29.2850, Calls: Semantics, Syntax/Germany

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LINGUIST List: Vol-29-2850. Tue Jul 10 2018. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 29.2850, Calls: Semantics, Syntax/Germany

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Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2018 10:31:50
From: Andreas Pankau [andreas.pankau at fu-berlin.de]
Subject: Contrasts and Oppositions in 'Free' Linguistic Phenomena (DGfS 2019)

 
Full Title: Contrasts and Oppositions in 'Free' Linguistic Phenomena (DGfS 2019) 

Date: 06-Mar-2019 - 08-Mar-2019
Location: Bremen, Germany 
Contact Person: Volker Struckmeier
Meeting Email: amh07 at uni-koeln.de
Web Site: http://www.dgfs2019.uni-bremen.de/programme/8 

Linguistic Field(s): Semantics; Syntax 

Call Deadline: 05-Aug-2018 

Meeting Description:

Syntactic theories have taken different routes to the question of optionality.
With move-alpha, movement, e.g., was free (everybody move anywhere!). In early
minimalism, movement was feature-driven (check to feed your Greed!), and given
internal/external merge, it may be free again (depending on your definitions).
Similarly, the output of movement operations can be handled in the mapping to
PF through the deletion of the copies created by movement, making the
pertinent word order options “free”, at least from the point of view of syntax
(/semantics). Thus, theories differ with regard to the question, which
operations are “free” – and “free” for which component(s) of the grammar.

Empirically, we find that some phenomena seem to display “optional” variations
– which grammars then have to be equipped to handle. Verb-second languages,
e.g., allow more or less any constituent to occupy the pre-verbal position,
resulting in an optionality as to which element of the clause is fronted. But
if movement is feature-driven, either some interpretative impact has to be
connected to this movement (singling out a particular XP for every case) or
the set of XPs that have the potential to be fronted need to receive a
treatment that makes them all equally likely for fronting, depending on
theoretical implementations. As another example, consider scrambling. Whereas
scrambling was treated as “free”, possibly up until Lenerz 1977, it was later
considered free but coupled to semantic effects (Frey 1993). In yet other
treatments, scrambling is analyzed as triggered by information structural
properties (Frey 2004) – and thus not optional at all. Still other analyses
deny that scrambling involves triggered movements (Fanselow 2006) or else
propose different solutions for triggers and moved materials (Struckmeier
2017).

Invited Speaker:

Klaus Abels (UCL, London)


Call for Papers:

We invite submissions dealing with ''free'' phenomena (outside of phonology).
Which “free” empirical phenomena do we find in morphology, syntax, semantics,
etc.? Which implications could these phenomena have for our theoretical
understanding of the language’s grammar – and for grammatical architectures
beyond the treatment of individual languages? Our questions include but (are
not restricted to) ones like:

- Do truly ''free'' oppositions exist at all in syntax and morphology, or are
they “optical illusions”, observer effects, or theory-induced artifacts?
- When we talk about ''free'' and optional phenomena, which language
subsystems do indeed regard them as ''free''? (Can phenomena be truly “free”
across all subsystems?) 
- Do seemingly ''unrestricted'' formal contrasts reflect underlying functional
oppositions? Do performance restrictions or pragmatic principles bar “true”
optionality from ever arising (in all cases)?
- Are there formal oppositions hitherto regarded as ''free'' that in fact
involve subtle functional contrasts and should thus be taken off the list of
“optional” phenomena after all?

We also welcome proposals for the representation of ''free'' choices in
theoretical frameworks other than Generative Grammar. How are free phenomena
and optionality dealt with in different grammar frameworks? Do similar
questions such as those discussed above arise in all grammatical frameworks?
If no, what aspects of those alternative grammatical architectures differ to
render the same phenomena differently?  Please notice, however: Preferences
for one theory over the other foisted on linguists of different persuasions
are the one type of opposition that this workshop will have to do without.
Rather, we encourage participants to transcend old party lines to further our
empirical knowledge of linguistic phenomena that are (possibly) “unrestricted”
(in some sense). We encourage open-minded discussions of how grammatical
architectures handle ''free'' oppositions in specific cases – and how “free”
phenomena relate to the fundamental questions of rule-governedness and
regularity in “grammars” generally.

Abstract must not be longer than 2 pages (A4 or letter size) with 1in/2.5cm
margins, set single spaced in at least 11pt font. Abstracts must be anonymous,
the list of references must be complete, and self references should be
avoided. Please make sure that there is no indication of the authors' identity
in the file submitted.

Abstracts must be submitted via Easychair:
https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ag8dgfs-2019




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