Quotation: Perspectives from Philosophy and Linguistics

Bochum, September 27-29, 2012
Venue: Ruhr-University-Bochum, Building GA, Level 04, room 187
Organization: Emar Maier & Markus Werning

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There are many varieties of quotation in natural language, ranging from pure quotation ("Man" has three letters) and direct quotation ("That's ridiculous," said Mary) to indirect discourse (Mary said that that was ridiculous), but including also less well studied phenomena like scare quotes, free indirect discourse, and role shift in sign language.

Where philosophers have been fascinated with the self-referential aspects of pure and direct quotation, linguists have been focusing primarily on indirect reports. Over the past 10-15 years the two traditions have joined forces to study (i) various forms of perspective shifting in indirect discourse (cf. Schlenker 2003), and (ii) the ubiquitous phenomenon of "mixed quotation" (Mary said that that's "ridiculous", cf. Cappelen & Lepore 1997). It is becoming increasingly clear that quotation challenges fundamental assumptions about (i) the semantics-pragmatics interface (Potts 2007); (ii) the use-mention / direct-indirect dichotomy (Maier 2009); (iii) the nature of indexicality and context shift (Recanati 2000); and (iv) compositionality (Werning 2005). It is issues like these that will be the topic of our workshop. In order to move the discussion forward, we aim at a truly interdisciplinary exchange of ideas, bringing together interested philosophers and linguists from a variety of subdisciplines.

Invited Speakers

Regine Eckardt (U Göttingen, free indirect discourse)
Dan Everett (Bentley University, field linguistics)
Stefano Predelli (U Nottingham, philosophy)
Francois Recanati (Institut Jean Nicod/CNRS, Paris, philosophy)
Josep Quer Villanueva, (ICREA-UPF Barcelona, sign language)
Chung-chieh Shan (U Tsukuba, semantics/computer science)
Mark de Vries (U Groningen, syntax)
Dag Westerstahl (U Stockholm, philosophy)