LINGUIST List 18.3624|
Tue Dec 04 2007
Calls: Syntax/Belgium; Lang Acquisition,Ling Theories,Psycholing/Spain
Editor for this issue: Ania Kubisz
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Trees and Beyond
Message 1: Trees and Beyond
From: Jeroen van Craenenbroeck <jeroen.vancraenenbroeckkubrussel.be>
Subject: Trees and Beyond
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Full Title: Trees and Beyond
Short Title: BCGL 3
Date: 21-May-2008 - 23-May-2008
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Contact Person: Jeroen van Craenenbroeck
Meeting Email: jeroen.vancraenenbroeckkubrussel.be
Web Site: http://www.kubrussel.ac.be/bcgl3
Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Call Deadline: 31-Jan-2008
The Center for Research in Syntax, Semantics and Phonology (CRISSP,
www.crissp.be) in Brussels is pleased to announce the third Brussels Conference
on Generative Linguistics (BCGL 3). The theme of this year's conference is Trees
and beyond, and it will be held in Brussels from May 21 till May 23, 2008.
In early generative grammar phrase structures were considered to be nothing more
than the output of context-free rewriting rules and as such mere notational
devices (cf. e.g. Chomsky 1957, and see also Jaspers 1998 for an overview of the
very early history of tree structures). Over the years, however, they have
become research objects in and of themselves (cf. Carnie 2007 for detailed and
extensive discussion). In particular, with the demise of phrase structure rules,
alternative ways were sought to define and restrict phrase structure
representations. This search formed the central theme of the conference
''Alternative conceptions of phrase structure'', held at NYU in 1986. The two
main research questions addressed at that conference were the following (cf.
Baltin & Kroch 1989: vii):
(1) What are the formal mechanisms that generate the infinite set of phrase
markers in natural language?
(2) What properties are required of empirically adequate structured representations?
From the contributions to Baltin & Kroch (1989), it is clear that in the mid
eighties the questions in (1)-(2) received a wide variety of possible replies.
Simplifying somewhat, one could say that since then two trends have become
mainstream in generative grammar. The first one originates in the work of
Richard Kayne. In the mid eighties (Kayne 1984) he proposed a first severe
restriction on the theory of phrase structure by no longer allowing ternary
branching. In the antisymmetric approach (Kayne 1994) more restrictions were
added (no right-adjunction, no difference between specifiers and adjunction,
uniform spec-head-complement order), thus leading to a very minimal, constrained
theory of phrase structure. A comparable, but different trend can be discerned
in Chomsky's Bare Phrase Structure (Chomsky 1994), where phrase structure is the
result of recursive applications of the operations Merge and Move (cf. also
Chomsky 1995, 2000, 2001; Collins 2002). Although the specifics of the system
are different from Kayne's antisymmetry, the general concern is the same: to
arrive at a theory of phrase structure that is as minimal and constrained as
At the same time, however, there has always also been an undercurrent of what
one could call ''non-canonical'' approaches to phrase structure. What is more,
these alternative approaches seem to be growing in force and number. Some
examples are given below:
- multidominance structures, i.e. the structural representation whereby a node
is immediately dominated by more than one other node (cf. Starke 2001; Svenonius
2006; Citko 2005; Abels 2004; Gärtner 2002, Frampton 2004, Wilder 1999; Van
Riemsdijk 1998, 2001, 2006; Gracanin-Yuksek 2007; Chen-Main 2006 among many
others; cf. also McCawley 1982, Levine 1985, McCloskey 1986, Ojeda 1987 for
- three-dimensional trees, i.e. structural representations that are not
restricted to the two-dimensional plane, but involve three dimensions (cf. De
Vries 2005; Moltmann 1993; Goodall 1987; Mu'adz 1991; Grootveld 1994; Afarli 1996).
- multiple representations, i.e. the idea that a single LF can simultaneously
correspond to more than one phrase structural representation (cf. Haegeman & van
Riemsdijk 1986, Pesetsky 1995; Van Riemsdijk 1998).
Moreover, not only the properties of phrase markers themselves, but also the way
in which they are constructed have become the object of theorizing:
- top-down derivations, i.e. the incremental building of structure from the top
down and from left to right (cf. Phillips 1996, 2003; Guimarães 2002; Cann e.a.
- combinations of elementary trees, i.e. the structure building mechanism
employed in Tree Adjoining Grammar (TAG) (cf. Stepanov 2007; Frank 2002; Kroch
1989; Chen-Main 2006).
