The tenth in a series of biennial international and interdisciplinary symposia organized by the Iconicity Research Project since 1997, this meeting will once again focus on iconicity – understood as form miming meaning and form, and meaning miming form and meaning – in language and in literature. It will especially welcome proposals for papers dedicated to the issues of literary linguistics. This may comprise semantic, pragmatic and cognitive dimensions of iconicity and will also establish a link with the Tübingen research projects on ambiguity ( and on interpretability (as part of the collaborative research center “The Construction of Meaning”

Previous symposia have, on the one hand, concentrated on iconicity as a driving force in language on all grammatical levels, on language acquisition, and on language change. On the other hand, they have addressed the various mimetic uses of more concrete and creative iconic images and/or more abstract iconic diagrams and metaphors at all levels of the literary text, in both narrative and poetic forms, and on all varieties of discourse (literary texts, historical texts, political texts, advertising, language and music, word and image, etc.). These possibilities remain open for the 2015 symposium.

The meeting will be hosted by the Eberhard-Karls University of Tübingen. Tübingen can be easily reached by bus from Stuttgart airport, or by train ( The symposium language will be English. Presentation time for papers will be 30 minutes followed by 10 minutes of discussion.


The symposium will take place in the Brechtbau (Wilhelmstr. 50, 72072 Tübingen). The detailed program is here (PDF).

Please note that there will be a special session on „Iconic Verbal Silence,“ suggested by Prof. Michal Ephratt.

The session on „iconic silence“ will be devoted to the use of verbal silence, the deliberate choice of the speaker/writer silence a word, a phrase or a larger semantic/syntactic linguistic unit, not in order to conceal, or breakdown interaction, and not out of ignorance but as an iconic means of expression. Silence can be a pure icon when facing intimacy and no need for words, it can be a diagram, such as the iconic representation of death, loss and absence by silence. It can also be a symbol (Peirce’s thirdsness) as the iconic elimination of Hertz: „Avis. We try harder.“ (as the linguistic syntactic complement, and the pragmatic competitor).

The session welcomes presentations looking at the iconic qualities of verbal silence and their use in daily life, in literature (such as Hamlet) and art, in interpersonal discourse as well as in public – rhetoric speech, advertisements, religion and culture (such as „the name of the father), Wittgenstein’s‘ conclusion of the Tractate, etc. etc.

The Keynote Speakers are: Prof. Tom Conley, Harvard University, Prof. Dr. Sybille Krämer, Freie Universität Berlin, and Prof. Dr. Pamela Perniss, University of Brighton.


Call for Papers

The Call for Papers has been closed. The detailed CfP is here.


For further information about the Iconicity project, please consult our website:


The registration fee will be 100€. If you want to register as a guest, please send an email request for details to If you are a PhD student, please also contact her for further options.



Rooms will be reserved in the Hotel Hospiz in Tübingen (Neckarhalde 2, and the guest house of the university (Lessingweg 2, see info page of the university). If you are interested in booking one of the reservations, please contact Angelika Zirker (


Prof. Dr. Olga Fischer
Universiteit van Amsterdam
Spuistraat 210
1012VT Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Phone: +31-20-5253825;
Fax: +31-20-5253052;

Prof. Dr. Christina Ljungberg
University of Zurich
Plattenstrasse 47
8032 Zurich

Phone: +41-44-6343551
Fax: +41-44-6344908


Local organizers: Prof. Dr. Matthias Bauer and Dr. Angelika Zirker
Eberhard-Karls Universitaet Tuebingen
Wilhelmstr. 50
72074 Tuebingen

Phone: +49-7071-2978469

E-mail: /