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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Conference Information

Full Title: Understanding Pro-drop: A Synchronic and Diachronic Perspective

Location: Trento, Italy
Start Date: 19-Jun-2014 - 21-Jun-2014
Contact: Federica Cognola
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL: http://events.unitn.it/en/pro-drop2014
Meeting Description: This conference aims at advancing our understanding of null-subject languages, in particular of partial pro-drop languages, by bringing together researchers working on empirical (synchronic, diachronic and acquisitional) and theoretical aspects of pro-drop.

Since Rizzi's (1982) work, it has been known that there exist different types of null-subject languages. Roberts & Holmberg (2010) propose that there exist four types of pro-drop languages:

- Consistent null-subject languages, such as Italian and Greek, in which a referential subject can be dropped in any syntactic environment
- Radical pro-drop languages, such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean, in which the presence of a null-subject correlates with dropping of nominals in several environments (cf. Huang 1984, Tomioka 2003, Saito 2007, Neeleman & Szendröi 2007)
- Expletive null-subject languages, such as standard German, varieties of Dutch and Afrikaans (cf. Biberauer 2010), in which expletive, but not referential subjects can be dropped under certain syntactic conditions
- Partial null-subject languages, such as Finnish, Brazilian Portuguese and Russian, in which 'the pronominal subject may remain unexpressed under restricted conditions determined by both the morphological and the syntactic context.' (Roberts/Holmberg 2010:6)

Invited Speakers:

Manuela Ambar, University of Lisboa
Theresa Biberauer, University of Cambridge
Mara Frascarelli, University of Roma Tre
Helmut Weiss, University of Frankfurt & Anna Volodina, Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Mannheim
Michael Zimmermann, University of Konstanz
Linguistic Subfield: Historical Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Syntax
LL Issue: 25.1535

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