LINGUIST List 13.705

Fri Mar 15 2002

Calls: Triggers, Speech Sound Data

Editor for this issue: Renee Galvis <>

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  1. Anne Breitbarth, call for papers: TRIGGERS
  2. KEVIN LANDRY, Measurement of Speech Sound Data and its Practical Application

Message 1: call for papers: TRIGGERS

Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 11:36:32 +0100
From: Anne Breitbarth <>
Subject: call for papers: TRIGGERS

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce a workshop on "Triggers", jointly organized
by the Grammatical Models Group at Tilburg University and The
Department of Linguistics at Cornell University, to be held October
24-26 2002 at Tilburg University.

We invite electronic abstracts of at most 750 words in Word, Words
Perfect, .pdf, .ps or LaTeX format. The deadline for submission is May
15, 2002. We intend to have the program out by June 15. There will be
a reimbursement of about EUR 500 per accepted speaker. For submission
and all further questions email to or see


Phrase structure and displacement are prominent universal properties
of natural language. While some approaches have tried to eliminate
transformational operations, displacement continues to play a crucial
role in derivational theories such as Minimalism. Concentrating on
displacement we can ask ourselves two different questions:

(i) Why does it exist in human language? and
(ii) How is it implemented?

The latter question has been discussed frequently but not always
exhaustively. Chomsky (1986) proposed that movement is governed by a
condition of Last Resort: Move-a is applied only when a failure to
apply it will lead to a structure that violates general conditions and
causes a derivation to crash. For example, the Case feature of a DP
would act as a trigger for the movement of the DP, which, unmoved,
would violate the Case Filter. Such assumptions raise the following
very general question: what are the possible triggers of movement?

Pursuing the above line of inquiry, Chomsky (1995, 2001a,b,c) proposes
more generally that formal/morphosyntactic features are required to
implement movement. These features include the phi-features of Infl
and v, the Case features of a DP, and the EPP feature of Comp, Infl,
and v.

But apart from these cases of (internal) Merge/displacement that are
triggered by the Case-Agreement and Periphery systems (corresponding
to the distinction between A-movement and A-bar-movement), there are
several other categories of movement that do not seem to be similarly
triggered by morphosyntactic imperfections (that is, uninterpretable
features) in any obvious way. These phenomena include:

- covert displacement (does it exist or not?)
- differences in quantifier scope - assuming that QR is a core
	operation in natural language, how is it triggered? Is it a
	(non-local) interface property or some local semantic feature which
	forces covert action at the relevant phase?
- cases of optionality as in the case of Scrambling
- cases of partial Wh-movement in languages like German or Hungarian
- cases of multiple Wh-movement in languages like Bulgarian
- Stylistic Fronting in Scandinavian and other cases of inversion

It is an empirical question whether all possible triggers for word
order phenomena are morphosyntactic in nature. Very often,
extra-syntactic factors such as discourse or information structure (LF
interface conditions) or prosodic properties (PF interface conditions)
seem to play an important role as well. As an alternative to the
feature elimination requirement ('drag chains'), it is possible that
output conditions require the presence or absence of a certain element
in certain context ('push chains'). There is some diversity in the
different approaches regarding the locus of such influences (within
narrow syntax, at the interfaces, or even beyond).

Summing up, the following questions arise:

1. Are all movement operations triggered? (This question extends in
	particular to various movements needed to implement the kind of
	analyses required by Kayne's LCA)
2. Is external Merge also subject to triggering and if so, how do
	these triggers differ from the ones found operative in internal Merge?
3. Are all triggers for displacement operations of a uniform nature or
	are there a range of mechanisms allowed by UG?
4. Can prosodic properties of a phrase trigger movement?
5. Can requirements of discourse or information structure trigger
6. Can quantifier scope and other semantic properties trigger movement?

There is a strongly felt need to clarify such issues. By organizing
this conference, we hope to provide a forum to work towards settling
at least some of these questions.
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Message 2: Measurement of Speech Sound Data and its Practical Application

Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 08:37:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Measurement of Speech Sound Data and its Practical Application

Dear Colleagues,
My associate, Dr. Hee-San Koo, is a phonetics expert and President of
The Korean Association of Speech Sciences (KASS). This afternoon at
lunch he informed me of an upcoming conference in Seoul entitled
"Measurement of Speech Sound Data and its Practical Application, to be
held at Korea University, 10-11 May 2002. He said they were looking
forward for native speakers of English to write on their experiences
in the classroom and asked if I could possible write a short paper and
give a 20 minute presentation at the conference. I of couse was
flattered and said I would give it a thought. I also said I would
notify the SIG group, knowing that Doug Margolis and David Kim, and
perhaps others, have written on speech production.
The conference areas are: Phonetics (Theoretical and Experimental),
Applied Phonetics, Experimental Phonology, Speech Language Disorders,
Hearing Disorders, Voice Disorders, Speech Synthesis and Recognition,
Speech Coding, Pronunciation Education of Foreign Languages, and (the
catch-all) Other Areas of Speech Sciences. If you are interested you
need to submit an abstract by 31 March.
I believe this is an ideal opportunity for SIG members who have an
interest in pronunciation and other aspects of speech production to
make a professional presentation. The format is likely to be more
formal than the KOTESOL Annual Conference, and (those selected) papers
will be written in Proceedings.
If interested, please let me know ASAP. Also, please forward this to
others whom you know have worked in this field, are able to write
professionally, and are good at public speaking. My phone numbers are
Very appreciatively,
Peter Nelson
Office: 02-820-5396
HP: 016-211-5396

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