14.858, Calls: Indo-European, CA USA/Null Subjects, Iceland

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LINGUIST List:  Vol-14-858. Mon Mar 24 2003. ISSN: 1068-4875.

Subject: 14.858, Calls: Indo-European, CA USA/Null Subjects, Iceland

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Date:  Fri, 21 Mar 2003 14:58:00 +0000
From:  rjones at ucla.edu
Subject:  15th Annual UCLA Indo-European Conference

Date:  Mon, 24 Mar 2003 08:16:46 +0000
From:  whelpton at hi.is
Subject:  Conference on Null Subjects and Parametric Variation

-------------------------------- Message 1 -------------------------------

Date:  Fri, 21 Mar 2003 14:58:00 +0000
From:  rjones at ucla.edu
Subject:  15th Annual UCLA Indo-European Conference


Date: 07-Nov-2003 - 08-Nov-2003
Location: LA, CA, United States of America
Contact: Prof. Brent Vine
Contact Email: vine at humnet.ucla.edu
Meeting URL: http://www.humnet.ucla.edu/pies/

Linguistic Sub-field: Writing Systems, Typology, Translation,
Text/Corpus Linguistics, Syntax, Sociolinguistics, Semantics,
Phonology, Phonetics, Philosophy of Language, Neurolinguistics,
Morphology, Linguistic Theories, Ling & Literature, History of
Linguistics, Historical Linguistics, Genetic Classification, General
Linguistics, Anthropological Linguistics
Subject Language: Indo-European

Meeting Description:

will be held on NOVEMBER 7-8*, 2003, on the campus of the University
of California at Los Angeles. We invite papers on any aspect of
Indo-European studies: linguistics, archaeology, comparative
mythology, culture. Papers on both interdisciplinary and specific
topics (e.g., typology, methodology, reconstruction, the relation of
Indo-European to other language groups, the interpretation of material
culture, etc.) are welcome. A period of twenty minutes will be
allotted for each paper, followed by a ten-minute discussion
period. Abstracts** must be received by JUNE 30, 2003.

* Depending upon the number of abstracts received and topics treated,
the conference may be extended to NOVEMBER 9.

** We ask that those contemplating submission of an abstract please
pay careful attention to the following guidelines:

- Abstracts should be no more than 1-2 pages typewritten (about 700
words maximum).
- Please attach a cover sheet, with your name, institutional
affiliation, and accurate contact information (mailing address and
e-mail address) for the summer and fall of 2003.
- Abstracts should indicate the precise topic to be treated, the
author's contribution to the problem, the relationship of the work to
previous scholarship on the topic, and the author's specific
conclusion and their relevance for the field of Indo-European Studies.
- Only one abstract may be submitted per person.
- If an abstract is accepted: the author must submit a revised
abstract in an electronic format (e.g., Rich Text Format (RTF),
Postscript (PS) or Portable Document Format (PDF), etc.) by OCTOBER
1, 2003 for publication on line; the final version of the paper must
be read at the conference by the author of the abstract. (In the case
of a co-authored abstract, the final version must be presented by one
or more of the co-authors.)

Address all abstracts and inquiries to:

Indo-European Conference Committee
UCLA Program in Indo-European Studies
100 Dodd Hall
405 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1417

e-mail: Prof. Brent Vine vine at humnet.ucla.edu
fax: 1 (310) 206-1903

For further information, please call the Program's main office at 1
(310) 825-4171 (weekdays, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. US Pacific Time).

Through the generosity of its donors, the Friends and Alumni of
Indo-European Studies (FAIES) will offer a prize for the best paper by
a current student or recent PhD (received 1998 or later). Please
indicate your current status and year of PhD with your abstract if you
qualify. At least one week prior to the conference, eligible
presenters should contact:

Dr. Karlene Jones-Bley
2143 Kelton Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90025

e-mail: KJonesBley at aol.com

For the most up-to-date information, visit the Program's website

-------------------------------- Message 2 -------------------------------

Date:  Mon, 24 Mar 2003 08:16:46 +0000
From:  whelpton at hi.is
Subject:  Conference on Null Subjects and Parametric Variation

conference on null subjects and parametric variation
Short Title: Null Subjects

Date: 18-Jul-2003 - 19-Jul-2003
Location: Reykjavik, Iceland
Contact: Matthew Whelpton
Contact Email: whelpton at hi.is

Linguistic Sub-field: Syntax
Call Deadline: 27-Apr-2003

Meeting Description:

Abstracts are invited for a conference on null subjects and parametric
variation at the University of Iceland, Reykjavik, July 18-19th 2003.
The conference will be based around the work of the Cambridge-Durham
Research Project on null subjects and parametric variation: a
description of this project is given at the end of this announcement
and papers are invited which can contribute to the discussion of
issues raised within the project proposal.

