24.4446, Calls: Syntax, Linguistic Theories/Poland

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LINGUIST List: Vol-24-4446. Thu Nov 07 2013. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 24.4446, Calls: Syntax, Linguistic Theories/Poland

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Date: Thu, 07 Nov 2013 14:25:53
From: Piotr Cegłowski [cpiotr at wa.amu.edu.pl]
Subject: Information Structure Meets Generative Syntax

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Full Title: Information Structure Meets Generative Syntax 

Date: 11-Sep-2014 - 14-Sep-2014
Location: Poznań, Poland 
Contact Person: Piotr Cegłowski
Meeting Email: cpiotr at wa.amu.edu.pl
Web Site: http://sle2014.eu/ 

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories; Syntax 

Call Deadline: 15-Jan-2014 

Meeting Description:

For the last thirty years or so, the categories of Information Structure such as focus and topic have been incorporated into the mainstream of generative syntactic research. Starting with a classical partition of sentence structure into focus and presupposition (Chomsky 1972,  Jackendoff 1972), generative linguists have thought of the ways in which pragmatically-oriented categories of information structure could be coded in formal syntax (apart from their discourse-related provenance, the phenomena in question belong to distinct grammatical domains, and therefore, have naturally been studied at different grammatical interfaces: syntax-semantics, syntax-phonology and semantics-phonology).

Thus, one of the research goals in the GB era was to define the formal exponents of the displacement processes, e.g., Topicalization and Clitic Left Dislocation (Cinque 1983, 1990; Lasnik and Saito 1992) and a feature checking - based  approach  to Focus (Horvath 1986; Brody 1990). With the advent of Minimalism, new ways of reasoning emerged, e.g.,  the cartographic approach to focus and topic (Rizzi 1997, following Pollock 1989, Belletti 2004; Rizzi 2006) or the partitioning of focus into information and identification foci (Kiss 1998, 2002, Zubizarreta 1998, Reinhart 2006), to name but two. The era of Late Minimalism has witnessed further proliferation of ideas including some interesting alternatives to cartography-based solutions, e.g., Bouchard (2009); Neeleman et al (2009) (see Craenenbroeck (ed.) 2009), as well as other inspiring proposals (López 2009; Fanselow and Lenertová 2011, among others).

That the question of the relation between narrow syntax and information structure remains a theme of a lively debate and ranks high on the generative (both minimalist and non-minimalist) agenda has best been proven by the quality and quantity of recent contributions in the field. 

The aim of the workshop is to review the question of the relation between narrow syntax and information structure by discussing new data and proposals, including the ones which seem constructively critical of the mainstream approaches. For references, see Call for Papers.

Call for Papers:

We would like to organize a workshop on Information Structure in Generative Syntax at Societas Linguistica Europaea, which will take place September 11-14, 2014 at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland (http://www.sle2014.eu/).

Our aim is to bring together linguists interested in such research questions (among others) as: 

(i) What's the empirical, cross-linguistic coverage for focus and topic?
(ii) Are there features [Foc] or [Top] in the derivation?
(iii) Is focus fronting movement for focus, or for contrast ?
(iv) Is there covert focus fronting?
(v) Is there just one focus position in sentence structure?
(vi) Is there left periphery of nominal projections?
(vii) Is there evidence for Information Structure - sensitive extraction from nominal projections?
(viii) Are focus and topic quantificational?
(ix) How are topic and focus related to predication?
(x) Are topic and focus movements sensitive to islands?
(xi) What's the prosody of focus and topic? 

Selected References: 

Bouchard, Denis. 2009. A solution to the problem of cartography. In Craenenbroeck, van J. (ed.) 2009.
Brody, Michael. 1990. Some Remarks on the Focus Field in Hungarian. In UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 2: 201-225. University College London.
Belletti, Adriana. (ed.) 2004. Structures and Beyond. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
Chomsky, Noam. 1972. Essays on form and interpretation. New York: North-Holland.
Cinque, Gulgielmo. 1983. ''Topic' construction in Some European Languages and Connectedness. In Anagnostopoulou, van Riemsdijk & Zwarts (eds.) 1997.
Cinque, Gulgielmo. 1990. Types of A'-Dependencies. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.
van Craenenbroeck , Jeroen. (ed.). 2009. Alternatives to cartography. The Hague: Mouton de Gruyter.
Fanselow, Gisbert and Lenertová, Denisa. 2011. Left peripheral focus: mismatches between syntax and information structure. Natural Languages and Linguistic Theory 29: 169-209.
Horvath, Julia. 1986. FOCUS in the Theory of Grammar and the Syntax of Hungarian. Dordrecht: Foris.
Jackendoff, Ray. 1972. Semantic Interpretation in Generative Grammar. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Kiss, È. Katalin. 1998. Identificational Focus versus Infromation Focus. Language 74: 245-273.
Kiss, È. Katalin. 2002. The Syntactic Structure of Hungarian. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lasnik, Howard and Mamoru Saito. 1992. Move Alpha: Conditions on Its Application and Output. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
López, Louis. 2009. A Derivational Syntax of Information Structure. Oxford: OUP
Neeleman, Ad, Elena Titov, Hans van de Koot and Reiko Vermeulen. 2009. A syntactic typology of topic, focus and contrast. In Van Craenenbroeck, J. (ed.)
Reinhart, Tanya. 2006. Interface Strategies. Cambridge, MA:MIT Press.
Rizzi, Luigi. 1997. The fine structure of the left periphery. In Haegeman (ed). 1997.
Rizzi, Luigi. 2006. On the form of chains: criterial positions and ECP effects. In Cheng , L.L-S and Corver, N. (eds.) 2006.
Zubizarreta, M. Luisa. 1998. Prosody, Focus, and Word Order. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Since workshop proposals must be submitted with abstracts from potential speakers, we invite all interested parties to send their preliminary abstracts (300 words) related to the proposals above to cpiotr at wa.amu.edu.pl.
Provided the workshop is accepted, we will invite potential participants to submit the full versions of their abstracts (500 words) by following the submission procedure (see SLE website).

Important Dates:

Deadline for submission of 300-word abstract for theme session: 25 November 2013 
Deadline for submission of full abstract for SLE: 15 January 2014 
Notification of acceptance to SLE: 31 March 2014 

For more information, contract workshop organisers:

Przemysław Tajsner: tprzemek at wa.amu.edu.pl
Agata Wiśniewska: awisniewska at wa.amu.edu.pl
Piotr Cegłowski: cpiotr at wa.amu.edu.pl
Jadwiga Bogucka: jbogucka at wa.amu.edu.pl

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