Narration in context: Between linguistic theory and empirical operationalization

Call for Papers

Workshop at the DGfS 2022

23rd–25th February 2022, Universität Tübingen

Organizers: Julia Lukassek, Dina Serova, Britta Schulte (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, CRC 1412)

Invited speakers: Sonja Zeman (LMU München), Monika Fludernik (Universität Freiburg)


Narration as the linguistic reproduction of events is not restricted to literary texts but is a mode of communication used in various situations of linguistic action (i.e., in different registers, genres, text types or the continuum between conceptually spoken and written language). Albeit not all texts can be classified as narrative texts per se, many can contain narrative passages or use narration as a mode to realize communicative functions or the speakers’ intentions, cf. for example blog entries or interviews. From a linguistic perspective, the features used in such situational contexts and for said communicative functions are of great interest on the levels of morphosyntax, lexis, semantics, and pragmatics. 

Linguistically relevant aspects of narration and narrativity have been discussed extensively in literary studies (see narrative perspective resp. focalisation, communication structure, relations in space and time, etc. However, the analysis and operationalization of these features for linguistic questions, e.g., in terms of corpus annotation and data extraction, is still up to debate (cf. Engelberg, Fortmann & Rapp, 2019; Hübl & Steinbach, 2018; Zeman, 2020). With our workshop, we would like to contribute to this discourse. We invite contributions from the following subject areas and topics:

  • Narration in different modes (spoken, written)

  • Corpus linguistic modelling and annotation 

  • Interdependencies between extra-linguistic context and register

  • Narration and narrativity in transition (language contact, historical stages of languages, synchrony/diachrony, varieties)

  • Linguistic features of narrative perspective resp. focalisation

  • Culture-dependent conceptualizations of narration

We welcome contributions by researchers who, as part of their linguistically oriented research, deal intensively with narration and narrativity in texts of various types and origins.

Abstract submission

We invite abstracts for 30 minutes slots (20 minutes presentation + 10 minutes discussion). Abstracts should not exceed one page (app. 300 words). Please send your abstract to by the 15th August 2021. Notifications of acceptance will be sent to you by the 1st September 2021. The conference languages are German and English. Abstracts can be submitted in both languages. Feel free to use the above contact email for questions regarding the workshop.

Please note that the regulations of the DGfS do not allow that workshop participants present two or more papers in different workshops. Likewise, organizers of other workshops at the same conference are not allowed to present a paper in this workshop.

A limited number of travel grants of up to 500 Euro each are available for accepted contributions by DGfS members without/with low income.


Engelberg, S., Fortmann, C. & I. Rapp (2019). Rede- und Gedankenwiedergabe in narrativen Strukturen – Ambiguitäten und Varianz. Linguistische Berichte, Sonderheft 27, Hamburg: Buske.

Hübl, A. & M. Steinbach (2018). Linguistic Foundations of Narration in Spoken and Sign Languages, Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today Ser. 247, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins. 

Zeman, S. (2020). Narrativität als linguistische Kategorie. Zeitschrift für Germanistische Linguistik 48(3), 447–456.