CFP: PHLINC 2: Language and Other Minds

Submission deadline: December 15, 2013

Conference date(s):
February 14, 2014 - February 15, 2014

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy and Department of Linguistics, University of Maryland, College Park
College Park, United States

Topic areas




PHLING, a research group of students and faculty from the departments of linguistics and philosophy at the University of Maryland, invites student contributions to PHLINC 2: Language and Other Minds, our second biennial conference on topics at the intersection of linguistics, philosophy, and neighboring disciplines. The topic of Language and Other Minds is attitudes and attitude ascriptions, with a special emphasis on knowledge ascriptions and related phenomena such as presupposition, factivity, and evidentiality.

The use of language relates to an awareness of other minds in two important ways. First, communication depends fundamentally on a sensitivity to the intentions and beliefs of others in conversation. Presupposition and implicature are interesting special cases of this. Second, with verbs like "think" and "know", we can talk about mental states explicitly, in ways that create familiar semantic challenges. Acquiring a language therefore involves the development of competence in both areas, not a simple task.

In this conference, we invite discussion of both sorts of relations between language and other minds, from the perspectives of philosophy, linguistics and cognitive or developmental psychology. What understanding of knowledge, belief, desire and intention is expressed in the meanings of attitude verbs? In what ways does the use of such verbs rely on pragmatic enrichment? What is the correct understanding of knowledge in conversation, as expressed in presuppositions, evidentials, or epistemic modals? By what path do children become competent in these various areas? And what does this tell us about the linguistic representation of mental states, or semantic theories of attitude verbs?

The conference will feature talks by invited speakers Mandy Simons (Carnegie Mellon University) and Jason Stanley (Yale University), as well as a special discussion session on acquisition issues in this area, led by Shevaun Lewis (Johns Hopkins University).

Submissions are open to graduate student researchers only. Presenters will have 30 minutes to present their work, followed by 15 minutes for round-table discussion. Submissions to the conference may take one of two forms, depending on the author’s preferences:

Type 1: Abstract. Maximum of 1 page of text single-spaced, 12pt font, with an additional page for examples, figures, and references.

Type 2: Paper. Maximum 4000 words, double-spaced, 12pt font, suitable for a 30 minute presentation. Please include references.

All submissions will be considered by an interdisciplinary panel of reviewers. As a goal of the conference is to bring together researchers with a strong focus on interdisciplinary cognitive science, reviewers will be looking for evidence in abstract/paper submissions that the author(s) are able to communicate effectively to individuals outside of their primary field.

We will be accepting submissions until December 15th, 2013, with final selections to be made by January 15th, 2014. Abstracts should be uploaded to EasyChair (abstracts, like papers, should be loaded as a separate document): .

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