Lyon will welcome the 9th biennial international conference of AFLiCo, the French Association for Cognitive Linguistics ( from May 15-17, 2024. It follows the previous AFLiCo international conferences held in Bordeaux (2005), Lille (2007, 2013), Nanterre (2009), Lyon (2011), Grenoble (2015), Liege (2017) and Mulhouse (2019). We welcome 20-minute presentations (with 8 minutes for follow-up questions) from students and researchers interested in cognitive linguistics, and more specifically on embodied and ecolinguistic approaches to cognitive linguistics. However, as in previous editions, the conference will not be limited to thematic sessions devoted to the main foci described below. The organisers also encourage researchers to submit proposals within all areas of cognitive linguistics.

Key dates

  • Submission: July 1 to October 15, 2023 EXTENDED TO NOVEMBER 5
  • Notification of acceptance: December 1, 2023
  • Registration: from January 1, 2024
  • Conference: May 15 to 17, 2024

The term "cognitive linguistics" describes one of the main branches in modern linguistics and it encompasses different approaches, theories, and methodologies. The cornerstone of cognitive linguistics is the assumption that language is an integral part of human cognition. Considering that general cognition is deeply embodied and that language is an integral part of cognition, the only possible conclusion is that language is also embodied. Embodiment is a construct that cuts across many disciplines, such as cognitive science, philosophy, psychology and sociology (Wen & Taylor 2020) and which has gained a lot of ground in the last decades thanks to converging studies from various fields, including psychological studies (Barsalou 1999, Mandler 2010), neural and neurophysiological experiments (Glenberg & Kaschak 2002, Zwaan 2004, Tettamanti et al. 2005, Bergen 2012), and even robotic engineering (Steels 2005, Wen & Jiang 2020).

Language does not reflect the external world in an objective way, but rather in the way in which the individual has conceptualized this reality according to their experience, knowledge and environment (Langacker 1987, Johnson 1987, Lakoff 1987, Talmy 1988). In order to understand the structure of our conceptual apparatus, it is therefore necessary to consider its physical and cultural substratum, in its broadest sense. Additionally, as humans do not only belong to different cultures and different societies but also to the larger ecosystems that all forms of life depend on, it seems essential to have a broad definition of "environment". The ecolinguistic dimension of language thus appears to be crucial for a better understanding of language variations in time and space. Therefore, the interactions between language and environment will be given particular attention during this conference. (Halliday 2001, Steffensen & Fill 2014, Stibbe 2014).

Another central tenet of cognitive linguistics is the belief that language is constructed through a usage-based process. Specifically, human beings learn language through ongoing linguistic experience, which allows them to understand how the different elements of a language are conceptualized, how they function, and how they relate to each other (phonemes, words, categories, constructions, etc.). This hypothesis has had a particular impact on the development of constructional theories (Langacker 1987, Goldberg 1995) and allows for the explanation of synchronic and diachronic language patterns. It has also had a great influence on theories of acquisition, regarding children (Tomasello 1992), adults and second language learning (Bybee 2006, Ellis 2008).

During this conference, we will have the opportunity to question the notions of embodiment and ecolinguistics, and to wonder how central these concepts are in different areas of cognitive linguistics. However, as mentioned above, the conference will not be limited to the main topics described above. The organisers also encourage researchers to submit proposals within other areas of cognitive linguistics, such as:

  • Construction grammar
  • Frame semantics
  • Blending
  • Corpus linguistics
  • Metaphor and metonymy
  • Variation
  • Neurosciences
  • Signed languages
  • Multimodality
  • Language change and diachrony
  • Discourse analysis
  • Pragmatics
  • Phonetics and phonology
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Language acquisition
  • Natural language processing
  • Lexicology
  • Morphology
  • Lexical semantics


