Prosody and Information Structure in Stuttgart

Location & Date

Stuttgart, Germany, March 22-23, 2016

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Organized by

Arndt Riester, Nadja Schauffler, Meg Zellers, Sabine Zerbian

Stuttgart Collaborative Research Center SFB 732 Incremental Specification in Context,
funded by the (German Science Foundation),
Projects A6 Encoding of Information Structure in German and French
A7 Cross-linguistic Interactions in Second Language Prosody


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Starting out from the (not uncontroversial) assumption that information-structural categories are universal and definable in abstract interpretive terms, this workshop aims at bringing together researchers interested in the prosodic manifestation of information-structural categories within and across languages, including both cross-linguistic comparisons as well as language contact situations of various kinds (L2, FL, Heritage languages).

The workshop welcomes both semantic-pragmatically oriented as well as prosodically oriented contributions. We particularly invite experimental and corpus-based studies.

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Invited Speakers

  • Sasha Calhoun (Victoria University of Wellington)
  • Élisabeth Delais-Roussarie (LLF CNRS, Université Paris Diderot)
  • Caroline Féry (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main)
  • Sophie Repp (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

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Click here to open the program.

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Registration is closed.

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Venue & Public Transport

The event will be located at the KII building, Keplerstr. 17, room 17.23 (second floor), of the University of Stuttgart. Poster session in room 17.21.

The KII building is in the center of Stuttgart, in walking distance from the main station (Hauptbahnhof). The next tram stop is "Börsenplatz".

From Stuttgart airport (STR)

There is an S-Bahn (subway) connection (lines S2 or S3) between Stuttgart airport and the city center; about 30 min., single ticket € 3,90 (3 Zones).

Public transport

3-day public transport tickets for conference participants and tourists

The most convenient way to use public transportation is to purchase a 3-day ticket, available to visitors who provide evidence of a hotel booking or conference registration. 3-day tickets are sold at some hotels, as well as the tourist information offices at the airport and on Königstrasse, opposite to the main station. More information here.

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Internationales Studierendenhotel, Neckarstr. 172

  • tram stop "Stöckach", 2.3 km from venue
  • single room from €38 (for students €28), incl. breakfast
  • rooms reserved until Dec 15

Hotel am Feuersee, Johannesstr. 2

  • train station "Feuersee", 1.7 km from venue
  • tram stop "Schloss-/Johannesstr."
  • single room from €79, incl. breakfast
  • rooms reserved until Dec 15

Hotel Sautter, Johannesstr. 28

  • tram stop "Schloss-/Johannesstr.", 1.4km from venue
  • single room from €85, incl. breakfast
  • rooms reserved until Dec 14

Motel One, Lautenschlagerstr. 14

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Important Dates

Deadline for Submission: October 11, 2015
Notification of Acceptance: November 16, 2015
Registration deadline: Closed.
Workshop: March 22-23, 2016

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Programme Committee

Stefan Baumann, Bettina Braun, Daniel Büring, Sasha Calhoun, Kordula De Kuthy, Elisabeth Delais-Roussarie, Dina El Zarka, Caroline Féry, Steffen Heidinger, Sam Hellmuth, Daniel Hole, Shinichiro Ishihara, Jaklin Kornfilt, Frank Kügler, Natalie Lewandowski, Dejan Matić, Edgar Onea, Cristel Portes, Laurent Prévot, Sophie Repp, Uwe Reyle, Arndt Riester, Nadja Schauffler, Fabian Schubö, Antje Schweitzer, Katrin Schweitzer, Judith Tonhauser, Giuseppina Turco, Michael Walsh, Meg Zellers, Sabine Zerbian

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Call for Papers

We invite the submission of abstracts for oral or poster presentations. Abstracts should be anonymous, in English, and should not exceed one page (2.5 cm margins, 12pt font size), with an extra page for examples, figures and references. Please submit your abstract as a pdf document using EasyChair.

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Topics of Interest

Topics include, but are not limited to, the following ones:

  • Recent advances in the theory of information structure
  • Which are the information-structural categories that are expressed prosodically in a language (including both L1 and L2 varieties)?
  • Is the prosodic marking of information structure interpreted categorically by listeners (in both L1 and L2 varieties)?
  • How does rhythm interact with the prosody of information structure? Are there prosodic effects which have no pragmatic interpretation? (For example: are prenuclear accents optional? Are there cases of deaccentuation which occur for purely phonological, non-meaning-related, reasons?)
  • How do the results of production and perception studies on the prosody of information structure find their way into prosodic annotation systems for a language? How important is it that a pitch accent categorization reflects meaning differences?
  • How can the results obtained from controlled studies be transferred to corpus data of spontaneous speech?
  • What are semantic-pragmatic contexts suitable for the elicitation of IS-prosody beyond question-answer pairs and/or explicit contrast structures?
  • Which distinctions of referential information status (e.g. coreference anaphora, bridging anaphora, deixis, newness of discourse referents) and lexical information status (e.g. word repetition, synonymy, hypernymy, meronymy, discourse-newness of content expressions) are expressed by prosody (including both L1 and L2 varieties)?
  • By means of which cues (pitch accents, phrasing) are these categories expressed?
  • What kinds of speaker bias can be expressed in positive and negative polar questions, and how is this influenced by prosody?
  • What is the role of implicit Questions under Discussion (QUDs) in the determination of information structure, and how can they be used in experimental and corpus linguistics?
  • What is the interplay between discourse structure and information structure? What effects does discourse structure have on prosody?
  • What is the relationship between at-issueness and prosody? How is not-at-issue material (e.g. appositions or evidentials) realized prosodically?

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