Fwd: Argument Structure Conference in Delhi

John Peterson jpeterso at UNI-OSNABRUECK.DE
Wed Jun 19 14:39:23 UTC 2002

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Just thought this might be of some interest to the members of this
list as well.

------ Forwarded message -------
From: Tanmoy Bhattacharya <bhattach2000 at YAHOO.CO.UK>
Reply-to: Tanmoy Bhattacharya <bhattach2000 at YAHOO.CO.UK>To:
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 15:15:36 +0100

Argument Structure in Delhi

Conference website:

The department of linguistics, University of Delhi in
collaboration with the Central Institute of Indian Languages
(CIIL) is organising a conference on Argument Structure from
January 5-7, 2003 at Delhi. Howard Lasnik of the University of
Conneticut is the keynote speaker. Invitees include Paul
Kiparsky of Stanford, Eric Reuland of Utrecht and Peter
Svenonius of TrØmso. We invite abstracts not exceeding two A4
size pages (inclusive of data and 12 pt font size) on the above
theme by August 1, 2002. Scholars working in the areas of LFG,
HPSG, Functional/ Computational Linguistics, Word Grammar,
Language Acquisition/ Psycholinguistics are also welcome to
submit abstracts as we intend to have a comprehensive coverage
of the issue of Argument Structure from different theoretical/
empirical perspectives.

Various issues emerge from a closer look at the broad theme of
argument structure in grammar: the role of thematic hierarchy,
the relation between Case and configurationality, the relation
between case and agreement, ergativity, the structure of the
VP/vP, etc. With the development of the discipline, these issues
have been shown to be related to one another at various levels
and the purpose of the conference is to bring together experts
from different theoretical orientations to point out the
empirical and the theoretical importance of these relations and
the degree to which they are related. For example, the
formulation, Universality of Theta Assignment Hypothesis is
somewhat challenged by a potential division between language
types on the basis of ergativity. An investigation into the
nature of ergativity leads to the question of whether ergative
languages assign thematic roles in ways different from
non-ergative languages.

We consider this challenge as inseparable from the issue of how
the VP-shell is constructed in typologically differing
languages. The issue of word order and language typology in this
connection forces us to look in detail at configurationality and
its significance for the issue of argument structure and
therefore at the Antisymmetry thesis. Closely related to this is
the issue of Case, in particular, the relation between the
functional structure and Case/ argument positions in a clause.
In addition, the issue of Case and agreement becomes important
in frameworks like the Minimalist Program, which adopts the view
that they are inseparable (George and Kornfilt 1981). Is this
really necessary? We want to address this question on the basis
of empirical evidence from typologically diverse languages
displaying, in general, agreement in the non-finite domain.

In connection with the structure of the vP/ VP, particular
constructions that are often discussed in detail include:
causatives, unaccusative/ unergative, double object and dative
constructions, etc. These construction types throw up issues
related to the thematic structure and syntactic properties of
Case and agreement. Finally, we see this relation as crucially
bearing upon the notion of a Phase: is it really the case that
what represents a “propositional” whole must necessarily also
conform to the argument structure of the clause? Broadly, the
connection between the semantics and the different syntactic
layers of a clause is brought to light in such an investigation
about the Phase-like properties of the vP.

Abstracts may be sent as email attachments (Word, RTF, PDF only)
to the following and snail-mail abstracts (in 5 copies) may be
sent to the postal address below:

Tanmoy Bhattacharya   at <tanmoy at du.ac.in> or
<bhattach2000 at yahoo.co.uk>
KV Subbarao  <kvs2811 at rediffmail.com>

Department of Linguistics
Arts Faculty Extension
University of Delhi
Delhi – 110007, INDIA

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