INPRA: 7th International Conference on Intercultural Pragmatics and Communication. Split, Croatia, 10-12 June 2016

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Abstract



The International Conference on Intercultural Pragmatics and Communication (INPRA) biennially convenes researchers from around the world whose field of interest is pragmatics, aiming to provide a comprehensive insight into current trends in communication between and across different cultures and social groups. The 7th edition of the International Conference on Intercultural Pragmatics and Communication - INPRA 2016 was organized by the University of Split, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Intercultural Pragmatics Journal (De Gruyter Mouton). The conference was hosted by the University of Split on 10-12 June 2016, with Jagoda Granić (University of Split, Croatia) and Istvan Kecskes (State University of New York at Albany, USA) as conference convenors. The conference has brought together 200 delegates from around the globe, to be precise, there were renowned speakers, researchers, and scholars from 43 countries: Australia, Austria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kosovo, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and USA. They converged in Split for three days to share their views and report on their recent research developments and findings, and to have an opportunity to discuss their work, ideas and issues with the leading linguists and distinguished colleagues. A diverse range of topics from the fields of Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics, Applied Linguistics, Discourse Analysis, Semantics, Cognitive Sciences and Philosophy of Language provided a multiple point of view on intercultural communication of the present day. The Conference included four plenary lectures, ENIEDA (European Network for Intercultural Education Activities) panel and eight parallel sessions. The conference was opened by Branko Matulić, Vice-rector of the University of Split, Aleksandar Jakir, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of Split University, Jagoda Granić, the conference organiser and convenor from the University of Split, and Istvan Kecskes, the conference founder and convenor from the State University of New York at Albany. In their opening remarks they welcomed all the participants to Split and the 7th International Conference on Intercultural Pragmatics and Communication - INPRA 2016, and thanked them for assembling in such large numbers. The keynote speakers and internationally renowned scholars who presented their latest work to the conference attendees were Istvan Kecskes (State University of New York at Albany, USA), Wayne A. Davis (Georgetown University, USA), Laurence R. Horn (Yale University, USA) and Rachel Giora (Tel Aviv University, Israel). To open the scientific programme of the conference, Istvan Kecskes, Distinguished Professor of the State University of New York System, USA, the President of the American Pragmatics Association (AMPRA) and the CASLAR (Chinese as a Second Language Research) Association, delivered an opening lecture entitled Intracultural Communication and Intercultural Communication: Are They Different? He argued that, from a socio-cognitive perspective, intracultural communication and intercultural communication form a continuum, with the left end of the continuum being intracultural communication and intercultural communication the right end. A communicative situation is closer to one or the other and neither exclusively intracultural nor intercultural. The extent of the core common ground, standards, norms, frames and formulaic language decreases while moving toward the right end of the continuum where communication, Professor Kecskes concluded, is characterized by emergent common ground, generated expressions, norm developing attempts and individual creativity. The scientific programme of the first day ended with the plenary lecture given by Wayne A. Davis, Professor of Philosophy and President of the Faculty Senate at Georgetown University, USA. Professor Davis presented the paper Transparent Reports as Free-Form Idioms, talking about prepositional attitude reports with that-clauses as free-form idioms. He argued that transparent reports differ from opaque reports in being idioms non-defined by a fixed form. The presentation underlined irregular or “metalinguistic” negations as highly compositional and productive idioms which are defined only by a negative particle not. These irregular negations are in their root idiomatic, with the idiomaticity of negation surpassing that of their root. At the start of the second conference day the plenary lecture entitled The Tangled Web: Lying and Misleading Under a Neo-Gricean Lens was held by Laurence R. Horn, Professor of Linguistics and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Linguistics at Yale University, USA. Although some scholars perceive them as a single category, lying and misleading are two separate categories: lying is always intentional and misleading can be unintended. Professor Horn addressed the entire range of untruths from lying and misleading to sarcasm with an emphasis on speaker intention, the distinction between what is said and what is meant and between illocutionary and perlocutionary acts. He also discussed how perjury law affects understanding of conversational implicature. The fourth plenary speaker Rachel Giora, Professor of Linguistics at Tel Aviv University, marked the end to the scientific programme of the conference. In her lecture entitled Defaultness, and Nothing But! On Sarcasm, Processing Speed, Pleasure, and Discoursal Resonance Professor Giora presented evidence from four experiments and two corpus-based studies which support the argument that the notion of Defaultness - unconditional, automatic response to a stimulus - plays a major role in interpretation processes (processing speed, pleasurability, and discoursal resonance), ousting other factors such as Affirmation, Literalness, Context, and Nonsalience. Participants had opportunity to present their papers in eight parallel sessions on each day of the conference, including ENIEDA Panel. They had opportunity to exchange of ideas and knowledge between different linguistic disciplines, to renew contacts, meet