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LINGUIST List 20.1853

Wed May 13 2009

Calls: Uralic, Syntax, Linguistic Theories/Hungary

Editor for this issue: Elyssa Winzeler <elyssalinguistlist.org>


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        1.    Anne Tamm, The Syntax of Finno-Ugric Languages and Universal Grammar

Message 1: The Syntax of Finno-Ugric Languages and Universal Grammar
Date: 12-May-2009
From: Anne Tamm <anne.tammunifi.it>
Subject: The Syntax of Finno-Ugric Languages and Universal Grammar
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Full Title: The Syntax of Finno-Ugric Languages and Universal Grammar
Short Title: SFU

Date: 09-Aug-2010 - 14-Aug-2010
Location: Piliscsaba, Budapest, Hungary
Contact Person: Anne Tamm
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://www.dipfilmod-suf.unifi.it/CMpro-v-p-236.html#syntax

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories; Syntax

Language Family(ies): Uralic

Call Deadline: 10-Jul-2009

Meeting Description:

In the framework of the 11th International Congress for Finno-Ugric Studies, to
be held at Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Piliscsaba (near Budapest) between
9-14th August, 2010, we organize a workshop devoted to the formal analysis of
the syntax of Finno-Ugric languages, focusing on how their particular features
relate to Universal Grammar.

Analyses of Finno-Ugric languages have made a number of important contributions
to the theory of Universal Grammar, over the years, extending the limits of
syntactic variation allowed by UG. They demonstrated the presence of a rich,
articulated left periphery in sentence structure, involving, for example, a
contrastive position in Finnish, and, in Hungarian, exhaustive structural focus
as well as landing sites for overt quantifier raising. Other issues raised by
Finno-Ugric languages included freedom of word order in certain sections of the
sentence (but strict word order in the left periphery). They showed the need for
divorcing the predicate-external argument from the grammatical function
‘subject’. The complex Finno-Ugric possessive construction served as argument
for assuming layers of functional projections in the noun phrase. The rich
system of cases – among them the partitive case of Finnish and Estonian – remain
a challenge to standard case theory. The problems raised by the partitive case
include its interaction with the specificity of the internal argument, with
aspect, epistemic modality, and with verb-object agreement. In Ostyak, the
mapping of theta-roles on case positions appears to interact both with
specificity and with discourse functions. Finno-Ugric negation also has its
particular properties to be accounted for, including a negative auxiliary in
Finnish and Sami, the abessive/caritive negation, and intricate negative concord
phenomena in several languages. The partial pro-drop characteristic of Finnish
has necessitated a modification of the theory of pro-drop, and the Estonian
impersonal and genitive agents are instances of current debate.
Among the phenomena in Finno-Ugric languages which deserve to be more widely
known in the linguistic research community is the great variety of non-finite
constructions, often with intricate agreement and case patterns. Another is the
variety of question particles, focus particles, and modal particles. For
example, Estonian has both a sentence-initial and sentence-final Q-particles,
while Finnish has a ‘second-position’ Q-particle which can be deeply embedded in
a fronted phrase. The mix of head-final and head-initial properties found
particularly in the Western Finno-Ugric languages poses challenges to theories
of linearization (including the LCA).

Call for Papers

We invite contributions to the workshop 'The Syntax of Finno-Ugric Languages and
Universal Grammar', treating issues of these types, providing formal analyses of
empirical phenomena against the background of standard universal assumptions.

The workshop will consist of 30-minute presentations followed by 10-minute
discussions.

Abstracts should be a maximum of two pages long (excluding bibliography), with
12 points Times New Roman (or equivalent), examples not separate from the text.
Two versions, one anonymous and one with the author's name and affiliation
should be sent to Szalontai.Norbertnebtk.ppke.hu by July 10, 2009. The subject
of the message should be 'FU Workshop'. Abstracts will be refereed anonymously.
Authors will be notified about their acceptance by September 15, 2009.

For additional information, please contact the organizers:
Katalin É. Kiss (Pázmány Péter University) ekiss at nytud.hu
Anders Holmberg (Newcastle University) anders.holmberg at newcastle.ac.uk
Anne Tamm Research (Institute of Linguistics, Budapest) anne.tamm at unifi.it



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