[Fwd: Fw: FU Workshop Call]

Johanna Laakso johanna.laakso at univie.ac.at
Thu May 14 11:45:55 UTC 2009

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The Syntax of Finno-Ugric Languages and Universal Grammar
In the framework of the 11th International Congress for Finno-Ugric
Studies, to be held at Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Piliscsaba
(near Budapest) between 9-14th August, 2010, we organize a workshop
devoted to the formal analysis of the syntax of Finno-Ugric languages,
focusing on how their particular features relate to Universal Grammar.

Analyses of Finno-Ugric languages have made a number of  important
contributions to the theory of Universal Grammar, over the years,
extending the limits of syntactic variation allowed by UG. They
demonstrated the presence of a rich, articulated left periphery in
sentence structure, involving, for example, a contrastive position in
Finnish, and, in Hungarian, exhaustive structural focus as well as
landing sites for overt quantifier raising. Other issues raised by
Finno-Ugric languages included freedom of word order in certain
sections of the sentence (but strict word order in the left
periphery). They showed the need for divorcing the predicate-external
argument from the grammatical function �subject�. The
complex Finno-
Ugric possessive construction served as argument for assuming layers
of functional projections in the noun phrase. The rich system of
cases � among them the partitive case of Finnish and Estonian
� remain
a challenge to standard case theory. The problems raised by the
partitive case include its interaction with the specificity of the
internal argument, with aspect, epistemic modality, and with verb-
object agreement. In Ostyak, the mapping of theta-roles on case
positions appears to interact both with specificity and with discourse
functions. Finno-Ugric negation also has its particular properties to
be accounted for, including a negative auxiliary in Finnish and Sami,
the abessive/caritive negation, and intricate negative concord
phenomena in several languages. The partial pro-drop characteristic of
Finnish has necessitated a modification of the theory of pro-drop, and
the Estonian impersonal and genitive agents are instances of current
Among the phenomena in Finno-Ugric languages which deserve to be more
widely known in the linguistic research community is the great variety
of non-finite constructions, often with intricate agreement and case
patterns. Another is the variety of question particles, focus
particles, and modal particles. For example,  Estonian has both
sentence-initial and sentence-final Q-particles, while Finnish has
a �second-position� Q-particle which can be deeply embedded
in a
fronted phrase. The mix of head-final and head-initial properties
found particularly in the Western Finno-Ugric languages poses
challenges to theories of linearization (including the LCA).

We invite contributions to the workshop �The Syntax of Finno-Ugric
Languages and Universal Grammar�, treating issues of these types,
providing formal analyses of empirical phenomena against the
background of standard universal assumptions.

The workshop will consist of 30-minute presentations followed by 10-
minute discussions.
Abstracts should be a maximum of two pages long (excluding
bibliography), with 12 points Times New Roman (or equivalent),
examples not separate from the text. Two versions, one anonymous and
one with the author�s name and affiliation should be sent to
Szalontai.Norbertne at btk.ppke.hu by July 10, 2009. The subject of the
message should be �FU Workshop�. Abstracts will be refereed
anonymously. Authors will be notified about their acceptance by
September 15.
Katalin É. Kiss
ekiss at nytud.hu
Pázmány Péter University

Anders Holmberg
anders.holmberg at newcastle.ac.uk
Newcastle University

Anne Tamm
anne.tamm at unifi.it
Research Institute of Linguistics, Budapest

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Johanna Laakso
Universität Wien
EVSL Abteilung Finno-Ugristik
Campus AAKH Spitalg. 2-4 Hof 7
A-1090 Wien
johanna.laakso at univie.ac.at || http://homepage.univie.ac.at/Johanna.Laakso/

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