COCOA is an informal online “zoominar” for semanticists and those who are semantics-adjacent to talk about causation, especially using causal models. No experience with causal models is required, and students are especially welcome. Write to cocoa dash info symbol services dot cnrs dot fr for links.

Speakers in general should plan about 35-40 minutes for their talk and 15-20 minutes for questions. I’ll send time notifications in the chat. The first question in the question period is reserved for students.


June 14, 2024 3pm-5pm Paris time
Michael Franke (Tübingen) Topic: communicating causal information
Mikayla Kelley (Chicago) – Topic: intentional action

May 17, 2024 3pm-5pm Paris time
Hadil Karawani (Konstanz) Topic: Counteridenticals
Tom Wysocki (Göttingen) Topic: Counterfactuals

April 5, 2024 3pm-5pm Paris time
Elena Soare (SFL) Topic: Romanian supine causatives
Kyle Jerro (Essex) Topic: Direct causation in Lubukusu

March 8, 2024 3pm-5pm Paris time
Jürgen Bohnemeyer (Buffalo) Using statistical classification to discover cross-linguistic semantic prototypes: The causation domain abstract
Julie Goncharov (Göttingen) Subject obviation and self-locating knowledge abstract

February 23, 2024 3pm-5pm Paris time
Bridget Copley (SFL) Causal model tutorial handout
Dean McHugh (Amsterdam) A dynamic interpretation of structural causal models abstract slides


Spring 2024 dates

February 9, 2024 3pm-5pm Paris time
Jonathan F. Kominsky (CEU) What could they be doing? Studying children’s ‘failures’ in counterfactual reasoning tasks abstract

Fall 2023 dates

December 8, 2023 3pm-5pm Paris time
Fabio Del Prete (CLLE) and Giuseppe Spolaore (University of Padua) “Now”, forcing and causality abstract slides
Bridget Copley (SFL) A model is not the territory it represents: Causal models as relativized dynamic perspectives slides

November 17, 2023 3pm – 5pm Paris time
Causative GIVE in LSF and Haitian
Patricia Cabredo (joint work with Adrien Dadone, UMR 7023, CNRS & U Paris 8) handout
Jacqueline Guéron (Sorbonne Nouvelle) Intentions and Goals, Results and Causes handout

September 13 5:00pm Paris time
Zhuosi Luo (Georgetown University): Causality and modality: plural causal instantiations in Teochew abstract
Bridget Copley (SFL CNRS/Paris 8): Modal models vs. causal models: French être en train de abstract

Fall 2022 dates

September 14 05:00 PM Paris time
Sehrang Joo (Princeton Univ.): No privileged link between intentionality and causation: Generalizable effects of agency in language abstract
Tadeg Quillien (Edinburgh), Counterfactuals and the psychology of causal selection abstract

October 12 05:00 PM Paris time
EVENTSTRAVAGANZA! Relating events to causal models (rescheduled from March) abstracts
Presenters: Stefan Kaufmann, UConn (handout); Elitzur Bar Asher-Siegal, HUJ, and Prerna Nadathur, Ohio State Univ. (slides); Bridget Copley, SFL (CNRS/Paris 8) (slides)

November 9 05:00 PM Paris time
Camil Staps (Leiden Univ. and Radboud Univ.) & Johan Rooryck (cOAlition S and Leiden Univ.) – Space in the causal chain: The perspective from French and Biblical Hebrew abstract
Eleonore Neufeld, Univ. Illinois Urbana-Champaign / UMass Amherst, Engineering Social Concepts: Feasibility and Causal Models abstract

Spring 2022 events

Jan 26, 2022 05:00 PM Paris time
Bridget Copley, SFL (CNRS/Paris 8) –  Intro to causal models for language

Feb 9, 2022 05:00 PM Paris time
Kelsey Sasaki, Oxford – Topic: causal inferences in narrative
Linda Badan (Ghent University) and Marta Donazzan (Univ. Nantes/LLING) – Topic: The multi-purpose causative verb(s) of Mandarin Chinese

