25.4062, Calls: Ling Theories, Morphology, Semantics, Syntax, Typology/Netherlands

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LINGUIST List: Vol-25-4062. Tue Oct 14 2014. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 25.4062, Calls: Ling Theories, Morphology, Semantics, Syntax, Typology/Netherlands

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Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2014 19:49:11
From: Michelle Sheehan [mls54 at cam.ac.uk]
Subject: Differential Marking: Implications for Case and Agree

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Full Title: Differential Marking: Implications for Case and Agree 

Date: 02-Sep-2015 - 05-Sep-2015
Location: Leiden, Netherlands 
Contact Person: Michelle Sheehan
Meeting Email: mls54 at cam.ac.uk
Web Site: http://recos-dtal.mml.cam.ac.uk/activities 

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories; Morphology; Semantics; Syntax; Typology 

Call Deadline: 16-Nov-2014 

Meeting Description:

Workshop on Differential marking: implications for Case and Agree
SLE workshop, 2-5 September 2015, Leiden

Organisers: András Bárány, Michelle Sheehan & Jenneke van der Wal

Many of the world’s languages display differential marking whereby specific kinds of arguments are flagged by case and/or agreement. In some languages accusative/dative case is used for DOM of objects at the upper end of Silverstein’s animacy hierarchy (e.g. Persian, Spanish, Hindi) and/or ergative case differentially marks subjects at the lower end of the scale (e.g. Dyirbal (Pama-Nyungan), Halkomelem (Salish), Mocho’ (Mayan)). In other languages differential marking is not reflected in the case system but rather in agreement morphology, sensitive to the properties of just the object (e.g. Bantu languages, Hungarian, and other Finno-Ugric languages), or of more than one argument (e.g. so-called inverse systems in Algonquian languages).

While many of these phenomena have been studied extensively in isolation, less attention has been paid to the relationship between differential marking and abstract Case/Agree. On the one hand, some scholars have proposed that non-accusative marked objects are not targets for Agree as they are not DPs but NPs, which do not require Case-licensing (Danon 2006, Richards 2008). On the other hand, competing accounts take (dependent) case marking to be a post-syntactic morphological effect, which is not predicted to interact directly with Agree/Case-valuation (Marantz 1991, but see Baker 2014 for a syntactic implementation of dependent case). Finally, other researchers have argued for a dissociation of Case and Agree (e.g. Baker 2014, Bhatt 2005, contra the mainstream view), based on evidence from languages that have both differential agreement and (differential) case marking like Amharic (cf. Kramer 2014 on Amharic; cf. also Hungarian). It remains unclear to what extent a narrow syntactic notion of Case or nominal licensing is also required under such accounts. For these reasons, disentangling the relationship between morphological marking and the abstract operations of Case licensing and Agree seems especially difficult but necessary in the area of differential marking.

Call for Papers:

Deadline for initial abstracts: 16 November 2014

For this workshop, we invite abstracts of 300 words from scholars working on any of the above issues in any theoretical framework. Of particular interest to us are the following issues:

1) What evidence is there that differential marking is due to differential Agree?
2) Is there any evidence that Agree is sensitive to animacy, specificity, and/or definiteness at the narrow syntactic level? 
3) Are there languages with differential marking that also have differential  passives or antipassives?
4) Do we still need abstract Case in addition to morphological case? How are the two related in differential systems?
5) How direct is the relation between differential marking and topicality or givenness?
6) Which features are involved in triggering differential marking? Specifically, is there a special role for [Person]?

Please send your title + abstract and your name and affiliation to András Bárány (ab2081 at cam.ac.uk) by 16 November 2014.

As this is a workshop within the meeting of the SLE, the complete procedure is as follows. We will first submit our workshop proposal, including a list of potential participants and their abstracts to the SLE. By mid-December we will know whether the workshop has been accepted. After the confirmation, all participants need to submit their full abstract of 500 words by 15 January for external review by the SLE committee.


Baker, Mark. (2014/in prep.). Case: Its principles and parameters. To appear with  Cambridge University Press.
Bhatt, Rajesh. (2005). Long distance agreement in Hindi-Urdu. Natural Language &  Linguistic Theory, 23: 757-807.
Danon, Gabi. (2006). Caseless nominals and the projection of DP. Natural Language  & Linguistic Theory, 24: 977–1008.
Hualde, José Ignacio. (1989). Double object constructions in KiRimi. In Newman,  Paul and Botne, Robert Dale (eds.), Current approaches to African linguistics  5, 179-190. Dordrecht: Mouton de Gruyter; Foris Publications.
Kramer, Ruth. (2014). Clitic doubling or object agreement: the view from Amharic.  Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, 32: 593-634.
Marantz, Alec. (1991). Case and Licensing. In ESCOL ’91: Proceedings of the eighth  Eastern states conference on linguistics. Ohio State University.
Richards, Marc. (2008). Defective agree, case alternations, and the prominence of  person. In Richards, M. and Malchukov, A. L., editors, Scales, number 86 in  Linguistische Arbeitsberichte, 137–161. Universität Leipzig.

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