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Centering pragmatic phenomena on the margins in African languages 2 
Felix Ameka (Leiden University Centre for Linguistics)
Mark Dingemanse (Radboud University)
Monday 7 June, 19:00-21:00 (UTC+2)

Short Abstract:

In Pragmatics, as in Linguistics in general, various expressive devices that are indispensable in communication have been left on the margins as being non-conventional, non-lexical or non-verbal. This includes a range of interjections, particles, response cries, calls and conversational gestures but also bodily conduct such as sighs, sniffs, coughs, and winks. Despite their ubiquity in everyday interaction, many of these devices are thought of as extra-linguistic or paralinguistic and have consequently been mostly ignored in theoretical and empirical linguistic work. There is a realization on the rise in the language sciences that grappling with these devices holds the key to an understanding of language, the unique feature of the human species. In this workshop, we focus on the interactional uses of linguistic elements, or more broadly semiotic resources, that are traditionally thought of as extra-grammatical, non-lexical, or para-linguistic based on linguistic practices and norms in African communities of practice, with a view to moving them from the margins to the centre in African and general linguistics.

Accepted papers: