Performative expression of meaning hinges on the act of producing a certain form: without this act, the target meaning cannot be expressed (in particular, it cannot be retrieved via ellipsis or anaphora resolution). For instance, when we performatively express anger or frustration by swearing, the act of swearing itself is crucial for achieving our expressive goals. Performative expression of meaning is an important part of our linguistic and near-linguistic behavior and can involve meaning-form mappings of varied conventionalization status as well as forms produced by a variety of articulators. For example, we can performatively express our immediate emotions by producing fully phonologized items like damn or ouch, less phonologized vocalizations like grunts or huffs, and different types of gesture (facial, manual, full body, etc.) or prosodic modulations of varied conventionalization status. We can also performatively produce various types of forms to build rapport with someone or, conversely, to insult them, to express aspects of our identity or our allegiance to a group or a cause, to perform a ritual of some sort, etc. This workshop is aimed to bring together researchers from various disciplines (linguistics, philosophy, psychology, biology, etc.) interested in performativity in human language and beyond. Read more about performativity and the concept of this workshop on the About page.

The workshop will take place on June 3, 2022 and will be hosted at the University of Oslo. The main organizer is Maria Esipova. For questions or comments, please contact us at perforum.workshop@gmail.com.

Invited speakers

Lea Allouche (University of Oslo): performativity in poetry

Victor Carranza Pinedo (École Normale Supérieure and University of Milan): expressives in language

Raphaela Heesen (Durham University): communication of emotion in non-human primates

Mihaela Popa-Wyatt (University of Manchester): topic TBA

Jonna Vuoskoski (University of Oslo): social dimension of music-evoked emotions

Poster session

In addition to the invited talks, the workshop will feature a peer-reviewed poster session preceded by a round of lightning talks. The deadline for abstract submission is March 1, 2022. See the call for posters for further details.

COVID-related information

As things stand, we plan for a hybrid workshop (in person + online). All presenters will be given an opportunity to give their presentation virtually. Specific COVID-related guidelines and precautions will be announced closer to the date of the workshop. We also leave open the possibility that we might have to switch to a fully online format.

In-person venue

Niels Treschows hus (HF-12), University of Oslo


Participation in the event will be free, but all participants will be asked to register. Details TBA.


This workshop has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 891493 for the “GeMeTIC” project (PI: Maria Esipova).

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