1st workshop on Multimodal Construction Grammar
Towards a Multimodal Construction Grammar Free Conference is closed
Conference is closed
Affiliation Universität Freiburg
Osnabrück, Germany
09.03.2016 - 11.03.2016

Organizing institutions

University of Osnabrück

sponsered by the Sievert Stiftung für Wissenschaft und Kultur


Venue: Universität Osnabrück, Altes Kreishaus, Neuer Graben 40, Room 111

Main category Humanities (Linguistics)
Conference/Workshop objectives

Recent years have witnessed an increasing interest in a rethinking of Construction Grammar in light of the inherent multimodality of human communication. Bringing together usage-based theories which take “grammar to be the cognitive organization of one's experience with language” (Bybee 2006) and the very fact that human language use is not just verbal in nature but interacts meaningful information being conveyed by speech as well as the tone of voice, facial expressions, hand and head gestures, body postures and movements, it is argued that the basic units of language, i.e. constructions in Construction Grammar, must be multimodal in nature. This workshop aims at discussing the implications of this multimodal rethinking of the nature of constructions in terms of the theoretical conceptualization and methodology of Construction Grammar.

The workshop is conceptualized as a think tank rather than a classical conference. This entails that rather than having elaborated individual presentations on particular topics, the workshop is designed to primarily serve as a discussion forum. The aim is to concentrate on a couple of detailed theoretical issues that are raised by adopting a multimodal perspective on constructions and the constructicon. These include but are not limited to:

  • How can we account for the formal and functional variability of co-speech gesture, posture, facial expressions etc. in relation to specific constructions?
  • How can the notions of recurrence and conventionality be applied to multimodal aspects of language use?
  • Is entrenchment of multimodal usage information gradual?
  • At which level of abstraction is multimodal entrenchment situated?
  • What do multimodal cues tell us about the relation (family resemblance, inheritance) between constructions?
  • Which kind of constructions, such as words or (more or less lexically-specified) grammatical constructions are valuable objects of study?
  • Which qualitative and quantitative methodologies can be applied?
  • The workshop will include a series of blitz presentations (10 minutes), joint hands-on analyses and discussions of data from the NewsScape Library (aka RedHen, Steen & Turner 2013) as well as moderated theoretical discussion sections. By virtue of its concentrated focus on a couple of narrowly defined key issues and its aim to discuss these issues in a small group of just under twenty researchers, who are all experts in Construction Grammar and multimodality research, the workshop has the potential to greatly advance the discipline by laying the very foundations of a Multimodal Construction Grammar that is cognitively plausible and compatible with the realities of language use.

    Local organizing committee

    Alexander Bergs, University of Osnabrück

    Elisabeth Zima, University of Freiburg

    Scientific organizing committee (SOC)

    Alexander Bergs (University of Osnabrück)

    Elisabeth Zima (University of Freiburg)

    • Main session
    Programme Conference venue: Universität Osnabrück, Altes Kreishaus, Neuer Graben 40, Room 111

    Thursday, March 10, 2016

    09:30 – 10:00 Registration
    10:00 ‐10:15 Welcome (Alexander Bergs & Elisabeth Zima)
    10:15 ‐ 11:00 Introduction (Alexander Bergs & Elisabeth Zima)
    11:00 ‐ 11:40 Blitz presentations (own research/problems/concerns in the field of Multimodal Construction Grammar)
    11:00 ‐11:10 Steven Schoonjans
    11:10 – 11:20 Javier Valenzuela
    11:20 ‐11:30 Cristóbal Pagán Cánovas
    11:30 – 11:40 Mark Turner
    11:40 – 12:10 coffee break
    12:10 – 13:00 Continuation of blitz presentations
    12:10 – 12:20 Alexander Bergs
    12:20 – 12:30 Alan Cienki
    12:30 – 12:40 Elisabeth Zima
    12:40 – 12:50 Geert Brône & Kurt Feyaerts
    12:50 – 13:00 Todd Oakley
    13:00 – 14:30 Lunch at Amodomio (Italian restaurant)
    14:30 – 15:30 Continuation of blitz presentations
    14:30 – 14:40 Thomas Hoffmann
    14:40 – 14:50 Wolfgang Imo & Jens Lanwer
    14:50 – 15:00 Arnulf Deppermann
    15:00 – 15:10 Irene Mittelberg
    15:10 – 15:20 Jana Bressem
    15:20‐ 15:30 Peter Uhrig
    15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break
    16:00 ‐ 17:00 Discussion
    (What is the common ground of all participants: joint research questions, methodological similarities/differences/problems; shared theoretical perspectives and challenges (discussion moderated by Bergs and Zima)
    19:00 Dinner at the Kartoffelhaus

