CASTL Spring Conference on Differential Object Marking

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Invited speaker: Mark Baker, Rutgers University

In Differential Object Marking (DOM), animacy or definiteness (or some related aspect of the interpretation of the direct object) affects the formal marking of objecthood—e.g., definite objects are overtly case marked in Hebrew (Givón), and optionally case marked in Hindi/Urdu (Mohanan, Butt), but not indefinite objects; as another example, specific objects are overtly case marked in Turkish, but not nonspecific objects (Enç); definite animate objects are overtly case marked in Spanish, but generally not inanimate or indefinite ones (Bossong, Torrego, López). The overt marking in such cases is sometimes identified as accusative, sometimes as dative. Such phenomena have been discussed together at least since the early 1980’s (cf. the background discussion in Aissen, or the overview in Malchukov & de Swart, and references there).

Depending on the analysis, the phenomenon of DOM may be extended beyond case-marking alternations of the Turkish type to include object agreement (e.g. on Baker’s analysis of object agreement in Amharic, or Woolford’s for Palauan; cf. Dalrymple and Nikolaeva). Theories of DOM sometimes also extend to verb splits (in which different verb classes take differently marked objects, a significant factor in Spanish; cf. also Blume’s analysis of dative-taking verbs). Bossong finds that over 300 languages exhibit some kind of DOM, broadly construed. Another potentially related set of issues involves arguments other than the object: Do the factors that cause differential marking of the object cause parallel differential marking of other arguments as well, and why or why not?

We are interested in theoretical analyses of DOM (either in a narrower or a broader sense) which take detailed empirical data and/or larger typological patterns into consideration. Analyses which draw on novel data patterns or data from underreported languages are highly welcome. However, we stress the theoretical interpretations of these patterns and hence purely descriptive reports are unlikely to be selected for presentation.

We invite anonymous abstracts (maximum two pages in length, including examples but not counting a possible additional page for references) for presentations of approximately 35 minutes plus a 15 minute discussion period (or as agreed upon). We have some funds to partially or wholly cover travel and accommodation expenses for selected speakers. The exact amount of support offered will not be known before the time of abstract selection.

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Contact Information:
Peter Svenonius

Meeting Dates:
The CASTL Spring Conference on Differential Object Marking will be held from 23-May-2013 to 24-May-2013.

Abstract Submission Information:
Abstracts can be submitted from 01-Mar-2013 until 23-Mar-2013.

CASTL Spring Conference on Differential Object Marking,

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