with the leading linguists (besides the keynotes, let us mention just a few of them: Victoria Escandell Vidal, Anita Fetzer, Rita Finkbeiner, Alison Hall, Tatiana Larina, Frank Liedtke, Jörg Meibauer, Jacques Moeschler, Stephen Neale, Etsuko Oishi, Jesus Romero-Trillo, Gunter Senft etc.) and discuss problems of mutual interest. And even create an opportunity for future collaboration. The speakers presented and discussed their work which dealt with pragmatics-related topics ranging from pragmatics theories and theoretical perspectives, intercultural, cross-cultural and societal aspects of pragmatic research, to the application of pragmatic theory in practice. More specifically, the presentations covered classical pragmatics, contemporary pragmatics theory, metapragmatics, pragmatic meaning, implicatures, discourse deixis, presuppositions, speech acts, formulaic and figurative language, communicating interculturality, lingua franca pragmatics, societal pragmatics, intercultural misunderstandings, sociopragmatics, social networks, everyday language, (im)politeness phenomena, computer-mediated communication, media communication, pragmatic competence and skills, teaching intercultural pragmatic competence and skills, and other pragmatics-related topics. Each session was full, the chairs strictly followed the instructions for a smooth running session. They started the next presentation according to the scheduled time, so participants could plan the papers they wanted to hear. All the presentations were followed by comments and/or questions, which continued during coffee breaks and lunchtimes. The INPRA 2016 hosted also a panel organised by the European Network for Intercultural Education Activities (ENIEDA), a collaborative academic network that promotes plurilingualism, democratic citizenship and intercultural cooperation. The panel entitled Contextualising Interculturality: Challenges & Perspectives was convened by Svetlana Kurteš (University of Madeira, Portugal). Exploring interculturality in context and current challenges it faces, the panel offered a cross-disciplinary dialogue on interculturality and its manifestations in daily interaction. The panellists were Jagoda Granić (University of Split, Croatia), Vladimir Žegarac (University of Bedfordshire, UK) and Joy Caley (English Language Centre, York, UK), Tatiana Larina (Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia), Igor Lakić (University of Montenegro), Noémie Hermeking (Munich School of Philosophy, Germany), Monika Kopytowska (University of Łódź, Poland) and Fabienne Baider (University of Cyprus). They discussed a range of topics such as a context-dependent pragmatic norm and deviation from ethical imperative in public communication, intercultural misunderstandings between volunteers and newly arrived refugees, the pragmatic mechanism of Othering in anti-refugee online discourse, educational context of interculturality, macrostructure in news discourse, ethnocentrism and ethnic stereotypes in terms of politeness and impoliteness, and the notion of truthfulness across cultures. The excellent presentations in all sessions, along with plenary lectures and panel, and active and fruitful discussions formed the backbone of this conference and made it worthwhile. In addition to the scientific conference activities, the INPRA 2016 offered the participants an excellent social programme which highlighted Split’s unique culture and arts, and also provided great networking opportunities. A visit to the Meštrović Kaštelet that is an art complex, the restored 16th century villa situated by the sea, and the Meštrović Gallery, an art museum, was memorable. The visit was followed by the conference gala dinner at the Gallery that offered an authentic atmosphere. All participants were kindly invited to take part in the social programme and they enjoyed a lot. Participation was free of charge for all of them. The gala dinner concluded the first conference day. On the second conference day, a concert at the Croatian National Theatre in Split was held in the honour of the conference participants. Afterwards, they enjoyed a cocktail party at the Croatian National Theatre. Since the INPRA Scientific Committee strongly encouraged PhD students concerned with pragmatics to apply and give their speeches at the INPRA conference, just before the Closing session on the third conference day, PhD Student Best Paper Awards, sponsored by De Gruyter Mouton, were presented by Uri Tadmor, esteemed Editorial Director at De Gruyter Mouton. It is also significant to mention that throughout the duration of the Conference, the participants had an opportunity to explore recent and significant journals and books on pragmatics published by the De Gruyter Mouton, John Benjamins and Equinox, which were available exclusively to the INPRA participants at a special discount. Each participant received The INPRA 2016 Book of Abstracts, edited by Jagoda Granić and Istvan Kecskes and published by the University of Split, along with the conference bag and other promotional gifts. In the year 2017 the reviewers will finish the process of reviewing papers which is a prerequisite to publish a research monograph. At the Closing session, the Conference convenors concluded that the Conference had successfully fulfilled the set objectives, thanked the participants for their contribution and invited them to the next INPRA conference which will be held in Cyprus in 2018. The general conclusion was that INPRA 2016 had met all the organizers’ and participants’ expectations, provided a diverse scope of presentations and discussions on intercultural pragmatics and communication, and provoked new questions and ideas for future research, making the entire conference a significant and comprehensive worldwide contribution to the field of pragmatics. What is the most important, it was a superb conference experience for all of us and the conference participants found their stay in Split both valuable and enjoyable. © Jagoda Granić, Iva Polić, 2016

Jagoda Granić

University of Split

Email: jagoda.granic@gmail.com
Croatia

Iva Polić

University of Split

Email: ivapolic@gmail.com
Croatia

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Copyright (c) 2016 Granić J., Polić I.

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