2018, Mai : Reduction, densification, elision : forms and discourse functions
International Conference, May 25-26, 2018, Clermont-Ferrand

Important dates :

  • Submission of abstracts : January 10, 2018
  • Notification of acceptance : March 1, 2018
  • Conference : May 25-26, 2018, Clermont-Ferrand

Conference website

https://reduction.sciencesconf.org/ (under construction)


This conference will revisit the forms of reduction, densification and elision of language material that locutors use to express their communicational intentions. It will focus on the various reduced, elided and densified forms in different languages, on their morphosyntactic and semantic properties, and on their function in discourse. On the hypothesis that these forms are complementary, and permit a range of discourse processes, we aim to compare the roles of the different forms, and to highlight those factors that determine their use in discourse. We will also address the strategies used by interlocutors in understanding these forms.

The conference will cover three approaches :

  1. Historiographical, addressing the history of linguistic thought concerning the reduction, elision and densification of utterances,
  2. Typological, in which the different forms and processes of reduction, elision and densification in one or more languages are described and compared,
  3. Discursive, emphasising the use of these forms/processes in discourse, and highlighting the linguistic, discursive and interlocutory factors that determine their choice in a given communicational context, including literary discourse.

The following aspects can thus be addressed (among others) :

  • Types of production conducive to the use of reduced forms,
  • Conditions for elision and reduction of language elements and outcome for the comprehension of utterances,
  • Complementarity or competition among different forms of reduction (anaphora, ellipsis, null elements, etc.) in discourse, together with the locutor’s communicational aim with regard to the interlocutor when using these forms,
  • The role played by the structure of the information (presupposition, focalisation, etc.) in the reduction processes,
  • The role played by oral analysis for understanding of the reduced forms,
  • The role of silence, suspension points, parenthesis, short interpolations, etc.,
  • The motivations for the reinterpretation of short forms (nominal utterances, prefabricated expressions etc.) as non-elliptical forms,
  • The managing of non-comprehension of reduced forms by the interlocutors,
  • The contribution of contextual visual elements for understanding reduced forms.

More specifically, in the historiographical approach :

  • Besides the notion of ellipsis and its different theoretical frameworks, from the grammarians’ ‘flaw’ to the rhetorician’s elegant concision, more pragmatic approaches placing special emphasis on the communicational aim of particular forms of reduction, densification or elision,
  • A study of examples provided by authors to identify and understand those types of reduction that are of greatest interest,
  • Evolution in how reduced forms are treated in both school and scientific grammars.

Keynote speakers

Gerda HAßLER (Université de Potsdam)
Jean-Christophe PITAVY (Université Jean-Monnet-St-Etienne & Université Galatasaray)

Conference site

Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (MSH)
4 rue Ledru
63000 Clermont-Ferrand

Submission procedure

Submit an abstract no longer than two pages (including examples and bibliography), in French or English, to :


Abstracts will be anonymously refereed by two reviewers.

A publication of selected papers is planned at Nodus (Münster, Germany).

Conference fee

80 € / 25 € for students.

Scientific committee

Colette BODELOT (Université Clermont Auvergne, France)
Frédéric CALLAS (Université Clermont Auvergne, France)
Anne DAGNAC (Université Toulouse-Jean-Jaurès, France)
José DEULOFEU (Université de Provence, France)
Ton van HAAL (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium)
Gerda HAßLER (University of Potsdam, Germany)
Hana GRUET-SKRABALOVA (Université Clermont Auvergne, France)
Lidia LEBAS-FRACZAK (Université Clermont Auvergne, France)
Stefanos MATHAIOS (University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
Henning NØLKE (University of Aarhus, Danemark)
Cordula NEIS (University of Flensburg, Germany)
Jean-Christophe PITAVY (Université Jean-Monnet-St-Etienne, France & Université Galatasaray, Turkey)
Günter SCHMALE (Université Lyon 3, France)
Friederike SPITZL-DUPIC (Université Clermont Auvergne, France)

Organization committee

Hana GRUET-SKRABALOVA and Friederike SPITZL-DUPIC (Université Clermont Auvergne)

Selected references

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