The Second International Workshop on Linguistics of BA

  • Purpose:

    Context dependence in language use has been studied in a wide range of its manifestations in linguistic phenomena: from anaphora, presupposition, indexicals, personal pronouns, sentence-final particles and other modal expressions, politeness, to common-grounding, repair, register, style or framing. Descriptive concepts and analytical frameworks, such as discourse representation, conversational scoreboard, information state update, contextualization cue, and deictic field, have also been proposed to capture those phenomena in a number of different disciplines approaching language, most notably in semantics/pragmatics, sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology.

    The concept of 'Ba', taken from the Japanese word for 'place' or 'field', has been proposed by Japanese biological and social scientist to provide an abstract conceptual basis on which to capture dynamics in interactive phenomena, such as dynamic order formation in living organisms (Shimizu, 1990), or knowledge creation in business management (Nonaka & Konno, 1998).

    When applied to human language use, 'ba' concept emphasizes the significance of the place, both physically and mentally conceived, in which human interactions take place. 'Ba' simultaneously works, for the participants, to affect their construals of linguistic acts performed, and to exert normative forces to regulate their linguistic behavior choices committed in the 'ba'. The concept of Wakimae (Ide, 2006) is an example of 'ba'-sensitive, in contrast to the more conventional face-based, conception of the underlying mechanism of linguistic politeness behaviors, which has proven to be highly successful.

    The aim of this workshop is to provide a venue for researchers who are interested in 'ba' concept to get together to exchange their works, ideas and perspectives, both empirical and theoretical, to deepen our understanding of 'ba' and explore its relationships to our language practices.

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