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LINGUIST List 20.2511

Wed Jul 15 2009

Calls: Syntax/Belgium

Editor for this issue: Amy Brunett <brunettlinguistlist.org>

LINGUIST is pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new feature: Easy Abstracts! Easy Abs is a free abstract submission and review facility designed to help conference organizers and reviewers accept and process abstracts online. Just go to: http://www.linguistlist.org/confcustom, and begin your conference customization process today! With Easy Abstracts, submission and review will be as easy as 1-2-3!
        1.    Marijke De Belder, 4th Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics

Message 1: 4th Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics
Date: 14-Jul-2009
From: Marijke De Belder <mijkedebelderhotmail.com>
Subject: 4th Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics
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Full Title: 4th Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics
Short Title: BCGL4: Ellipsis

Date: 09-Nov-2009 - 10-Nov-2009
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Contact Person: Adrienn Jánosi
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://www.crissp.be/bcgl4.html

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Call Deadline: 15-Sep-2009

Meeting Description:

The Center for Research in Syntax, Semantics and Phonology (CRISSP, www.crissp.be) in Brussels is pleased to announce the Fourth Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics (BCGL4) on ellipsis. It will be held in Brussels from November 9 till November 10, 2009.

The following invited speakers have accepted to give a talk at BCGL4:

Daniel Hardt (Copenhagen Business School)
Jason Merchant (University of Chicago)

Call for Papers:

Theme Description:

Ellipsis has been an important research topic in generative linguistics at least since Ross (1967, 1969), but with the advent of the Minimalist Program (Chomsky 1995), the interest in this topic has risen considerably. Because it is a fortiori an interface phenomenon, understanding ellipsis requires an understanding of the interaction between narrow syntax, PF, LF and the information-structural component. In other words, ellipsis is a useful tool for gaining a better understanding of how the grammar of natural language works. Very simply put, ellipsis is the occurrence of meaning without sound. A first important question to ask is how much syntax is involved in deriving this meaning. Roughly speaking, there are three types of proposals dealing with this issue. A first one takes the ellipsis site to be a fully-fledged syntactic structure that is deleted (or not pronounced) at PF (i.e. PF-deletion; cf. Ross 1969; Sag 1980; Hankamer & Sag 1976, Sag & Hankamer 1984; Tomioka 1999, 2001; Merchant 2001; Johnson 1996, 2001; Lasnik 1999a, 1999b, 2001).

According to a type of second analysis the ellipsis site does not contain any internal structure, but is a null pronoun (or proform). The meaning is derived from the antecedent, either parallel to how overt pronouns are interpreted (Wasow 1972; Shopen 1972; Hardt 1993, 1999; Lobeck 1995; Depiante 2000) or by copying the antecedent into the ellipsis site at LF (i.e. LF copy; cf. Fiengo & May 1994; Chung et al. 1995; Wilder 1997; Beavers & Sag 2004; Fortin 2007). A third account assumes there is nothing at all in the position of the missing material (Ginzburg & Sag 2000; Culicover & Jackendoff 2005).

Recently, the debate on the presence or absence of internal structure has been extended to overt pronouns. Elbourne (2008) proposes that overt pronouns are definite descriptions underlyingly, such that when a noun undergoes NP-ellipsis, its determiner is spelled out as a pronoun (cf. Postal 1969). This approach turns the reasoning of the null proform analysis of ellipsis on its head: instead of treating the ellipsis site as a (null) pronoun, it treats (overt) pronouns as ellipsis sites (cf. also Baltin & Van Craenenbroeck 2008). A second central question in the study of ellipsis involves the relation between the ellipsis site and its antecedent. Merchant (2001), following Rooth (1992) and Schwarzschild (1999), proposes that an ellipsis site has to be e-GIVEN: the (non-focus-marked part of the) antecedent must entail the (non-focus-marked part of the) ellipsis site and vice versa in order for ellipsis to be recoverable. However, recent works claim that a purely semantic recoverability condition is not sufficient and that ellipsis requires syntactic isomorphism between antecedent and ellipsis site, cf. Lasnik (1995); Johnson (2001); Merchant (2007, 2008) (see also Fiengo & May 1994; Pullum 2000; Fox 1999, 2000; Sauerland 2004; Hardt 2004, 2005 and van Craenenbroeck 2009 for discussion).

Apart from the conditions on the antecedent (i.e. the recoverability requirement), ellipsis is subject to a syntactic licensing condition: even when the ellipsis site is recoverable from the context, it can only occur in a specific set of syntactic environments. Lobeck (1995), for instance, argues that VP ellipsis requires strong agreement on the inflectional head and claims that English, but not German or French, exhibits this kind of agreement. Merchant (2001) on the other hand, captures the fact that ellipsis requires a licensing head by positing an ellipsis feature on certain heads, allowing them to leave their complement unpronounced. A similar analysis is proposed in Aelbrecht (2009), who argues that ellipsis is licensed by an Agree relation between an ellipsis feature and the ellipsis licensing head.

For the Fourth Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics, we welcome papers on any topic related to the theme of the conference.

Abstract Guidelines:

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" ½ 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. Please submit your abstract by using the EasyAbs link for BCGL4: http://linguistlist.org/confcustom/bcgl2009.

Important Dates:

First call for papers: July 15, 2009
Second call for papers: August 17, 2009
Abstract submission deadline: September 15, 2009
Notification: October 5, 2009

The Organizing Committee:

Dany Jaspers (HUB, CRISSP)
Jeroen van Craenenbroeck (HUB, CRISSP)
Guido Vanden Wyngaerd (HUB, CRISSP)
Lobke Aelbrecht (HUB, CRISSP)
Marijke De Belder (HUB, CRISSP)
Karen De Clercq (HUB, CRISSP)
Adrienn Jánosi (HUB, CRISSP)

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