University of Leipzig, May 5 & 6, 2022 – Call for Papers

What are the grammatical and semantic relations that shape and determine the structure of a text? What makes the structure of a discourse coherent? These are key questions in the study of text and discourse linguistics, and they have been discussed from various angles and theoretical frameworks for a long time (e.g., Daneš 1970; Klein & von Stutterheim 1987; Mann & Thompson 1988; Sanders et al. 1992; Givón 1992; Grosz et al. 1995).

The study of discourse structure considers both the formal side of linguistic expressions and the semantic-pragmatic relations and, notably, interface relations between grammar and pragmatics. However, the formal side is mostly restricted to syntax. The aim of the workshop, therefore, is to explore the role of word formation in this.

The relevance of word formation for text constitution has already been discussed in early studies such as Schröder (1978), Dederding (1983), Kastovsky (1982), Lipka (1987), Eichinger (1995), Peschel (2002), and Schlienz (2004). They deal with the „syntactic“ function of word formation, i.e. pronominalization in the broadest sense and condensation of information to increase the coherence of the text. However, most of these works relate to nominal compounds only and are based on small data sets.

In addition, word formation patterns have also been discussed as indicators of register, style and text type, such as the frequent occurrence of nominalization patterns in administrative or scientific texts or diminutives in expressive register or children’s literature. More specifically, it has been found that the productivity of derivational affixes varies depending on register, text type and even subject of the text (Baayen & Neijt 1997; Plag et al. 1999). These differences in productivity have been explained, among other things, by the way derivatives are embedded in the context, i.e. their morphological and semantic anchoring.

While in discourse linguistics there have been many advances concerning both formal theoretical modelling as well as large databases and computational methods in recent years (cf. Kamp & Reyle 1993; Asher & Lascarides 2003; Stede 2012; Webber & Joshi 2012, for instance), it seems that word formation has hardly been considered since.

Therefore, the workshop seeks to resume the relation between word formation and discourse structure by taking into account a wide range of word formation patterns with a focus on advanced discourse models and empirical approaches. This includes questions such as:

  • Which discourse relations can be evoked by word formation patterns?
  • How does formal recurrence of word formation elements increase coherence? More generally: What is the role of frequency in this connection?
  • Which role do conversion and other word formation processes besides derivation and compounding play in this connection?
  • How do word formation categories other than nominalization contribute to the coherence of the text and establishing discourse relations?
  • In which way do different kinds of event nominalizations contribute to establishing the discourse structure? What about affixes that are not event nominalizations?
  • How are related elements limited by distance?

We invite contributions that discuss these or related questions from a theoretical or empirical perspective. We especially welcome corpus-based and psycholinguistic studies. Submissions (500 words, exclusive references) should be sent to by January 9, 2022 (extended deadline).

Invited speaker: Manfred Stede, University of Potsdam

Important dates:

  • EXTENDED Deadline for abstract submission: January, 9, 2022
  • Notification of acceptance: January 20, 2022
  • Deadline for registration: April 25, 2022
  • Conference dates: May 5 & 6, 2022

The workshop is planned to take place on site.

Organizers: Adele Baltuttis, Maximilian Frankowsky, Barbara Schlücker

Asher, Nicholas & Alex Lascarides. 2003. Logics of Conversation. Cambridge, New York: CUP.

Baayen, R. Harald & Anneke Neijt. 1997. Productivity in context: a case study of a Dutch suffix. Linguistics 35. 565–587.

Daneš, František. 1970. Zur linguistischen Analyse der Textstruktur. Folia Linguistica 4. 72–78.

Dederding, Hans-Martin. 1983. Wortbildung und Text. Zur Textfunktion von Nominalkomposita. Zeitschrift für germanistische Linguistik 11. 49–64.

Eichinger, Ludwig M. 1995. Wegweiser durch Textwelten. Wozu komplexe Substantive gut sind. In René Métrich & Marcel Vuillaume (eds.), Rand und Band: Abgrenzung und Verknüpfung als Grundtendenzen des Deutschen: Festschrift für Eugène Faucher zum 60. Geburtstag (Eurogermanistik 7), 169–182. Tübingen: G. Narr.

Givón, Talmy. 1992. The grammar of referential coherence as mental processing instructions. Linguistics 30(1). 5–55.

Grosz, Barbara J., Aravind K. Joshi & Scott Weinstein. 1995. Centering: A Framework for Modeling the Local Coherence of Discourse. Computational Linguistics 21(2). 203–225.

Kamp, Hans & Uwe Reyle. 1993. From Discourse to Logic (Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy 42). Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer.

Kastovsky, Dieter. 1982. Word-Formation: A Functional View. Folia Linguistica XVI. 181–198.

Klein, Wolfgang & Christiane von Stutterheim. 1987. Quaestio und referentielle Bewegung in Erzählungen. Linguistische Berichte 109. 163–183.

Lipka, Leonhard. 1987. Word-formation and text in English and German. In Brigitte Asbach-Schnitker & Johannes Roggenhofer (eds.), Neuere Forschungen zur Wortbildung und Historiographie der Linguistik: Festgabe für Herbert E. Brekle zum 50. Geburtstag, 59–67. Tübingen: Narr.

Mann, William C. & Sandra A. Thompson. 1988. Rhetorical Structure Theory: Toward a functional theory of text organization. Text - Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Discourse 8(3).

Peschel, Corinna. 2002. Zum Zusammenhang von Wortneubildung und Textkonstitution. Tübingen: Niemeyer.

Plag, Ingo, Christiane Dalton-Puffer & R. Harald Baayen. 1999. Morphological productivity across speech and writing. English Language and Linguistics 3(2). 209–228.

Sanders, Ted J. M., Wilbert P. M. Spooren & Leo G. M. Noordman. 1992. Toward a taxonomy of coherence relations. Discourse Processes 15(1). 1–35.

Schlienz, Michael. 2004. Wortbildung und Text: eine Untersuchung textverknüpfender Wortbildungselemente (Erlanger Studien 130). Erlangen, Jena: Palm & Enke.

Schröder, Marianne. 1978. Über textverflechtende Wortbildungselemente. Deutsch als Fremdsprache 15. 85–92.

Stede, Manfred. 2012. Discourse Processing. Synthesis Lectures on Human Language Technologies 4(3). 1–165.

Webber, Bonnie & Aravind Joshi. 2012. Discourse Structure and Computation: Past, Present and Future. In Proceedings of the ACL-2012 Special Workshop on Rediscovering 50 Years of Discoveries, 42–54. Jeju, Republic of Korea: Association for Computational Linguistics.