Jamie Findlay, Sascha Bargmann, and Manfred Sailer presented their joint work on figurative uses of idiomatic expressions at the workshop on From-Meaning Mismatches in Natural Language, Göttingen, August 3&4.
Jamie, Sascha and Manfred’s work was the result of their intense interaction during Jamie’s visit in Frankfurt in June. In their talk “Pulling a pretence rabbit out of the hat”, they argue in favor of a formal theory of idioms to account for core uses of idioms, including such phenomena as the difference in syntactic flexibility. However, they also acknowledge the existence of figurative uses as in (1).
(1) The CEO pulled a rabbit out of the hat, but it left droppings everywhere.
`The CEO unexpectedly presented a solution, but it had unpleasant consequences.’
They embed their solution in a model-theoretic situation-semantic framework.
The workshop was integrated into the Göttingen Summer School on “Form-Meaning Mismatches in Natural Language”. As a consequence, the audience of the workshop consisted of the workshop presenters and the summer school participants. The other contributions of the workshop addressed a wide variety of different form-meaning mismatches and there was overall a very good discussion and exchange of ideas.