Members of the Research Project (invited speakers):

Professor Anders Holmberg, University of Durham
Professor Ian Roberts, University of Cambridge
Dr. David Willis, University of Cambridge
Dr. Theresa Biberauer, Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, University of

Papers and Abstracts

As well as the lectures by the invited speakers and a discussion of
relevant Icelandic data, there will be an open session for 45 minute
papers (including 15 minutes for discussion).  Abstracts should be no
longer than 600 words (including examples and references) and should
be submitted IN ELETRONIC FORMAT ONLY (txt, rtf, doc or pdf).

Abstracts should be submitted in TWO versions.
1. The full abstract, including Title, Name, Affiliation, and main
abstract text.
2. An anonymous abstract, including ONLY Title and main abstract text.

Asbtracts should sent to:

thordigi at hi.is
[Thordis Gisladottir, Secretary to the Humanities Institute,
University of Iceland]

Abstracts must be received by 27th April 2003.  As notice of this
conference is relatively short, we will announce accepted papers by
2nd May.


Project description (short version)

The null-subject parameter will be investigated in order to establish
whether the correlations that it has been claimed to account for can
be explained in terms of parameter interaction. The aim is to develop
a typology of linguistic correlations and a theory of parameter

Project related advertisement (from Professor Anders Holmberg)
The School of Linguistics and Language, University of Durham announces
two PhD studentships fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research
Board (AHRB) for 3 years full time study beginning October 2003, to
work on the project Null Subjects and the Structure of Parametric
Theory.  The AHRB restricts these awards to UK residents.  The
deadline for application is 31 March 2003. For further information,
please contact Anders Holmberg, anders.holmberg at durham.ac.uk, phone
0191 3742640 (after 22 March: 0191 334 3005)

Project description (long version)

Research Context.

If we follow Chomsky in postulating Universal Grammar (UG) as a
solution to the logical problem of language acquisition, then we must
provide an adequate account for the attested range of variation among
grammatical systems. Over the past twenty years, this has been done by
appealing to the notion of parameters of UG. Associated with some
aspects of the invariant UG are parameters specifying a limited range
of variation. For example, the hierarchical structure and categorical
nature of lexical categories such as the Verb Phrase (VP) may be fixed
by UG, while the ordering of the verb and its complements is a matter
for parametric variation: this may account for the existence OV and VO

Research Questions.

While it has often been observed that principles and parameters (P&P)
model of comparative syntax offers a way of understanding typological
correlations, the theory of parameters has not been subjected to the
systematic and in-depth investigation it deserves. As a result,
certain basic questions concerning the nature of parametric variation
have not been adequately addressed. An important question concerns the
matter of parameter interaction.

It is standardly assumed that a given parameter setting may have
effects in different parts of the grammar, and therefore be associated
with a cluster of grammatical properties. Correspondingly, clustering
of properties across languages is taken to be diagnostic of a
parameter. However, to what extent the cluster of properties is
actually realized in any given language depends on how other
parameters are set. Ultimately the form of a given language is the
result of the interaction of the entire set of parameters and
principles of grammar. We envisage essentially two types of relations
among parameters:
(1) A parameter P is dependent on another parameter P. A special case
of this relation (perhaps the only case) is when setting P to value V
completely de-activates P. For example, in languages lacking
infinitival embedded clauses, any parameter exclusively concerning
properties of infinitives would be de-activated. Call this Linked
Parameter interaction.
(2) The setting of a parameter P to value V implies the setting of
parameter P to V, not by virtue of any hierarchic relation between P
and P, but because of the way they interact with the principles of
grammar. Call this Independent Parameter interaction.

Linked Parameter interaction is forced by UG and therefore the
empirical correlations that it gives rise to, henceforth called Type I
correlations, are exceptionless. Independent Parameter interaction
yields empirical correlations which are exceptionless in grammars of a
certain type (that is, as long as other parameter values are set
alike), but need not hold in typologically more distant grammars. Call
them Type II correlations.

Type II correlations must be distinguished from correlations which are
entirely fortuitous from the point of view of UG, resulting from
(recent) language contact, henceforth Type III correlations. These
have no universal generality, and are subject to fortuitous local
exceptions.  Our initial hypothesis is that all three types of
correlations are found, each having the empirical status mentioned.

Aims and objectives.