    Friday, March 11, 2016

    09:00 – 10:30 Theme session: the notion of „recurrence“ in Multimodal Construction Grammar
    09:00 – 09:20 Kick‐off presentation by Elisabeth Zima (recurrence in Construction Grammar)
    09:20 – 09:50 Kick‐off presentation by Irene Mittelberg & Jana Bressem (the notion of recurrence and its applicability to gesture)
    09:50 – 10:30 Joint discussion (moderator: Alexander Bergs)
    10:30 – 11:00 Coffee break
    11:00 ‐ 12:30 Hands‐on data session: recurrence and form‐meaning variation in hand and head gestures (moderator: Mark Turner)
    12:30 – 14:00 Lunch at Taj Mahal (Indian restaurant)
    14:00 – 16:00 Theme session: Frequency and entrenchment in Multimodal Construction Grammar
    14:00 – 14:30 Kick‐off presentation by Steven Schoonjans (Problems of the frequency criterion in (verbal) CxG and multimodal CxG )
    14:30 – 15:00 Kick‐off presentation by Wolfgang Imo (granularity, optional elements of constructions, prototype structure: solutions to some of the problems of Multimodal CxG?)
    15:00 – 16:00 Discussion (moderator: Geert Brône)
    16:00 – 16:30 Coffee break
    16:30 – 17:30 Theme session: Which methodology for Multimodal CxG? Which data? Which frequencies/frequency measures?
    Joint discussion (moderator: Thomas Hoffmann)
    19:30 Conference dinner at the Rampendahl Brewery

    Saturday, March 12, 2016

    09:00 – 10:30 Theme session: multimodal constructions, combination of symbols or multimodal constructicon?
    09:00 – 09:30 Kick‐off presentation by Todd Oakley (multimodality as association in the constructicon or multimodal constructions?)
    09:30 – 10:00 Kick‐off presentation by Alexander Ziem (a critical perspective)
    10:00 – 11:00 Discussion (moderator: Cristóbal Pagán Cánovas)
    11:00 ‐ 11:30 Coffee break
    11:30 – 12:30 Theme session: Where to go from here?
    11:30 – 11:45 Summary of the workshop’s topics and gained insights (Alexander Bergs und Elisabeth Zima)
    11:45‐ 12:30 Discussion: what to do next, ways to collaborate in the future
    Invited speakers

    Peter Auer

    Jana Bressem

    Geert Brône

    Alan Cienki

    Cristóbal Pagan Canovas

    Arnulf Deppermann

    Kurt Feyaerts

    Thomas Hoffman

    Wolfgang Imo

    Jens Lanwer

    Irene Mittelberg

    Todd Oakley

    Mark Turner

    Steven Schoonjans

    Francis Steen

    Javier Valenzuela

    Alexander Ziem

    Important dates

    Begin of workshop: 10 March, 2016

    End of workshop: 12 March, 2016

    Registration and payment information

    Please register via the button to the right, next to the workshop's title.

    Conference venue

    University of Osnabrück, Germany

    Altes Kreishaus, Neuer Graben 40, Room 111

    Hotel information

    We have reserved rooms at the Arcona hotel:

    The Arcona is a brand new business hotel right across the street from the department and workshop venue.



    Travel information
    There are no uploaded videos yet.
    There are no uploaded presentations yet.
    There are no uploaded posters yet.
    There are no uploaded papers yet.
    First Name Last Name Affiliation