The DiAGram Research group in functional linguistics at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, http://www.diagram.elte.hu) is inviting linguists to the international conference ‘Construal and Grounding’, due to take place in Budapest, 16–17 October 2014.
The activation of archetypical concepts (of things, relations) and their integration in higher-order conceptualizations (e.g. of scenes) are mediated by schematic relational concepts, anchored to the ground in the conceived current discourse space. Grammatically speaking, the construal of nouns and verbs in the clause is effected by the use of grammatical elements, via grounding, in context. The main goal of the conference is to investigate, from a functional cognitive perspective, the semantic structure of grammatical elements and their combination with lexical elements in the clause; more generally, the constructional functions, pragmatic and discourse relations of grammatical and lexical elements. Descriptions of typologically rich (e.g. Uralic, Turkic, Slavic etc.) languages are especially, but by no means exclusively, welcome.
Grammatical and lexical elements form a continuum of symbolic units with varying degrees of schematicity. Elements on the grammatical end of the spectrum are also meaningful, and their combination with lexical elements has a semantic basis. The resulting complex semantic structures and linguistic units fulfill clausal functions in construing a scene (or situation), in many cases also in grounding, within the supporting context.
The theme of the conference allows both a function-to-form and a form-to- function approach, the former taking the conceptual structures to be expressed and the latter the morphosyntactic grammatical elements as its point of departure. Key topics include definiteness, case, modality, person/number, and tense, the relevant inflectional, derivational and other grammatical elements, and their combination with lexical and (semi) grammatical elements (e.g. auxiliary, preposition, preverb). All these have received in-depth characterizations in several strands of functional cognitive linguistics, including Langacker’s Cognitive Grammar, Croft’s Radical Construction Grammar, Bybee’s morphology, Brisard’s interpretation of grounding, and functional pragmatics. Within the central topic, issues of particular interest include: