CFP: Construal and Grounding

The DiAGram Research group in functional linguistics at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, 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:


  • the semantic structure of grammatical elements, their conceptual scope, nature, and language specific system,
  • grammatical imagery (alternate representations of conceptual relations), specificity, generalization and polysemy in the functioning of grammatical elements,
  • complex grammatical elements as linguistic units,
  • the interaction of grammatical elements: the scopes of diverse conceptual domains and their compatibility,
  • linear order, • stem + affix relations (morphological composite structures): how the semantic structure of lexical elements is influenced by derivational and inflectional elements (e.g. by metonymic attention shift),
  • types of grounding (e.g. with regard to conceptual domains),
  • schema and instantiation in grammatical elements, with clausal, sentential and discourse scopes; the motivational, contextual and situational factors of selecting a given variant; the interaction between cognitive representations and direct contextual factors,
  • perspective, objectification, and subjectification in composite structures,
  • deixis and grounding,
  • methods of data collection and processing; collostructional analysis,
  • activation patterns, emergence,
  • acquisition, learning,
  • typological variation, and
  • tendencies in language change.

The conference aims to provide a forum for sharing novel results of cognitive, constructional research on construal and grounding, with special regard to languages with rich inflectional and derivational morphology.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

  • Frank Brisard (Universiteit Antwerpen): Epistemic issues in the interaction between tense and aspect
  • Tuomas Huumo (Turun yliopisto): Time, blending, and metaphors of motion
  • Laura Janda (Universitetet i Tromsø): Possession in North Saami: Rich Morphology in Competition with an Analytic Construction
  • Péter Pelyvás (Debreceni Egyetem): The theory of epistemic grounding and Hungarian

The deadline for abstract submission is 15 June 2014. Abstracts are to be submitted in English, not exceeding 500 words (excluding data, tables and references). Please send your abstract as an e-mail attachement (in both .doc and .pdf formats) to the address of the organizing committee: Ez az e-mail cím a spamrobotok elleni védelem alatt áll. Megtekintéséhez engedélyeznie kell a JavaScript használatát. . Indicate clearly whether your abstract is intended for poster or paper presentation. The abstracts will be evaluated by the organizing committee, and the authors notified about acceptance by 15 July 2014. Registration fee, general: EUR 90,00, students: EUR 60,00, payable by bank transfer. The registration fee covers admission to the programme, conference materials, coffee breaks, lunches and the welcome reception.

Abstract submission

The body of your e-mail should include the following information (preferably in this order):

  1. Name of participant
  2. Title of presentation
  3. Affiliation
  4. E-mail address

Choice of paper or poster presentation

The book of abstracts will be published on the web page of the conference (http:// look forward to seeing you in Budapest.

The organizing committee at Eötvös Loránd University:

  • Gábor Tolcsvai
  • Nagy Szilárd
  • Tátrai Mária
  • Ladányi Nóra
  • Kugler Krisztina
  • Laczkó András Imrényi