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Conference Information

Full Title: Information Structure and Language Change

Short Title: Informchange
Location: Caen, France
Start Date: 03-Apr-2018 - 05-Apr-2018
Contact: Pierre Larrivee
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: Research into language change has identified a number of determinant factors. There is a growing body of evidence that change affecting major syntactic phenomena like word order involves an informational dimension at some stage(s) of the process. This has been claimed to apply to the prototypical syntactic marking of speech-acts (in situ partial interrogatives, loss of inversion for total interrogatives in French), V2 loss (e.g. work by A. van Kemenade & B. Los for English), increasing contextual restriction of OV order (e.g. Taylor & Pintzuk 2012 for English) and Stylistic Fronting (work by Fischer i.a.). While local correlations between word-order change and information structure have been observed, conditions of interface between the two orders of representation remain to be established. The idea that configurations satisfy informational requirements when they lose syntactic currency seems conceptually appealing in explaining how such configurations become marked (on a recent approach to marked and default word order, see e.g. Biberauer 2016). Whether a characterised informational value is the cause or the consequence of change in syntactic currency remains to be empirically assessed however, requiring a robust diagnostic of informational value in historical resources that reliably reflect effective change.

Keynote Speakers: Adam Ledgeway (Cambridge)

Confirmed interest: Patricia Amaral (Indiana), Andreas Dufter (Munich), Maj-Britt Hansen (Manchester), Véronique Lagae (Valenciennes), Manuel Leonetti (Alcalá), Ans van Kemenade (Radboud), Cecilia Poletto (Frankfurt/Pavia), Sophie Prévost (ENS), Malte Rosemeyer (Leuven), Ioanna Sitaridou (Cambridge), Rosanna Sornicola (Naples), Elisabeth Stark (Zurich), George Walkden (Manchester), Sam Wolfe (Oxford)

Organiser: Pierre Larrivée (

Programme committee: Theresa Biberauer (Stellenbosch/Cambridge), Susann Fischer (Hamburg), Chiara Gianollo (Bologna), Adam Ledgeway (Cambridge), Bettelou Los (Edinburgh), Scott Schwenter (Ohio), Graeme Trousdale (Edinburgh), Marit Westergaard (Tromsø)
Linguistic Subfield: Cognitive Science; Historical Linguistics; Pragmatics; Syntax
Subject Language Family: Germanic; Romance
LL Issue: 28.485

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