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Conference Information

Full Title: Locality and Directionality at the Morphosyntax-Phonology Interface

Location: Stanford, California, USA
Start Date: 12-Oct-2012 - 14-Oct-2012
Contact: Stephanie Shih
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: Central to the study of the syntax-morphology-phonology interface is the question of their interconnectedness: how much access does each component of grammar have to the other? A historically dominant view is that syntax is ‘phonology-free,’ in that syntactic operations are not sensitive to phonological structure. As for phonological operations, many theories take as a starting point the idea that the output of morphosyntactic structure-building determines, with varying degrees of strictness, the locality domains for phonological operations in complex words. Put together, these views lead to a characterization of the syntax-phonology relationship as unidirectional, with (morpho-)syntactic domains determining (morpho-)phonological ones, and phonology playing at most a secondary role in morphosyntactic operations.

Recent theoretical developments (e.g., Distributed Morphology, Optimality Theory) and empirical insights from contemporary methodologies (e.g., experimental and corpus-based quantitative work) call for, and make possible, more fine-grained examination of this widely-held view of syntax-phonology interactions. This workshop aims to address the interconnectedness of phonology and syntax by pursuing two lines of inquiry: (1) locality and cyclicity in morphophonology, and (2) the impact of phonology on syntactic operations.

The first line of inquiry explores how far morphosyntax reaches into phonology: how are the domains for morphophonological processes (e.g., allomorph selection) determined? Are they derived from morphosyntactic domains, and, if so, how rigidly do these domains determine what happens in phonology? The second line of inquiry questions the strong claim that phonology is purely interpretive, exploring the possibility that phonological information plays a crucial role in influencing certain morphosyntactic processes, and trying to establish the degree and nature of that influence.

This workshop is part of Crosslinguistic Investigations in Syntax-Phonology (CrISP), a collaborative research group within the UC Santa Cruz and Stanford University Linguistics Departments. The workshop is made possible by generous grants from the National Science Foundation (pending final approval), the Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences, and the Stanford Linguistics Department.
Linguistic Subfield: Morphology; Phonology; Syntax
LL Issue: 23.1705

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