spectrum of kinds

workshop at DGfS 2024
28. Feb - 1. Mar 2024, Bochum

A famous minimal pair in the discussion around kinds is this:

The difference in acceptability is explained by saying that Coke-bottle expresses a well-established kind whereas green bottle does not. It is notoriously difficult, however, to pin down the notion of well-establishedness. The opposite pole in the spectrum of kinds is the notion of ad-hoc kinds which is used to interpret NPs that are kind-like but at the same time require on-line construction, for example similarity demonstratives (such a table), and partial lists (water, herbal tea, and the like).

As in the case of well-establishedness, it is notoriously difficult to pin down the contrast between ad-hoc kind referring expressions and, on the one hand, those referring to regular kinds (bottles) and, on the other hand, those not referring to kinds at all (people in the next room).

The workshop aims at bringing together research in linguistics on genericity, and in particular on kinds, and research in cognitive psychology on concepts. For details see call for papers.

Invited speakers of the workshop are Barbara Kaup and Sandeep Prasada. For details of the program see schedule and abstracts.

The workshop is included in the annual meeting of the German society of linguistics (DGfS). For an overview over the full program including plenary talks see conference overview. Information about travel and accomodation is provided under venue.

Finally, there will be a post-DGfS-meeting on Saturday in Cologne in order to have some more time for discussion. It is hosted by the Linguistics group of the Department of German Language and Literature. If you decide to come to Cologne, please book a room already now because hotels are often fully booked. For details see post-DGfS meeting Cologne.

The workshop is organized by C├ęcile Meier and Carla Umbach. If you have questions please contact us.