The aim of this project is to develop the second-order typology of
cross-linguistic correlations just sketched. This entails systematic
work in two areas: first, on developing a clear picture of what
implicational relations among parameters and parameter settings are
conceivable; second, investigating very systematically the
correlations that have been observed. We will pursue these two areas
of investigation by focussing on one of the most controversial
parameters, the null-subject parameter. We expect that our
investigations will allow us to see which of the properties associated
with this parameter are deeply linked, which only in certain types of
systems, and which ' despite contingent local correlations ' are
illusory. If we achieve this goal, we will have substantially deepened
P&P theory, and gone a small way towards exploiting its potential.

Research questions in more detail.

The empirical issues associated with the null-subject parameter are
fairly well known, yet remain badly understood. The language coverage
is also relatively large, yet few langauges have been subject to
detailed investigation. For this reason this domain represents an
ideal testing ground for the questions concerning the nature of
parametric variation outlined above.

Examples of the empirical correlations we are interested in are the
following, all of which are connected to the null-subject parameter:

(i) The presence of referential null subjects correlates with free
inversion, as originally proposed on the basis of Italian examples
like (1) by Rizzi (1982):
	Ha telefonato Gianni.
	Gianni has phoned.

This correlation holds in Standard Italian, numerous Italian dialects,
Spanish and Greek, but it does not clearly hold in Portuguese, and
Gilligan (1987) ' the only thorough cross-linguistic survey to date '
shows that it has little true cross-linguistic standing. It is
therefore highly unlikely that this is a correlation of Type I,
although it may be either a Type II or Type III case; we intend to
determine which of these is correct.

(ii) If a language has referential null subjects, it does not have
overt referential expletives.

It appears to hold in many Germanic and Romance languages, but the
status of (ii) in Finnish and in Welsh needs close
investigation. Again it seems unlikely, although not entirely
impossible, that this is a correlation of Type I, but it could be
either of Type II or Type III.

(iii) If a language is verb-second, it does not freely allow
referential null subjects.

The only clearly attested verb-second languages which have referential
null subjects at all are Old French, various Medieval Northern Italian
dialects and some varieties of Rhaeto-Romansch. In these languages,
null subjects are only found in verb-second clauses. However, the
status of Middle Welsh and Modern Breton in this connection needs
investigating. This correlation may, on the face of it, be of any of
the types listed above. It is clear that the eventual conclusion on
this point will have implications for our general understanding of
verb-second phenomena, as well as of null subjects.

(iv) Null-subject languages have rich agreement.

This correlation appears to be spectacularly disconfirmed by the
presence of null subjects (and objects) in many East Asian languages
which are totally lacking in agreement inflections. However, it has
been suggested (by Rizzi inte alia) that the East Asian facts
represent a Type I correlation: The null subject parameter doesnt come
into play in a language totally devoid of agreement morphology. There
appear to be counterexamples to this correlation as well, though:
Papiamentu has no agreement, yet does not allow null subjects
(according to Gilligan). Furthermore, there are languages which have
poor agreement, yet allow null subjects (Chamorro, Sao Tome Creole),
and there are languages with apparently rich agreement which do not
allow null subjects (Icelandic). But there is also striking support
for the correlation, including languages which have agreement in parts
of the verb paradigm, and allow null subjects just when the verb form
agrees (Irish, Hebrew). A precondition for determining the type of the
correlation is determining what constitutes richness of agreement.

In this connection we need to also consider the typology of null
arguments. It has been claimed that agreement, rather than licensing a
null pronoun (as in Rizzis original theory), actually IS a pronominal
argument. There are reasons to believe that both types of null
argument constructions exist, and possibly other types. We need to
investigate the possibility that correlation (iv), or any of the other
correlations, holds universally, but only for a specific type of null
subject construction.

(v) If a language has null subjects, it has infinitive movement. Kayne
(1991) establishes the validity of this generalisation for Romance
languages. Its status in other families, particularly Germanic, is not
clear, however. In these languages, infinitive-movement interacts in
complex ways with restructuring/clause-union phenomena (see
(vi)). Again, the issue for the typology of correlations given above
is whether this is a Type II or a Type III correlation.

(vi) If a language has restructuring/clause-union phenomena, it has
null subjects. Again, this correlation holds fairly well across
Romance, but appears to be entirely falsified in the West Germanic
languages. Sophisticated analysis is required here, however, in order
to determine the precise status of the cross-linguistic correlations,
especially as (iii) may play a role in explaining why this correlation
does not hold in German. English and North Germanic obey the
correlation in being non-null-subject and lacking restructuring, while
Celtic obeys the implication as stated, in that these languages are
null-subject languages but lack restructuring.

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