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LINGUIST List 20.3469

Thu Oct 15 2009

Calls: General Ling, Historical Ling, Typology/Lithuania

Editor for this issue: Kate Wu <katelinguistlist.org>


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        1.    Silvia Luraghi, Workshop on Partitives for SLE 2010

Message 1: Workshop on Partitives for SLE 2010
Date: 14-Oct-2009
From: Silvia Luraghi <silvia.luraghiunipv.it>
Subject: Workshop on Partitives for SLE 2010
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Full Title: Workshop on Partitives for SLE 2010

Date: 02-Sep-2010 - 05-Sep-2010
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
Contact Person: Silvia Luraghi, Tuomas Huumo
Meeting Email: silvia.luraghiunipv.it

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Typology

Call Deadline: 08-Nov-2009

Meeting Description:

Workshop on Partitives for SLE 2010
for 43rd Annual Meeting Societas Linguistica Europaea.
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
Date: 2-5 September, 2010

Call for Papers

Organizers:
Silvia Luraghi, Università di Pavia
silvia.luraghiunipv.it
Tuomas Huumo, University of Tartu
tuomas.huumoutu.fi

We plan to submit a workshop proposal to the 2010 SLE Meeting, and invite papers
from prospective participants interested in crosslinguistic research on
partitives. Please send draft abstracts to both of us no later than November 8,
2009.

Workshop Description
Some languages, notably Baltic Finnic and Basque, have a partitive case, which
is usually said to indicate partial affectedness of patients. Such function is
also attributed to other cases in languages that do not have a separate
partitive, as the Hungarian partitive/ablative, and the partitive/genitive of
various Indo-European languages. Indeed partitivity is not only a possible
feature of patients: in Finnish existentials, even agentive intransitive verbs
such as opiskella 'study' take partitive subjects. Moravcsik (1978: 272)
summarizes typical semantic correlates of partitives as follows:

a. the definitness-indefinitness of the noun phrase;
b. the extent to which the object is involeved in the event;
c. the completedness versus non-completedness of the event;
d. whether the sentence is affirmative or negative.

Moravcsik further remarks that marking difference brought about by the partitive
"does not correlate with any difference in semantic case function". Thus, the
use of the partitive seems to be at odds with the basic function of cases, that
is "marking dependent nouns for the type of relationship they bear to their
heads" (Blake 2001: 1). In fact, several authors have remarked that the function
of the partitive is similar to the function of a determiner in Basque and
Finnish. In this connection, one must mention the so-called partitive article of
some Romance varieties, which derives from the preposition which has substituted
the Latin genitive (Latin de), and is clearly a determiner and not a case
marker, as shown by its distribution. In spite of striking similarities among
across languages, research on partitives is mostly limited to individual
languages. In this workshop we would like to bring together and compare data
from different languages in which a case (or an adposition, as in French) are
classified as partitive.

Possible topics for the workshop include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) The distribution of partitives in different syntactic positions (objects,
subjects, other roles) and across constructions;
(b) Partitives as determiners;
(c) The diachrony of partitives: what are the sources of partitive markers? What
is the diachronic relation between ablative, genitive, and partitive?
(d) Finnish partitive subjects and objects have been treated under the heading
of 'non-canonical marking'. However, it is highly questionable that partitive
subjects and objects marked by a partitive article, as in French, should also be
considered under this heading. Is the change from case marker (including
adpositions) to determiner a grammaticalization process and at what stage should
a morpheme start to be considered a determiner, rather than a case marker?
(e) Discourse functions of partitives: Since partitives indicate indeterminacy,
it might be expected that they are not topical elements in discourse. Referents
of Finnish partitive subjects are typically not tracked in discourse. What is
the discourse function of partitives crosslinguistically?
(h) Semantic roles and referential functions of partitives.
(i) Partitives, aspect and quantification: The Baltic Finnic partitive object
may indicate aspectual unboundedness. Other BF partitives (existential,
copulative) do not share the aspectual function proper but often indicate an
incremental theme, which gives rise to unbounded nominal aspect. What are the
aspectual and quantificational functions of partitives crosslinguistically?
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