Workshop: Theoretical and Computational Approaches to Decomposition and Presuppositions

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Meeting Description: 
Adverbs like 'again' or 'almos't and their possible counterparts in many languages have sparked interest and occasionally controversies regarding the possibility of event decomposition e.g. especially since Arnim von Stechow’s (1996) contribution, sometimes with a twist on not-at-issue meanings  (see, for example, Ausensi, Yu & Smith 2021, Beck 2005, Fabricius-Hansen 2001, Gergel & Beck 2015, Gergel & Nickles 2019, Patel-Grosz & Beck 2019, Pedersen 2014, Pustejovsky 2013, Zwarts 2019 for some recent approaches in different ares of potential decomposition). This workshop takes place in connection with a DFG-funded project "Decomposing Decomposition over Time“ with an added - but by no means exclusive - interest in the diachronic developments of decompositional or presuppositional items in which alongside fresh ideas from synchronic theoretical modeling (semantics, pragmatics, syntax), concerns of corpus annotational accuracy and computational procedures are all invited to play a part. 

Confirmed invited speakers: 
Sigrid Beck, University of Tübingen
James Pustejovsky, Brandeis University
Joost Zwarts, Utrecht University

Ausensi, J., Yu, J., and Smith, R.W. (2021). Agent entailments and the division of labor between functional structure and roots. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics, 6(1): 53.
Beck, S. (2005). There and back again: A semantic analysis. Journal of Semantics, 22: 3-51.
Fabricius-Hansen, C. (2001). Wi(e)der and Again(st). In Féry, C. and Sternefeld, W. (eds). Audiatur Vox Sapientiae. A Festschrift for Arnim von Stechow. 101-130. De Gruyter, Berlin.
Gergel, R. and Beck, S. (2015). Early Modern English again: a corpus study and semantic analysis. English Language and Linguistics, 19(1): 27–47.
Gergel, R. and Nickles, S. (2019). Almost in Early and Late Modern English. Turn on the parametric screw (but not tightly enough to change a parameter). In Gattnar, A., Hörnig, R., and Featherston, S. (eds). Proceedings of Linguistic Evidence 2018. 282–293. University of Tübingen.
Patel-Grosz, P. and Beck, S. (2019). Different Again. Semantics and Pragmatics, 51(3): 1–52.
Pedersen, W. (2014). A scalar analysis of again-ambiguities. Journal of Semantics, 32(3): 373–424.
Pustejovsky, J. (2013). Type theory and lexical decomposition. In Pustejovsky, J., Bouillon, P., Hitoshi, I., Kanzaki, K., and Chungmin, L., (eds). Advances in Generative Lexicon Theory. Springer, Dordrecht.
Zwarts, Joost. (2019). From ‘back’ to ‘again’ in Dutch: The structure of the ‘re’ domain. Journal of Semantics, 36:211–240.

Call for papers:

We invite interested researchers working on formal theoretical issues of decomposition (whether synchronic or diachronic), the diachrony of presuppositions, or the annotation/computational modeling of synchronic or diachronic data with a decompositional or presuppositional character to submit a one-page  abstract (12p, Times New Roman) by June 15, 2023 to

An additional page can be attached for (i) references, (ii) examples from languages other than English that require additional space due to glossing/translation, (iii) examples illustrating long and necessary corpus data which may require additional space. 
While the abstracts themselves should be anonymous, names and affiliations of all authors should be included in the email message. Notifications of acceptance/rejection are planned within six weeks after the final deadline for abstract submissions. 

Workshop date: November 8-9 2023 at Saarland University.

(call on click here)

Important Dates

Extended deadline for submissions: July 15, 2023

Original deadline for submissions: June 15, 2023

Main event: November 8-9, 2023


For enquiries:  Martin Kopf  martin.kopf(at)

For submissions:

Venue (and Travel)

Saarland University

Campus Saarbrücken

Building C 9.3 – ‘Jägerheim’

Main Campus is nestled in the woody outskirts of Saarbrücken, the capital of the Saarland. Saarbrücken lies in the German south-west, a tri-border region, where Luxembourg and French Lorraine converge with Germany.

The conference itself will take place in building C9.3 ‘Jägerheim’ on campus, as pictured above.

Getting to the conference venue ‘Jägerheim/Graduate Center’ from the city center:

The best way to reach campus (without a car) is by bus.  The rates are: Single one way ticket €2,60 and €4,80 for a day pass. You can see the rates on the website by following this link. Please be aware the website is only in German/French.  

From the stop ‘Rathaus’ (Town Hall) you should take the 101,102,109,111, or 150 to the stop ‘Universität Campus’ University Campus’. From there you can follow the directions with this map of campus.

Travel Information:

You can reach the conference venue by flying to either Luxembourg, Frankfurt or Paris:

From Luxembourg (LUX) Findel airport – From the airport a quick 20 min bus ride to the the main station, then a 1-hour bus ride from the Gare centrale with the Saarbrücken express bus.

From Frankfurt (FRA) – You can either take the Regional Express (RE) train from the Regionalbahnhof (regional train station) or  the ICE at the Fernbahnhof to Mannheim and then Mannheim to Saarbrücken. 

From Paris (CDG) – You should take the RER B train to the Gare du Nord. From here it’s a short walk to Paris Est where you can take the TGV or ICE directly to Saarbrücken main station.