Specificity from theoretical
and empirical points of view

Stuttgart - 31. August - 2. September 2010;
organized by Klaus von Heusinger

Ongoing research on different aspects of specificity has contributed to a better understanding of the referential potential of indefinite noun phrases at the semantics-pragmatics interface. Furthermore, many studies have established a considerable body of cross-linguistic expressions and constructions that can be related to different types of specificity. The close interaction of in-depth description of particular linguistic phenomena and contrasts with theoretical models of specificity has been very fruitful. However, there are still many open questions, such as

  1. how are the different types of specificity related to each other?
  2. what are the interactions of specificity with other semantic-pragmatic categories such as referentiality, definiteness and genericity?
  3. what is the exact range of linguistic phenomena related to specificity and what are reliable tests?
  4. can we associate different ways of encoding specificity, i.e. by lexical items, by morphology, by syntax, by phonology etc. with distinct properties of specificity?

The conference is hosted by the SFB 732 Incremental Specification in Context, by the Research Center for Linguistics and Cognition (FSK) and the Institut für Linguistik / Germanistik. The conference is supported by the Thyssen-Stiftung and the VolkswagenStiftung.