The alternative approaches to phrase structure mentioned above have not only
enriched and extended the theoretical apparatus of modern linguistics, they have
also led to empirical advances. In particular, non-canonical tree
representations have been crucially invoked in the analysis of transparent free
relatives (Van Riemsdijk 1998), complex prenominal modifiers (McCawley 1982; Van
Riemsdijk 1998), parentheticals (McCawley 1982), right node raising (McCawley
1982, Levine 1985, Abels 2004), subextraction out of moved wh-phrases (Frampton
2004), ATB-movement (Citko 2005), coordination (Goodall 1987; Moltmann1993),
syntactic amalgamation (Guimarães 2001), discontinuous idioms (Svenonius 2006),
bi-clausal multiple wh-questions (Gracanin-Yuksek 2007) and many other phenomena.
It is clear that the alternative conceptions of phrase structure advocated and
investigated in the past twenty years have opened many new and interesting areas
of research. However, as pointed out above this type of work has very often not
been able to enter into the mainstream of generative linguistics. There is
therefore a need for a forum where these various alternative approaches to
phrase structure can be compared and confronted with one another. The Trees and
beyond-conference aims to provide such a forum.
For this conference we welcome papers on any topic related to the issues raised
above. In particular, we solicit submissions arguing for or against particular
theories of phrase structure, analyses of data within a particular approach,
general considerations on phrase structure, etc.
The following people have accepted our invitation to present a paper at BCGL 3:
- Henk van Riemsdijk (University of Tilburg)
- Joan Chen-Main (University of Pennsylvania)
- Andrew Carnie (University of Arizona)
- Colin Phillips (University of Maryland)
Abstracts should not exceed two pages, including data, references and diagrams.
Abstracts should be typed in at least 11-point font, with one-inch margins
(letter-size; 8''1/2 by 11'' or A4) and a maximum of 50 lines of text per page.
Abstracts must be anonymous and submissions are limited to 1 individual and 1
joint abstract per author.
Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Send name, affiliation, e-mail,
mailing address and title of the paper in the body of the message. Add two
- an anonymous abstract in pdf-format for reviewing
- an abstract in Word-format with your name and affiliation on it for the
Send abstracts to bcglcrissp.be.
Accepted papers are allotted 45 minutes for presentation plus 15 minutes for
discussion. There are 15 slots available.
First call for papers: early December 2007
Second call for papers: January 10, 2008
Submission deadline: January 31, 2008
Notification of acceptance: March 15, 2008
Conference: May 21-23, 2008
Jeroen van Craenenbroeck (Catholic University of Brussels, CRISSP)
Dany Jaspers (Arts & Sciences College, Vlekho campus, CRISSP)
Guido Vanden Wyngaerd (Catholic University of Brussels, CRISSP)
Lobke Aelbrecht (Catholic University of Brussels, CRISSP)
Marijke De Belder (Catholic University of Brussels, CRISSP)
Karen De Clercq (Catholic University of Brussels, CRISSP)
For more info: infocrissp.be
Message 2: Facing Movement
From: Vincent Torrens <vtorrenspsi.uned.es>
Subject: Facing Movement
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Full Title: Facing Movement
Date: 23-Aug-2008 - 23-Aug-2008
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Contact Person: Vincent Torrens
Meeting Email: vtorrenspsi.uned.es
Web Site: http://www.linguistic-institute.info
Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition; Linguistic Theories; Psycholinguistics
Call Deadline: 01-Mar-2008
Facing Movement will take place during the Linguistic Institute in Barcelona.
All topics on any aspect of movement (head movement, operator movement, A
movement) and its acquisition will be considered.
Authors are invited to send one copy of a one-page abstract in English for
review. Presentations will be 20-minutes long plus 10 minutes for discussion.
Oral presentations will be in English.
Please submit the abstract as an attachment in one of two formats: Microsoft
Word or RTF (Rich Text Format). In the body of the e-mail message include the
title, language, name, academic affiliation, current address, phone and fax
number, e-mail, and audiovisual requests.
Indicate whether you want your abstract to be considered for the workshop Facing
Movement or Meeting Clitics, and whether you intend to attend the Linguistic
Institute. Authors may submit up to two abstracts, one individual and one joint.
Abstracts should be submitted via e-mail to
Deadline for receipt of abstracts: March 1, 2008.
Acceptance will be notified by April 1, 2008.
More information can be found at the following website:
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