International Pragmatics Conference to draw scholars from around the world

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

UNC Charlotte will host more than 200 scholars from around the world at the first International Pragmatics Conference of the Americas and the fifth International Conference on Intercultural Pragmatics.

Pragmatics, generally speaking, is the investigation of human language and communication. This joint conference is promoting theoretical and applied research in pragmatics, and will bring together scholars who are interested in different subfields of pragmatics. These include the philosophical, linguistic, cognitive, social, intercultural and interlanguage subfields.

The conference, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 19, through Sunday, Oct. 21, at UNC Charotte Center City, is significant due to its importance to the field of pragmatics and the attendance of scholars from numerous countries. It is the first such conference UNC Charlotte has hosted. Conference co-chairs are Pilar Blitvich, a faculty member in UNC Charlotte's English Department (pictured), and Istvan Kecskes from the State University of New York, Albany.

The secretary is Brittany Stone, UNC Charlotte, and the organizing committee is Boyd Davis, Ron Lunsford, Ralf Thiede, Deborah Bosley, Concepcion Godev, Elizabeth Miller, Becky Roeder, Ashlyn Williams, Katie Ledford and Julie Amick of UNC Charlotte and Abby Dobs, Penn State University. Sponsors are Mouton de Gruyter; John Benjamins Publishing Company; and UNC Charlotte’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Department of English, Department of Languages and Culture Studies and the Cognitive Science Program.

Noted international scholars who will present at the conference include:

  • Andrea Tyler, who has been a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University since 1994 and an associated faculty member at Georgetown Law Center from 2005-09. Prior to that, she was a member of the linguistics faculty at the University of Florida. Tyler’s work focuses on usage-based, multidimensional approaches to language and their applications to naturally occurring instances of cross-linguistic/cross-cultural miscommunication
  • Istvan Kecskes, who is a professor of linguistics and communication at the State University of New York, Albany. His research focuses on pragmatics, second language acquisition and bilingualism. His has authored five books and has written on a socio-cognitive approach to pragmatics that attempts to synthesize the “sociocultural-interactional” and “cognitive-philosophical” perspectives
  • John Perry, who is a faculty emeritus at Stanford University and professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside. He taught at UCLA from 1968 to 1974 and at Stanford University from 1974 until 2008. He has written a number of books and more than a hundred articles, chiefly in the philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. He delivered the Jean Nicod Lectures in Paris
  • Kasia Jaszczolt is professor of linguistics and philosophy of language at the University of Cambridge and professorial fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge. She has published extensively on various topics in semantics and pragmatics, including propositional attitude ascription, representation of time, semantics/pragmatics interface, her theory of Default Semantics, and ambiguity and underspecification
  • Laurence Horn is a professor of linguistics and philosophy at Yale University, where he has been since 1981. He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Southern California, Aix-Marseille and Wisconsin. He is the author of "A Natural History of Negation" and numerous papers and encyclopedia entries on negation, implicature, lexical semantics, logic and pragmatic theory.