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LINGUIST List 18.2494

Fri Aug 24 2007

Calls: General Ling/UK

Editor for this issue: Jeremy Taylor <jeremylinguistlist.org>


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        1.    Matthew Baerman, Defective Paradigms


Message 1: Defective Paradigms
Date: 24-Aug-2007
From: Matthew Baerman <m.baermansurrey.ac.uk>
Subject: Defective Paradigms
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Full Title: Defective Paradigms

Date: 10-Apr-2008 - 11-Apr-2008
Location: London, United Kingdom
Contact Person: Matthew Baerman
Meeting Email: m.baermansurrey.ac.uk

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Call Deadline: 30-Nov-2008

Meeting Description:

Defective paradigms: missing forms and what they tell us

Defectiveness in morphological paradigms remains a serious challenge to
linguistic theory. This two-day conference will assess our current understanding
of defectiveness and plot the directions for future research.

Defective paradigms: missing forms and what they tell us

An important design feature of language is the use of productive patterns. We
have 'enjoy' ~ 'enjoyed', 'agree' ~ 'agreed', and many others. On the basis of
this productive pattern, if we meet a new verb 'transduce' we know that there
will be the form 'transduced'. Even if the pattern is not fully regular, there
will be a form available, as in 'understand' ~ 'understood'. Surprisingly, this
principle is sometimes violated, a phenomenon known as defectiveness, which
means there a gap in a word's set of forms. The missing singular form of English
'scissors' is one example, and more striking instances can be found in languages
with more complex systems of inflection (for example, Russian nouns that lack a
genitive plural, or verbs which lack a first person singular form). Although
such gaps have been known to us since the days of Classical grammarians, they
remain one of the most poorly understood aspects of grammar, and challenge
reigning models of the acquisition and application of inflectional rules.

The Surrey Morphology Group will be holding a two-day conference (April 10-11,
2008) in London with the aim of assessing our current understanding of
defectiveness and plotting the directions for future research. We invite
abstracts for papers on any aspect of defectiveness. Time alloted for papers is
40 minutes, including 15 minutes for questions. The invited speakers are:

Stephen Anderson (Yale University)
Harald Baayen (Radboud University, Nijmegen)
Roger Evans (University of Brighton)
Marianne Mithun (University of California at Santa Barbara)
Gregory Stump (University of Kentucky)

Abstracts should be sent by e-mail to m.baermansurrey.ac.uk by November 30,
2007. Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words. Any questions may also be
sent to the above address.


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