[Lingtyp] differential internal possessors
haspelmath at shh.mpg.de
Wed Jan 10 20:28:06 UTC 2018
This looks like an interesting workshop, and it is useful to have a new
concept of "differential internal possession" (or maybe "differential
ad(nominal)possession"? cf. the shortened term "adpossessive
for adnominal possessive construction).
But what exactly falls under this concept?
The notion of "differential argument marking" is generally applied to
cases where the marking of an argument type depends on its own
properties, rather than on the verb. Thus, differential object marking
refers to cases where an object is marked differently depending on its
definiteness, or animacy, or pronominality – and NOT when it is marked
differently depending on the verb, e.g. dative-marked or adpositionally
marked. (The latter situation normally falls under the heading of
So if differential adpossessor marking is parallel to differential
argument marking, it should refer to cases like Nganasan (Wagner-Nagy
2014), where personal pronoun adpossessors take no Genitive (and require
possessive indexing on the possessed noun), while full-nominal
adpossessors must be in the Genitive (and need not be cross-indexed on
In some cases, alternative possessive constructions are perhaps best
treated as *alternations* (comparable to the English dative
alternation), because both constructions are possible with the same
nouns under the same grammatical conditions (e.g. German "die Katze
meines Vaters / die Katze von meinem Vater" 'my father's cat'), with
subtle pragmatic differences.
In many other cases, alternative possessive constructions occur with
different classes of nouns (alienable/inalienable) and are thus
analogous to valency classes of verbs.
Of course, these three types (1: conditioned by grammatical class of
adpossessor / 2: both occur side by side / 3: conditioned by lexical
class of possessed noun) are ideal types, and there are intermediate or
fuzzy cases, but it would be useful if the terminology were fully
parallel in the verbal and nomonal domains.
On 10.01.18 19:15, András Bárány wrote:
> 2nd Call for Papers, The syntax of Differential Internal Possessors
> Workshop at Syntax of the World's Languages 8, 3-5 September 2018,
> Inalco, Paris, France
> Convenors: Irina Nikolaeva (SOAS), András Bárány (SOAS), Oliver Bond
> (Surrey Morphology Group, University of Surrey)
> Contact: András Bárány, andras.barany at soas.ac.uk
> Deadline: 31 January 2018
> Abstract submission: https://swl8.sciencesconf.org/, one A4 page + a
> page for examples; please indicate the workshop when submitting your
> Full CfP: https://swl8.sciencesconf.org/resource/page/id/7
> Many languages have more than one possessive construction in which the
> possessor is internal to the same syntactic phrase as the possessum.
> This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as Differential Possessor
> Marking or Differential Possessor Expression, by analogy with
> Differential Argument Marking. Although recent years have seen a growing
> interest in the study of Differential Argument Marking, Differential
> Possessor Marking is by far less systematically investigated.
> Especially little is currently known about the syntactic effects
> differential internal possessors may have. This perspective will add a
> new dimension to the traditional typological studies of internal
> possessive constructions, which have mostly concentrated on the
> morphosyntactic encoding of their components or the (relational)
> semantics underlying their distribution.
> The aim of the workshop is to bring some important issues regarding the
> cross-linguistic variation in the syntax of internal possessive
> constructions to the attention of the typological community. Without
> claiming to encompass the whole range of Differential Possessor Marking
> phenomena, the workshop will focus on two partially interrelated
> questions that appear to be typologically understudied.
> The first one relates to behavioural syntactic properties of
> differential internal possessors. For example, in Turkish (Turkic) the
> possessor normally bears the genitive case and the possessed noun may
> host possessive agreement, although it is not obligatory. Constructions
> without agreement require discourse contexts which establish the
> possessor as a clearly identifiable referent, so that it cannot be
> indefinite or quantified. This indicates a split in the syntactic
> behaviour of possessors within the possessive phrase.
> Even more striking are cases where an internal possessor exhibits
> syntactic effects outside of its own phrase and participates in
> syntactic processes which typically target a phrasal head, such as
> predicate-argument agreement (e.g. in Maithili, Ngumpin-Yapa, Chimane)
> or switch-reference (Turkic, Aleut, Tundra Nenets, California Uto-Aztecan).
> Second, the workshop will focus on functional factors determining
> differential expression of internal possessors in their relationship to
> syntax. The alternative possessive constructions are usually specialized
> on the expression of possessive relations of a different semantic
> nature, as is observed in languages with possessive classifiers or an
> alienability opposition, or they reflect a split in the lexicon and the
> inherent semantic properties of the possessor (e.g. lexical vs.
> pronominal possessors).
> This workshop aims to bring some important issues regarding the
> cross-linguistic variation in the syntax of internal possessive
> to the attention of the typological community. We are looking forward to
> submissions covering the following topics:
> - Syntactic behaviour of differential possessors within the possessive
> - Grammatical interaction between internal possessors and a larger
> syntactic domain
> - Discourse factors that affect the choice between alternative internal
> possessive constructions within one language to what extent the factors
> that determine differential coding of internal possessors are analogous
> to DAM?
> - Recurrent cross-linguistic patterns and parameters of variation in
> discourse-conditioned differential internal possessors
> - Correlations between functional properties and syntactic prominence of
> internal possessors
> Anonymous abstracts for the general session and posters should be no
> longer than one page A4 (normal margins of 2,5 cm on each side, single
> spaced lines, Times New Roman, Doulos SIL or DejaVu font, 12 pt font
> size), with the possibility of using an additional page for examples,
> and should be written in English, with fully glossed examples conforming
> to the Leipzig Glossing Conventions. Please romanise all Asian texts,
> and do not use Asian character fonts unless absolutely required.
> Participants may not be involved in more than two abstracts for the
> general session, of which at most one may be single-authored.
> Please submit abstracts through the SWL8 website:
> https://swl8.sciencesconf.org/ by *31 January 2018*
Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at shh.mpg.de)
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10
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