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Hallo all,

I excerpt below the bulk of a message on the Linguist list
calling for papers for a conference seeking to extend
Vantage Theory, next July in Krakow.  Apologies for this
partial cross-posting; however, I suspect few CONLANG
members follow LINGUIST closely.

There are a few points where the message touches on some
of the CONLANG list's recent concerns, particularly in:
 - Colour categorisation;
 - Subjectivity of meaning;
 - Speaker agency, or the limits of speaker freedom;
 - Linguistic relativity.

The message poses some interesting questions to ponder
when understanding how a (con)lang works, or fails to.

My own question for conlangers is this:  Have any of you
found a use for Vantage Theory when designing a conlang?

Another question, more from curiosity: what are the limits
to the descriptor "Pragmatics" used below?

Regards,
Yahya

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Original message excerpts follow:
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Date:    Fri, 22 Sep 2006 15:48:32 -0400
From:    [log in to unmask]
Subject: 17.2718, Calls: [snip]; Pragmatics, Semantics/Poland

LINGUIST List: Vol-17-2718. Fri Sep 22 2006. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.
[snip]
-------------------------Message 2 ----------------------------------
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 15:46:41
From: Adam Glaz < [log in to unmask] >
Subject: Extensions of Vantage Theory: Points of View In Language Structure
and Use


Full Title: Extensions of Vantage Theory: Points of View In Language
Structure and Use
Short Title: 10th ICLC 2007: Vantage Theory

Date: 15-Jul-2007 - 20-Jul-2007
Location: Krakow, Poland
Contact Person: Adam Glaz
Meeting Email: [log in to unmask]

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Linguistic Theories; Pragmatics;
Semantics

Call Deadline: 03-Nov-2006

Meeting Description:

The session is devoted to linguistic applications of vantage theory (VT;
cf. http://klio.umcs.lublin.pl/~adglaz/vt.html), a cognition-based model of
(colour) categorization. VT has been shown to constitute a valuable
contribution to language studies. The present session will be devoted to
reviewing the VT-linguistics interface and, hopefully, extending the
application of VT onto previously unexplored areas. It will also deal with
more general issues addressed in the VT literature, such as subjectivity of
meaning, speaker agency and linguistic relativity, as well as posing new
questions in ways not anticipated by the convener.

The session is planned as a continuation and extension of an earlier event
at the 6th ICLC in Stockholm, 1999. That earlier session was devoted to
linguistic applications of vantage theory (VT), a cognition-based model of
(colour) categorization. It was convened and chaired by VT's founder, the
late Robert E. MacLaury, and the papers delivered appeared in print in a
special issue of Language Sciences (vol. 24, nos. 5-6, 2002). VT was shown
to constitute a valuable contribution to language studies. The present
session will be devoted to reviewing the VT-linguistics interface and,
hopefully, extending the application of VT onto previously unexplored areas.

VT holds that people categorize by drawing an instinctive and subconscious
analogy to the way they orient themselves in spacetime. A category is a sum
of the vantages taken on it, i.e. arrangements of fixed and mobile
cognitive coordinates, a vantage being a point of view. Fixed coordinates
vary depending on the domain, mobile coordinates are reciprocally balanced
degrees of attention to similarity and difference. Vantages and categories
arise as quickly as one can think and talk, the process playing a primary
role in language use. (More on VT at
http://klio.umcs.lublin.pl/~adglaz/vt.html).

The participants are invited to (i) offer proposals for solving problems at
the VT-linguistics interface or (ii) address the more general issues raised
by Robert MacLaury in relation to language.

As for (i), the list of questions includes but is by no means limited to
the following:

-What problems arise while applying VT to language? What
modifications/adaptations of the theory are called for?
-Which areas of linguistics are especially open to analyses couched within
the VT tradition? Which ones pose more problems?
-How to best understand a vantage? What analogues does it have in
language? Can one provide clear and unambiguous linguistic examples of the
dominant and recessive vantages? Can one preserve the terminology? What
relationship between vantages can be thought of (hierarchies, embedding,
other)? How does the notion of vantage relate to that of point of view?
-What other VT constructs figure as important in linguistic analyses?

The more general level (ii) embraces at least three interrelated issues,
potential springboards for discussion:

-Subjectivity of meaning. To what extent is meaning ''given'' by language
units and to what does it emerge out of the subject's interactions with the
world?
-Speaker agency. Within the bounds of their cognitive abilities
conceptualizers enjoy a considerable amount of leeway and are unconstrained
by language in any dramatic sense. But in what sense are they, if at all?
Where are the limits of the freedom?
-Linguistic relativity. VT stresses cultural and individual differences
between speakers. Do conceptualizations yield different results because of
the nature of the language spoken or regardless of it?

It is hoped that the session will also pose new questions in ways not
anticipated by its convener.

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LINGUIST List: Vol-17-2718

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