[Lingtyp] Call for papers, SWL8 - The Syntax of Complex Sentences in Creole Languages

Stefano Manfredi manfredi at vjf.cnrs.fr
Thu Jan 18 10:05:21 UTC 2018

Syntax of World's Languages 8 - Paris, 3-5 September 2018

CONFERENCE WEBSITE: https://swl8.sciencesconf.org/
WORKSHOP PAGE: https://swl8.sciencesconf.org/resource/page/id/3

CONVENORS: Stefano Manfredi (CNRS, SeDyL) and Nicolas Quint (CNRS, LLACAN)


Over the last decades, we have witnessed significant progress in the study
of the syntax of complex sentences (Van Valin & LaPolla 1997; Bybee &
Noonan 2001; Haspelmath 2004; Bril 2010; Nordström 2010; Cristofaro 2013).
In this overall context, the definition of complex sentence as a
semantically hierarchized structure entailing different syntactic units
calls into question descriptive notions such as subordination,
coordination, parataxis, hypotaxis, main and dependent clause whose
comparative validity is contingent on the adoption of different
theoretical frameworks (e.g. functional grammar vs. formal grammar) as
well as on language-dependent factors (Comrie 2008; Fabricius-Hansen &
Ramm 2008). Although numerous studies have examined complex sentences in a
number of linguistic areas and phyla (Frajzyngier 1996; Kortmann 1996;
Auwera 1998; Caron 2008; Vajda 2008), typological work on complex syntax
has shown limited interest in creole languages. At the same time, there
have been only limited attempts to describe and compare complex sentences
of creole languages (Michaelis et al. 2013).

Creoles differ from other spoken languages in that they came into
existence as a consequence of the disruption of the intergenerational
transmission of their lexifier (Comrie 2011). These uncommon conditions of
language emergence entail a multifactorial process of language change
involving second language acquisition, substratum interference, as well as
internal developments. The question could be then raised of how creole
languages grammaticalized their complex sentences and to which extent
these constructions differ from those of non-creole languages. In order to
make typological generalizations about the encoding of the semantic
relations of complex sentences in creole languages, an in-depth analysis
of the formal parameters of coordination and subordination
(presence/absence of subordinating and coordinating conjunctions,
presence/absence of overt TAM marking, presence/absence of non-finite
verbal forms, presence/absence of pronominal arguments) is needed.
Qualitative and quantitative evidences for recurrent syntactic patterns
might be a first indicator, but these also need be falsified against
complex sentences in non-creole languages.

In the light of the above, this workshop seeks to address questions such
as the following:

- How can the description and comparison of the syntax of complex
sentences in creole languages help us refine the traditional syntactic
notion of ''complex sentence''?

- To what extent does the syntax of complex sentences in creole languages
depend on the reanalysis of the structures of their lexifiers and the
transfer of substrate/adstrate structures and/or on universal tendencies
implied by second language acquisition, and subsequent nativization
(Diessel 2004)?

- Are creole languages typologically different from non-creole languages
in the broader domain of complex sentences (Bakker et al. 2011)?

- Which qualitative and quantitative methods are most suitable to capture
the syntactic variation affecting complex sentences in creole languages?

This workshop is intended as a forum to bring together researchers working
on creoles that have been lexicalized by different languages (English,
French, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic), and that present different
substrate/adstrate languages (Niger-Congo, Oceanic, Nilo-Saharan), with
the aim of contributing to the debate about the semantic and formal
parameters available to compare complex sentences. It will include both
detailed case studies on the syntax of complex sentences in individual
creole languages as well as more comparative-oriented presentations.

Auwera, J. van der (ed.) 1998. Adverbial Constructions in Languages of
Europe. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Bakker, P., A. Daval-Markussen, M. Parkvall and I. Plag. 2011. Creoles are
typologically distinct from non-creoles. Journal of Pidgin and Creole
Languages 26: 5-42.

Bril, I. (ed.) 2010. Clause Linking and Clause Hierarchy: Syntax and
Pragmatics. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Bybee, J. and M. Noonan (eds.). 2001. Complex Sentence in Grammar and
Discourse. Essays in Honour of Sandra A. Thompson. Amsterdam/Philadelphia:
John Benjamins.

Caron, B. (ed.). 2008. Subordination, dépendance et parataxe dans les
langues africaines. Louvain: Peeters.

Comrie, B. 2008. Subordination, coordination: Form, semantics, pragmatics.
In: E. Vajda (ed.), Subordination and Coordination Strategies in North
Asian Languages. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins, pp. 1-16.

Comrie, B. 2011. Creoles and language typology. In: C. Lefebvre (ed.),
Creoles, their Substrates, and Language Typology. Amsterdam/ Philadelphia:
John Benjamins. 599-611.

Cristofaro, S. 2005. Subordination. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Diessel, H. 2004. The Acquisition of Complex Sentences. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.

Fabricius-Hansen, C. and W. Ramm (eds.) 2008. ‘Coordination’ versus
‘Subordination’ in Sentence and Text. A Cross-Linguistic Perspective.
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Frajzyngier, Z. 1996. Grammaticalization of Complex Sentence. A Case Study
in Chadic. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Haspelmath, M. 2004. Coordinating Constructions: An Overview. In: M.
Haspelmath (ed.), Coordinating Constructions. Amsterdam/Philadelphia:
Benjamins, pp. 3-40.

Kortmann, B. 1996. Adverbial Subordination. A Typology and History of
Adverbial Subordinators Based on European Languages. Berlin: Mouton de

Michaelis, S. M., P. Maurer, M. Haspelmath and M. Huber (eds.) 2013. Atlas
of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures Online. Leipzig: Max Planck
Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Mithun, M. 1988. The Grammaticization of Coordination. In: J. Haiman and
S. A. Thompson (eds.), Clause Combining in Grammar and Discourse,
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, pp. 331-359.

Noonan, M. 1985. Complementation. In: T. Shopen (ed.), Language Typology
and Syntactic Description. Cambridge University Press, pp. 42-140.
Nordström, J. 2010. Modality and Subordinators. Amsterdam/Philadelphia:
John Benjamins.

Vajda, E. 2008. Subordination and Coordination Strategies in North Asian
Languages. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Van Valin, R. and R. LaPolla 1997. Syntax: Structure, Meaning, and
Function. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Stefano Manfredi - Chargé de recherche
Campus CNRS de Villejuif, Bâtiment D
7, rue Guy-Môquet, 94801 Villejuif Cedex
Tel: +33 (0)1 49 58 38 34

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