Sailer talks on kinegrams

Castle Hohentübingen, December 2016 (Photo: M. Sailer, BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Manfred Sailer gave an invited talk at the workshop “Recent Trends in Figurative Language Research”, Tübingen, December 8&9. The workshop brought together researchers from theoretical linguistics, applied linguistics, psycholinguistics, psychology, first and second language acquisition research, medicine, and computational linguistics.

Manfred’s presented new research on a “Multi-dimensional semantic analysis of the literal and the idiomatic meaning of kinegrams”. Kinegrams are expressions such as shake one’s head, shake hands, etc, which  describe a non-verbal behavior that is conventionally associated with some social meaning. Manfred argues that kinegrams have three meaning components that are of different kind:

1) the idiomatic meaning is asserted,
2) the existence of the body part is presupposed,
3) the association between the literal and the idiomatic meaning is a conventional implicature

This analysis allows Manfred to model so-called conjunction modification (Ernst 1981) as in ”He bit his thirst-swallen tongue.”.

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