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  • Bergen, B. (2012). Louder than words: The new science of how the mind makes meaning. New York: Basic Books.
  • Bybee, J. (2006). "From usage to grammar: The mind's response to repetition", Language, nº82(4), 711-733.
  • Cienki, A. (2005). "Image schemas and gesture", From perception to meaning: Image schemas in cognitive linguistics, nº29, 421-442.
  • De Knop, S. (2022). "From Construction Grammar to embodied construction practice", Constructions and Frames, nº12(1), 121-148.
  • Ellis, N. C. (2008). "The dynamics of second language emergence: Cycles of language use, language change, and language acquisition", Modern Language Journal, nº92(2), 232-249.
  • Feldman, J. (2020). "Advances in Embodied Construction Grammar", Constructions and Frames, nº12(1), 147-167.
  • Gibbs, R. W., Jr. (2017). "Embodiment", In B. Dancygier (ed.). The cambridge handbook of Cognitive Linguistics, 449-462. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Glenberg, A. M. & Kasckhak, M. P. (2002). "Grounding language in action", Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, nº9(3), 558-565.
  • Goldberg, A. (1995). A Construction Grammar Approach to Argument Structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Halliday, M. A. K. (2001). "New Ways of Meaning: The Challenge to Applied Linguistics". In A. Fill, P. Muhlhausler (eds.). The Ecolinguistics Reader: Language, Ecology and Environment, 175-202. New York: Continuum.
  • Heine, B. (2014). "The Body in Language: Observations from Grammaticalization". In Brenzinger, M. & Kraska-Szlenk, I. (eds). The Body in Language. Comparative Studies of Linguistic Embodiment, 11-32. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.
  • Johnson, M. (1987). The body and the mind: The bodily basis of meaning, imagination, and reason. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Kövecses, Z. (2015). Where Metaphors Come from: Reconsidering Context in Metaphor. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Lakoff, G. (1987). Women, fire and dangerous things: What Categories Reveal About the Mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Langacker, R. W. (1987). Foundations of Cognitive Grammar. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Prihodko, G. & Galaidin, A (2018). "Prospects of cognitive and ecological linguistics", Periodyk Naukowy Akademii Polonijnej, nº29(4), 121-127.
  • Lapaire, J.-R. (2013). « Gestualité cogrammaticale : de l'action corporelle spontanée aux postures de travail métagestuel guidé. Maybe et le balancement épistémique en anglais », Langages, nº192(4), 57–72.
  • Mandler, J. M. (2010). "The spatial foundations of the conceptual system", Language and cognition, nº2(1), 21-44.
  • Maouene, J. et al. (2016). "Contingencies between verbs, body parts, and argument structures in maternal and child speech: A corpus study". Language and Cognition, nº8(2), 237-282.
  • Panther, K.-U. & Radden, G. (1999) (eds.). Metonymy in Language and Thought. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  • Penz, H. & Fill, A. (2022). "Ecolinguistics: History, today, and tomorrow", Journal of World Languages, nº8(2), 232–253.
  • Steels, L. (2005). "The emergence and evolution of linguistic structure form lexical to grammatical communication systems", Connection science, nº17(3-4), 213-230.
  • Steffensen, S. V & Fill, A. (2014). "Ecolinguistics: The state of the art and future horizons", Language Sciences, nº41, 6–25.
  • Stibbe, A. (2014). "An ecolinguistic approach to critical discourse studies", Critical Discourse Studies, nº11(1), 117–128.
  • Sweetser, E. (1990). From Etymology to Pragmatics: Metaphorical and Cultural Aspects of Semantic Structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Talmy, L. (1998). "Force dynamics in language and cognition", Cognitive Science, nº12(1), 49-100.
  • Tettamanti M. et al. (2005). "Listening to action-related sentences activates fronto-parietal motor circuits", J Cogn Neurosci, 17(2), 273-281.
  • Tomasello, M. (1992). First verbs: A case study of early grammatical development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Zwaan, R. A. (2004). "The Immersed Experiencer: Toward an Embodied Theory of Language Comprehension". In B. H. Ross (ed.). The psychology of learning and motivation: Advances in research and theory, nº44, 35–62.

Organization committee:

  • Rémi Digonnet (Jean Monnet Saint-Etienne University, ECLLA)
  • Lucía Gómez (Lumière Lyon 2 University, CeRLA)
  • Adeline Terry (Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University, CEL)
  • Ana Escartín Arilla (Paris Nanterre University, CRIIA)
  • Aurélie Héois (Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University, CEL)
  • Denis Jamet (Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University, CEL)
  • Pierre-Yves Modicom (Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University, CEL)
  • Caroline Rossi (Grenoble Alpes University, ILCEA4)

Scientific committee:

  • Zeina Almouhd, Nebrija University (Madrid)
  • Cristiano Broccias, University of Genoa
  • Florence Chenu, Lumière Lyon 2 University
  • Herbert Colston, University of Alberta
  • Camille Debras, Paris Nanterre University
  • Barbara De Cock, KU Leuven
  • Nicole Delbecque, KU Leuven
  • Guillaume Desagulier, University of Bordeaux Montaigne
  • Rémi Digonnet, Jean Monnet University
  • Anna Doquin de Saint Preux, Complutense University of Madrid
  • Susanne Flach, University of Zürich
  • David Garcia Leon, Maynooth University
  • Dirk Geeraerts, KU Leuven
  • Dylan Glynn, University of Paris 8
  • Lucía Gómez, Lumière Lyon 2 University
  • Stefan Th. Gries, Universitéy of California, Santa Barbara
  • Craig Hamilton, University of Haute-Alsace
  • Sabine Heinemann, University of Graz
  • Lyndon Higgs, University of Strasbourg
  • Alberto Hijazo-Gascón, University of Zaragoza
  • Denis Jamet, Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University
  • Yvon Keromnes, University of Lorraine
  • Christian Lagarde, University of Perpignan
  • Jean-Rémi Lapaire, University of Bordeaux
  • Benoît Leclercq, University of Paris 8
  • Ellen Le Foll, University of Cologne
  • Maarten Lemmens, University of Lille
  • Jeannette Littlemore, University of Birmingham
  • Reyes Llopis, Columbia University
  • Aliya Morgenstern, Sorbonne Nouvelle University
  • Catherine Paulin, University of Strasbourg
  • Hermine Penz, University of Graz
  • Florent Perek, University of Birmingham
  • Julien Perrez, University of Liège
  • Günter Radden, University of Hamburg
  • Caroline Rossi, University of Grenoble Alpes
  • Arran Stibb, University of Gloucestershire
  • Francesca Strick-Lievers, University of Genoa
  • Laura Suarez, University of Guyana
  • Sabina Tabacaru, University of Paris 8
  • Adeline Terry, Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University

For more information visit the conference website.

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