Cfp: Workshop on benefactives and malefactives

Seppo Kittilä sepkit at
Tue Feb 20 17:24:20 UTC 2007

(Apologies for multiple postings)



October 25-26, 2007
University of Zurich
Zurich, Switzerland

Fernando Zúñiga (Zurich)
Seppo Kittilä (Helsinki)

Benefactives (and malefactives) have been a recurrent topic in linguistic studies during the past few decades. The goal of this workshop is to bring  those linguists together who are working on benefaction/malefaction and who are interested in how languages express these meanings. We welcome papers dealing with any topic related to benefactives/malefactives from a cross-linguistic perspective as well as papers describing the phenomenon in 
individual languages (the latter refer to more descriptive approaches to the problem). Special emphasis will be placed upon the possibility of covering a wide range of semantic and syntactic issues related to the expression of benefaction and malefaction, as well as how to best deal with cross-linguistic variation in this domain. Possible topics for papers include (but are not restricted to):

- The syntactic status of benefactives/malefactives (cross-
linguistically or in an individual language).
- The semantics associated with benefactives/malefactives (i.e., in 
what ways a participant can be viewed as a benefative/malefactive).
- Whether languages formally distinguish between different kinds of 
bene-factives/malefactives and, in case they do, how these differences are manifested (e.g. via distinct case markers, adpositions, distinct applicative markers, etc.).
- The relation of benefactives and malefactives to other functions 
(e.g. indirect causation or purpose).
- What kinds of restrictions are there on the use of benefactives/
malefactives (e.g. animacy, predicate semantics, negation, pragmatic 
restrictions, etc.).
- Whether languages distinguish between benefactives and malefactives overtly and/or obligatorily; it seems that in many languages the distinction is merely pragmatic.
- Theoretical approaches to benefaction/malefaction (how these 
notions are best described in a theory of grammar/syntax).

Please send us an (anonymous) abstract (of maximally 500 words, excluding data) no later than May 15, 2007. We prefer abstracts sent as attachment to an e-mail (in .doc or .pdf-format). We will notify you of the acceptance status of your abstract on June 15 at the latest.

Fernando Zúñiga
Seminar f. Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Universität Zürich
Plattenstrasse 54
8032 Zurich, Switzerland
fernando.zuniga at         

Seppo Kittilä
Department of Linguistics
P.O. Box 9
00014 University of Helsinki
Helsinki, Finland
kittila at

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