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Second call for papers (PDF)

General topic

In recent years there has been increased interest in linguistic elements which are outside ordinary sentence grammar. These elements are subsumed by Dik (1997) under the term Extra-clausal constituents (ECCs), but have also been referred to as supplements (Huddleston & Pullum 2002) or theticals (Kaltenböck, Heine & Kuteva 2011). They are taken to include a variety of different units ranging from single words to phrases and whole clauses, such as the following: parentheticals, discourse markers, appositions, non-restrictive relative clauses, tails and afterthoughts, insubordinate clauses, vocatives, interjections, left-dislocands, formulae of social exchange, etc.
What unites these elements is their syntactic independence from the linguistic environment. This is reflected in their positional mobility with regard to the host construction or their ability to occur as stand-alone items. Prosodically, they tend to be set off from the rest of the utterance. Semantically, ECCs are non-restrictive, that is their meaning is not determined by the structure of the host clause or its constituents. Instead, their meaning is shaped by the immediate situation of discourse, where they play an important role in interaction management, the expression of speaker attitude, discourse organization, etc.
As shown by numerous corpus studies, ECCs are by no means a marginal linguistic phenomenon, but are highly frequent in occurrence, especially in spoken language. They have also been shown to fulfil essential communicative functions. At the same time, however, ECCs are a challenge for syntactic modelling. Being only loosely associated with a host construction, they cannot easily be accounted for in terms of clause-internal rules of sentence grammar.


The aim of the workshop is twofold: To bring together descriptions of specific constructions used as ECCs and theoretical perspectives on how ECCs can be accounted for in a linguistic model. The assumption is that both theoretical and descriptive approaches will benefit from each other and are necessary for deepening our understanding of ECCs. While trying to keep a broad perspective, we particularly invite contributions within a cognitive-functional framework and qualitative as well as quantitative analyses of naturally occurring language data. The focus is on English, but contributions comparing English with other languages are also welcome.

Specific topics

More specific topics to be addressed may include the following:

  • Formal properties of (specific) ECCs: their external and internal syntax, position in the host construction, prosodic realisation

  • Functional properties and use of (specific) ECCs in language corpora

  • The link of ECCs to their host construction and their interaction with the level of sentence grammar

  • Criteria for determining whether a linguistic unit can be identified as extra-clausal

  • Distinction of different subtypes

  • Historical genesis and possible developmental pathways of ECCs

  • Analysis and representation in linguistic models

Presentation format

20 minute papers + 10 minutes for discussion

Submission of abstracts

See the Submission section of this website.

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