Last call Symposium ‘Abstract Concepts’

Abstract Concepts: Debating Their Structure, Processing, and Modeling.

Date: 18-Nov-2016, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

On which dimensions of meaning do abstract and concrete concepts differ? How does perceptual experience affect abstract concept processing and representation? What is the role of language in shaping and indexing the content of concrete vs. abstract concepts? How and in which contexts are abstract concepts understood through metaphors? Abstract concepts are a controversial and widely debated topic, within the theoretical discussion about the embodied vs symbolic nature of language and meaning. The aim of this project is to bring together current views about the structure, processing, and modeling of abstract concepts.

8 eminent scholars have been invited to Amsterdam to discuss the nature, structure, processing, and modeling of abstract concepts in various disciplines. During the symposium the panelists will present in turn their view and will receive structured comments (prepared in advance) from their peers. A general discussion among all panelists and the audience will follow.

Invited Keynote Speakers and 
Provisional titles
Prof. Friedemann Pulvermueller – Concrete mechanisms for abstract meaning
Prof. Gun Semin – The place of metaphors in the order of things
Prof. Piek Vossen – Granularity and identity of event descriptions
Dr. Diane Pecher – Curb your embodiment
Prof. Max Louwerse – Language statistics explain conceptual processing
Prof. Alessandro Lenci – The Emotions of Abstracts: A Distributional Semantic Analysis Prof.
Ken McRae – Situations, perceptual information and abstract concepts
Prof. Gabriella Vigliocco – Learning and processing abstract concepts: the role of language and the role of emotion

Call for Papers
Given the structure and program of the symposium, with 8 keynote speakers, submissions are welcome (and encouraged!) for poster presentations. Posters will be displayed on the conference venue for the whole day and actively discussed over the lunch break, which will take place at the conference venue.

Applicants are asked to submit (max.) 250 words abstracts to

Registration info can be found on the symposium website:

Submission deadline (extended): 30th September
Notification of acceptance: 3rd  October
Symposium date: 18th November

The event is organized by the COGVIM project team (EU Marie Curie IEF, awarded to Dr. Marianna Bolognesi – n° 629076) and sponsored by ABC Amsterdam Brain and Cognition, Network Institute, and KNAW Dutch Royal Academy of Science.

Romy van den Heerik • September 13, 2016

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