Meaning Change - Meaning Variation

University of Konstanz, Germany 

February 24-26, 1999

[German version]

Regine Eckardt  & Klaus von Heusinger, Universität Konstanz, FG Sprachwissenschaft/SFB 471,  D-78457 Konstanz, tel.: 07531-88-2510,


Short Abstracts

Long Abstracts

The Topic

The workshop 'Meaning Change - Meaning Variation' aims at bringing together researchers in formal semantics, cognitive semantics, historical linguistics and analytical philosophy in order to discuss questions of meaning change and meaning variation. Historical linguists have developed impressing inventories of examples of meaning (and other) changes, documented in etymological lexica. Cognitive semanticists often offer richer notions of "meaning" than the one traditionally used in formal semantics, notions which seem better fit to integrate a creative dimension. On the other hand, people working in a formal semantic framework should face the challenge posed to their completely static picture by diachronic meaning change. Changes are, we think, not instances of common confusion or error. On the contrary, they are one evidence that language itself has to be seen as an ever evolving object, adapting to our ever changing view of the ("real") world.

Specific areas of inquiry include, but are not limited to the following:

        * semi-productive lexical processes (metonymy, polysemy, etc.)
        * interaction of psychological, historical and linguistic facts in the
          development of new language stages
        * case studies in diachronic meaning change
        * grammaticalization and meaning change
        * polysemy and semantic fields
        * formal treatments of metaphor

Inivited Speakers

    Nicholas Asher (Austin, USA)
    Johannes Dölling (Leipzig, Germany)
    Peter Gaerdenfors (Lund, Sweden)
    Dirk Geeraerts (Leuven, Belgien)
    Ulrike Haas-Spohn (Konstanz, Germany)
    Ekkehart König (Berlin, Germany)
    Brigitte Nerlich (Nottingham, UK)