Theme 3: Social Meaning & Semantics/Pragmatics of Harmful Speech

February 18, 2021 - February 19, 2021
Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft



  • DFG
  • XPrag


University of Manchester

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Speech can be used to change societies in bad ways. It supports institutional oppression, establishes new oppressive norms, silences opponents, spreads disinformation and propagates feelings of hate. Online communities magnify the effects of individual speech acts. This workshop series, comprising five meetings, will dive into five different aspects of oppressive speech. We’ll look at social norms and institutions, silencing and free speech, social meaning, norm-shifting and disinformation. We’ll bring several tools and perspectives from linguistics, social modelling, and philosophy, including game theory, semantics/pragmatics and speech act theory. We’ll seek answers to how oppressive speech works and how to defend against it. 

Theme 1: Social Norms & Institutions: Game Theory (3-4 Dec)
Theme 2: Silencing, Speaking up & Free Speech (28-29 Jan)
Theme 3: Social Meaning & Semantics/Pragmatics (18-19 Feb)
Theme 4: Norms & Practices: Speech Acts & Conversational Dynamics (24-26 Mar)
Theme 5: Disinformation, Epistemic Vices & Online Harm (6-7 May)

Speakers Theme 3

Thursday, 18 February 2021:

Elin McCready

Roland Mühlenbernd

David Pietraszewski

Julia Zakkou & Alexander Dinges

Eric Swanson

Friday, 19 February 2021: 

Uli Sauerland

Anton Benz

Stephanie Solt, Andrea Beltrama & Heather Burnett

Michael Franke & Chris Cummins

Justin Khoo

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February 17, 2021, 1:00pm CET

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