CFP: SLE 2023, Thematic Session on the Concept of Manner and its Linguistic Realizations

This is a call for papers for a proposed thematic session on the concept of manner and its linguistic realizations at the 56th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea. SLE meetings provide a forum for high-quality linguistic research from all (sub)domains of linguistics. SLE2023 will be held at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens on 29 August – 1 September 2023.

Contact Person: Olivier Duplâtre,

Deadline: 5-Nov-2022

This workshop will be devoted to questions raised by the concept of manner and its linguistic realizations. Particular attention will be paid to following issues:

We traditionally use a paraphrase with way or manner to identify manner. But there is no a priori evidence for the equivalence between it and the adverb (cf. the awkwardness of paraphrasing She turned sharply to the left by ?She turned to the left in a sharp manner).

The question how, which is also used to detect manner, is also problematic since it covers not only manner, but also instrument, place, time, frequency, etc. (see Duplâtre 2021; Duplâtre & Modicom 2022).

Another question that arises is whether 'manner' is lexical or notional. It is lexical if we consider manner to be latent in or subcategorized by the verb (McConnell-Ginet 1982). On the other hand, it is notional if we see it as implied by any action (Dik 1997).

One may also ask whether manner is prototypically conveyed by an adverb. As He is running down the street/He is driving down the road suggest, it can also be expressed by the verb (see Stosic 2020). Hence the further question: is it possible to delimit manner syntactically?

Furthermore, if a prototypical adverb modifies a predicate in the same way that an adjective modifies a referent (Haser & Kortmann 2006), does this mean that the adverbial class is reducible to the manner adverb (Duplâtre & Modicom 2022)? The manner adverb, and by extension the notion of manner itself, must however be distinguished from circumstantial indications (Golay 1959, see also König 1995 on converbs). Hence a syntactic question: is the manner adverb really an adjunct?

In general, the manner adverb seems to be defined by two characteristics, one syntactic, the other semantic: it is a lower adverb (Cinque 1999, Laenzlinger 2015) and is close to the nuclear predication (Dik 1997); but it is also defined by the fact of having several possible orientations (Platt & Platt 1972, Bartsch 1972, Guimier 1991, Duplâtre & Modicom 2022). Can this semantic phenomenon, which is not observed with adverbs of time or place, be explained syntactically?

Lastly, if manner adverbs are distinct from secondary predications (Hallonsten Halling 2018), this means that their function must be that of modification, since modification and predication are mutually exclusive (see Croft 2003). However, might there be a way out of this dichotomy: if we treat manner adverbs as themselves representing a function just like reference, predication and modification, could they not combine both (secondary) predication and modification? Concretely, this would mean that manner adverbs could both modify the verb and predicate something of the subject at the same time. Of course, the predication is not explicitly expressed, so that manner adverbs are considered by some authors to be "neutral" with respect to predication (see Geuder 2002). But this possibility appears very clearly in John opened the door enthusiastically, where enthusiastically "attributes enthusiasm to John" (Jackendoff 1972).

We welcome in this workshop any and all proposals concerning the history of the concept of manner, its definition, its syntactic and pragmatic realizations in any language, whether it be a cross-linguistic study or one devoted only to a particular language. All theoretical frameworks are accepted.

Please submit your proposal before November 5th to both and

Conference website:

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