Formale Diachrone Semantik / Formal Diachronic Semantics

What is FoDS about?

FoDS stands for Fo[rmal] D[iachronic] S[emantics] and is to be understood as a scientific initiative bringing together scholars working on the semantics and pragmatics of diachronic changes in natural languages from a formal perspective. The first official FoDS conference was organized by Regine Eckardt in Konstanz (Germany).

A brief history of FoDS and related events

FoDS emerged out of several activities of the informal interest group in formal diachronic semantics. These activities include organizing a series of the following events:

Year Location Event Organizers
2017 Yale University (USA) Conference: ‘Meaning in Flux: Connecting Development, Variation, and Change’ Martín Fuchs / María M. Piñango / Sara Sánches-Alonso / Jisu Sheen / Muye Zhang
2015 University of Naples (Italy) Workshop: ‘Habituality and Genericity in Flux’ at the conference ’22nd International Conference on Historical Linguisics’ Nora Boneh / Łukasz Jędrzejowski
2015 University of Naples (Italy) Workshop: ‘Patterns and Models of Semantic Change’ at the conference ’22nd International Conference on Historical Linguisics’ Cleo Condoravdi / Ashwini Deo
2014 University of Göttingen (Germany) Workshop: ‘Formal Theories of Meaning Change’ at the conference ‘Sinn und Bedeutung 19’
2013 University of Texas at Austin (USA) Workshop: ‘Systematic Semantic Change’ Ashwini Deo

FoDS conferences – past

The Formal Diachronic Semantics conference has been running since 2016:

Year Location Date Invited speakers Programme
2018 University of Oslo (Norway) 13th-14th September Sigrid Beck, Heather Burnett Programme
2017 Saarland University (Germany) 20th-21st November Ashwini Deo, Chiara Gianollo, Verena Hehl Programme / Poster / Flyer
2016 University of Konstanz (Germany) 12th-14th September Dag Trygve Truslev Haug Programme

FoDS conferences – future

We have planned next FoDS conferences as follows:

Year Location Date Invited speakers Programme
2019 Ohio State University (USA) Tba. Tba. Programme
2020 Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) Tba. Tba. Programme
2021 University of Cologne (Germany) Tba. Tba. Programme
2022 Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Hungary) Tba. Tba. Programme
2023 National Center for Scientific Research / Basque Texts and Language Study Center (IKER) (France / Basque Country) Tba. Tba. Programme

Scientific board:

FoDS literature

The main aim of this subsection is to provide a list of works dealing explicitly with the formal diachronic semantics and pragmatics. It is by no means exhaustive. Please feel free to contact me with your own suggestions!

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  • Condoravdi, Cleo & Ashwini Deo (2015): Aspect shifts in Indo-Aryan and trajectories of semantic change, in: Language Change at the Syntax Semantics Interface (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 278) ed. by Chiara Gianollo, Agnes Jäger & Doris Penka, 261-292. Berlin: de Gruyter.
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  • Eckardt, Regine (2006): Meaning Change in Grammaticalization: An Enquiry into Semantic Reanalysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Eckardt, Regine (2010): Grammaticalization and semantic reanalysis, in: Semantics. An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning (Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science 33.3) ed. by Claudia Maienborn, Klaus von Heusinger & Paul Portner, 2675-2702. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  • Enke, Dankmar / Roland Mühlenbernd & Igor Yanovich (2016): The emergence of the progressive to imperfective diachronic cycle in reinforcement-learning agents, in: The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11) ed. by Sean Roberts, Christine Cuskley, Luke McCrohon, Lluís Barceló-Coblijn, Olga Fehér & Tessa Verhoef [online publication].
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  • Fintel, Kai von (1995): The formal semantics of grammaticalization, in: Proceedings of the North East Linguistics Society (NELS) ed. by Jill N. Beckman, 175-190. Amherst, MA: GLSA.
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  • Gergel, Remus (2009): Rather. On a modal cycle, in: Cyclical Change [Linguistik Aktuell / Linguistics Today 146] ed. by Elly van Gelderen, 243-264. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Gergel, Remus (2015): Most historically, in: Language Change at the Syntax Semantics Interface (Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 278) ed. by Chiara Gianollo, Agnes Jäger & Doris Penka, 101-123. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  • Gergel, Remus (2016): Modality and gradation. Comparing the sequel of developments in rather and eher, in: Cyclical Change Continued (Linguistik Aktuell / Linguistics Today 227), 319-350. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Gergel, Remus (2017): Dimensions of variation in Old English modals, in: Modality across Syntactic Categories (Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 63) ed. by Ana Arregui, María Luisa Rivero & Andrés Salanova, 179-207. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Gergel, Remus & Sigrid Beck (2014): Early Modern English again: A corpus study and semantic analysis, in: English Language & Linguistics 19(1): 27-47.
  • Gergel, Remus / Andreas Blümel & Martin Kopf (2016): Another heavy road of decompositionality: Notes from a dying adverb, in: University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 22(1): 109–118 [online publication].
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