the University of Innsbruck. On the evening of the 16th, there will be a conference dinner at a typical Austrian restaurant (at a price of about 45€ per person). Information on travel arrangements and accommodation can be obtained here.
Convenor: Gabriella Mazzon, Full Professor for English Linguistics, Institut für Anglistik, Leopold-Franzens Universität Innsbruck ( Gabriella.Mazzon@uibk.ac.at)