International Conference

Discourse Coherence - Text and Theory (MIC 2008 Sorbonne)

Centre de Linguistique Théorique et Appliquée (CELTA)

Paris-Sorbonne University  (Paris 4)

September 18-20, 2008


We are pleased to announce that an International Conference on Discourse Coherence - Text and Theory will be held at Paris-Sorbonne University on September 18-20, 2008. Discourse coherence is one of the main topics of CELTA where research is being carried out about various languages and is based on the interaction betwen theoretical and textual linguistics. You are invited to submit abstracts concerning one of the topics mentionned below. Papers selected by the scientific commitee will be published after the conference.

As far as theoretical reference is concerned, CELTA already published two volumes of collected papers, see namely the Meta-Informative Centering Theory (MIC) which is outlined there. As a matter of fact, it is essential to rely on a common theoretical basis in order to contrast different languages. We wish to insist on the point that, in the MIC theory, not only the topic-comment structure but also the subject-predicate structure itself is meta-informative by nature. This leads to a revision of the relationship between syntax and pragmatics by putting what linguists call 'information structure' at the center of the language system. As a surprising consequence, research at CELTA revealed that Slavonic languages with their assumed “free” order and German whose syntax is considered “rigid” share more in common than syntactic descriptions allowed to presume. The MIC theory makes it also possible to take into account syntactic phenomena that are considered to belong exclusively to spoken language but that text typology reveals to be in fact characteristic of many different styles. On the other hand, as a feedback, the confrontation of different languages should help testing the theory and making it more general.

Conference topics

- Types of texts and discourse coherence,
- Role of inferential processes in discourse coherence,
- Introduction of new and old information into oral and written discourses (Datum/Novum or Old/New)
- Centres of Attention (subject, object) of simple utterances (without Old/New division) and Centres of Attention (topic, focus) of extended utterances (divided into Old/New or New/Old)
- Sentence boundaries and utterance boundaries: from syntax to pragmatics,
- Coherence markers : word order, intonation, particles, anaphora and cataphora, grammatical categories as nominal determination, aspect, mode …
- Utterance particles and their relations to other parts of speech (adverbs, conjunctions, gerunds, pronouns, etc.)
- Order of clauses in complex sentences : compound conjunctions, anaphoric and cataphoric pronouns introducing subordinate clauses, order of clauses in complex sentences,
- Enclitic and emphatic personal pronouns, their position in the utterance,
- Plays on words and discourse coherence, etc.

Please see the following web pages :


Programme and Organising Committee

- Co-chair : Martine Dalmas and Hélène Wlodarczyk

- Members : Hélène Vinckel, Stéphane Viellard.


Scientific Committee :

      - Members of CELTA (Université Paris-Sorbonne) :

      Jean Breuillard
      Pierre Cotte
      Martine Dalmas
      Marie-France Delport
      Gottfried R. Marschall
      Jan Pekelder

      Paul-Louis Thomas
      Michel Viel
      Stéphane Viellard
      Hélène Vinckel
      André Wlodarczyk
      Hélène Wlodarczyk

       - Professors from other Universities and Research Centres :

      Claude Delmas (Université de Paris-Sorbonne Nouvelle)
      Maciej Grochowski (Université de Toruń, Pologne)
      Claude Guimier (Université de Caen, France)
      Yasunari Harada (Université Waseda, Tokyo, Japan)
      Violetta Koseska (Institut de Slavistique,Académie des Sciences Polonaise, Varsovie, Pologne)
      Ilya Shatunovsky (Université de Dubna, Russia)
      Bruno Strecker (Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Mannheim, Allemagne).


Languages of the Conference: French and English

Key dates :

- Call deadline (Registration with the title of your communication and submission of abstracts up to 1400 characters) : December 31st, 2007

- Notification of acceptance :  March 31st, 2008

Registration and contact :

Registration fee : 50€ (students 10€) before 15th June, 2008 and after that date 100€ (students 20€)  before 31st August, 2008

Guidelines for Registration and Submission of Abstracts (deadline  December 31st, 2007)

- Abstracts should not exceed 1400 characters (spaces non included) - references are excluded from this count

- Abstracts should clearly indicate a presentation title

- Abstracts should be anonymous for purposes of blind peer-review

- Abstracts should be formatted as Word, RTF or PDF documents

- Abstracts should be submitted electronically to

Please include the following information in the main body of your email :

- title(s) and name(s) and surname(s) of author(s)

- subject of your paper

- affiliation

- e-mail address for correspondence

- 3-5 keywords


Please include the following information in the subject header of your email:

''Coherence Abstract Submission – [author(s) name(s)]''