27.3799, Calls: Gen Ling, Historical Ling, Typology/Switzerland

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LINGUIST List: Vol-27-3799. Mon Sep 26 2016. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 27.3799, Calls: Gen Ling, Historical Ling, Typology/Switzerland

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Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2016 14:29:43
From: Barbara Schlücker [barbara.schluecker at uni-bonn.de]
Subject: The Grammar of Names

Full Title: The Grammar of Names 

Date: 10-Sep-2017 - 13-Sep-2017
Location: Zurich, Switzerland 
Contact Person: Barbara Schlücker
Meeting Email: barbara.schluecker at uni-bonn.de

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Typology 

Call Deadline: 01-Nov-2016 

Meeting Description:

Research on proper names has thus far mainly been concerned with diachronic
changes, thereby focusing on etymological problems and the history of names.
In linguistics and the philosophy of language there has also been abundant
research on the semantics of proper names and the distinction between proper
names and common nouns. In contrast, questions about the grammar of proper
names have received comparatively little attention in the literature. Although
there are a few aspects that have been discussed in some detail recently, for
instance, the diachronic development of inflectional marking, in general many
questions remain open or have not even been posed yet. One explanation for
this is that proper names do not form a homogeneous class with respect to
their grammatical status but, rather, there are quite a number of different
simplex and complex morphological and syntactic constructions being subsumed
under this category. Among other things, it has been shown that

- (Particular subclasses of) proper names have deviant phonotactic and
prosodic properties.
- In inflection-rich languages such as German proper names form an
inflectional class of their own which has undergone deflection and is
characterized by the absence of almost all inflectional markers and
- Proper names may exhibit particular syntactic properties, such as the
position of the genitive or the use in close apposition constructions.
- Proper names often take articles showing a deviant functional and syntactic
- With regard to gender, proper names seem to follow special gender assignment
principles: during proprialization they often leave their former common noun
gender and adopt a different gender, depending on the object they refer to.
- In word-formation, they may make use of specific onymic patterns, e.g.
specific onymic derivational affixes that can be used for the formation of
names exclusively as well as deonymic affixes that take only proper names as
their basis.

The central question of the workshop is in which way and to which extent
proper names deviate from non-proprial expressions and whether it is
legitimate – or even necessary – to posit a specific grammar of proper names.
To this end, we invite both language-specific and cross-linguistic
contributions, including dialectal studies, both from a synchronic and a
diachronic perspective. We especially encourage new insights driven by large
corpus-oriented data from theoretical linguistics, historical linguistics,
language typology, and variational linguistics.

Topics to be explored include, but are not restricted to, the following:

- What is the morphosyntactic status of (different kinds) of complex proper
names? What are the implications for grammatical theory?
- Are there specific patterns of phonological deviance in proper names in a
given language?
- Are there differences between different classes of proper names with regard
to their morphosyntactic and/or phonological properties?
- Which patterns of onymic word formation can be observed, both
language-specifically and cross-linguistically?
- Are there competing patterns of morphological and syntactic constructions
with proper names?


Antje Dammel (U Freiburg)
Johannes Helmbrecht (U Regensburg)
Damaris Nübling (U Mainz)
Barbara Schlücker (U Bonn)
Thomas Stolz (U Bremen)

Call for Papers:

We invite submissions of abstracts for 20+10 min presentations at the email
address below, which should also include contact details (name, affiliation,
and email address). If approved, the workshop will form part of the 50th
Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europea (SLE) in Zürich, 10-13
September 2017. For the first phase, please submit an abstract of maximum 300
words (excluding references) to be evaluated for consideration in our workshop
proposal (to levkov at uni-bremen.de). The initial submissions that have been
decided to be most appropriate for the workshop will be included in the
workshop proposal submitted to the SLE organizers. If the workshop is
accepted, we will require a full abstract submission (deadline 15 January
2017), which will undergo the general SLE reviewing process.

Important Dates:

1 November 2016: Deadline for submission of 300-word abstracts to the workshop
organizers (submission address: Dr. Nataliya Levkovych, levkov at uni-bremen.de)
25 November 2016: Notification of initial acceptance by the workshop
organizers and submission of the workshop proposal to SLE
25 December 2016: Notification of acceptance of workshop proposals from SLE
organizers to workshop organizers
15 January 2017: Submission of full abstracts
31 March 2017: Notification of paper acceptance 
10-13 September 2017: SLE conference

The full description of this workshop can be found at


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