Call for Papers / Workshop: The origin of non-canonical subject marking in Indo-European

Ilja Serzants ilja.serzants at UIB.NO
Thu Oct 23 09:38:21 UTC 2008


Workshop: The origin of non-canonical subject marking in Indo-European

The research team of the project ?Indo-European Case and Argument  
Structure from a Typological Perspective? (IECASTP)  
( is organizing a workshop at the XIXth  
International Conference on Historical Linguistics (10-15 August 2009,  
Nijmegen,, devoted on the origin of  
non-canonical subject marking in Indo-European.

The URL of the workshop is:
Invited speaker: Leonid Kulikov (University of Leiden)
Please send a 300-word abstract in pdf format to Ilja Serzants  
(Ilja.Serzants at no later than January 10th. Notification of  
acceptance will be sent out no later than January 25th. The abstract  
also has to be submitted through the main conference website at the  
same time
Several of the Modern Indo-European languages that have maintained  
morphological case
exhibit structures where the subject(-like) argument is not  
canonically case marked.
These are found amongst the Modern Germanic languages, Modern Russian,  
the Modern Baltic languages and the Modern Indo-Aryan languages, to  
mention some. It is traditionally
assumed in the literature that these have developed from objects to  
subjects (see, for
instance, Hewson and Bubenik 2006), hence the case marking. Recently,  
however, it has
been argued for Germanic that oblique subjects in the modern languages  
were syntactic
subjects already in Old Germanic (Eythórsson and Barðdal 2005). This  
raises the question
whether these non-canonically case-marked subject(-like) arguments  
were objects in
Proto-Germanic or Proto-Indo-European, or whether they may have been  
syntactic subjects
all along, given an assumption of the alignment system in  
Proto-Indo-European being a
Fluid-S system (cf. Barðdal and Eythórsson 2008). It is, moreover,  
possible that the case
marking patterns of different predicate types have different origins  
in Indo-European.
The aim of this workshop is therefore to gather researchers who work  
on case marking in
Indo-European, and case marking in general, to a forum where the more  
general topic of
the origin of this non-canonical case marking can be discussed. By  
doing that, we hope to
shed light on this important issue within case marking and alignment,  
linguistics, and Indo-European studies.
Radboud University Nijmegen,
Centre for Language Studies/Language in Time and Space

Please check the website of the host conference for issues like  
registration, conference
fee, social program, etc.

Ilja Serzants

PhD Research Student

Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies

University of Bergen

P.O. box 7805

NO-5020 Bergen


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