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
2019 Yale University (USA) Conference: ‘Meaning in Flux 2019: Connecting Development, Variation, and Change’ Sarah Babinski / Randi Martinez / Joshua Phillips / Emanuel Souza de Quadros / Kate Stanton
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) 15th-16th November Cleo Condoravdi, Gerhard Jäger, Igor Yanovich CfP / Programme
2020 Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) 24th-26th March 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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