Topic: Relating events to causal models
Presenters: Stefan Kaufmann, UConn ; Elitzur Bar Asher-Siegal, HUJ, and Prerna Nadathur, Konstanz; Bridget Copley, SFL (CNRS/Paris 8)

Apr 6, 2022 05:00 PM Paris time
Tobias Gerstenberg, Stanford University: A counterfactual simulation model of causal judgment: A novel approach to understanding causal verbs / slides
Daniel Altshuler, Oxford University: Cause/Effect vs. Effect/Cause / slides

May 11, 2022 05:00 PM Paris time
Bridget Copley & Clémentine Raffy, SFL (Paris 8/CNRS): Intentionally with would-be preventers / slides
Semra Kizilkaya, Universität zu Köln: Natural forces as causers in Turkish (slides)

May 23 and/or 24: hybrid event? to be rescheduled

Jun 8, 2022 05:00 PM Paris time
Andrew Mackenzie, Univ. of Kansas: Catalytic conversion :  Effects of partial cause on argument structure
Shaun Nichols, Cornell University & David Rose, Stanford University: Cause and burn in development

TUESDAY June 28, 2022 2:00pm Paris time (NOTE DIFFERENT TIME AND DAY) – hybrid meeting INALCO room 4.15
2:00-2:45 Bridget Copley (SFL) & Alda Mari (IJN) – Forbid is not order not abstract
2:45-3:30 Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal (HUJ) – Causal models: What do they represent? abstract
3:30-4:00 break
4:00-4:45 Prerna Nadathur (Konstanz/Ohio State) – Causation and the logic of ability abstract

Fall 2021

Sep 8, 2021 05:00 PM Paris time
Bridget Copley, SFL (CNRS/Paris 8) – A few words on possible causal model representations for serial verbs
Jack Duff, UCSC – Composing associated motion in Santiago Laxopa Zapotec
Leila Glass, Georgia Tech – Why does CAUSE prefer negative-sentiment objects?

Oct 13, 2021 05:00 PM Paris time
Jordan Chark (ZAS) – A causality puzzle in the domain of Finnish necessity modals
Bridget Copley, SFL (CNRS/Paris 8) – Functions, causal models, and language

Nov 10, 2021 05:00 PM Paris time
Bridget Copley, SFL (CNRS/Paris 8) – A brief intro to forces
Olga Kagan, Ben-Gurion Univ. of the Negev – Change versus force in the Finnish case system
Bridget Copley, SFL (CNRS/Paris 8) – From force dynamics to causal models

Dec 8, 2021 05:00 PM Paris time
Robert Henderson, Univ. of Arizona – Topic: “if not for” counterfactuals 
Zahra Mirrazi, UMass – Strength of counterfactuality: A view from Farsi (handout)

The COCOA come-as-you-are online workshop, 3 and 10 June 2021

3 June 2021

19:00 – 19:45 Causal model tutorial with student question time (handout)
Bridget Copley (SFL (CNRS/Paris 8)

19:45 – 20:30 Two notions of causal sufficiency (handout)
Rebekah Baglini (Aarhus University) and Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

20:30 – 21:15 Which possible alternative worlds matter? (related paper)
Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Noa Bassel (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and York Hagmayer (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)

21:15 – 22:00 Wonder room open for conversation

10 June 2021

19:00 – 19:45 Modeling progress towards completion: causal models and the imperfective paradox (slides)
Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and Prerna Nadathur (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

19:45 – 20:30 The Russian perfective and maximality of causal influences (paper)
Bridget Copley (SFL (CNRS/Paris 8)) and Olga Kagan (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

20:30 – 21:15 Tools for non-triviality (slides)
Bridget Copley (SFL (CNRS/Paris 8))

21:15 – 22:00 Wonder room open for conversation