LINGUIST List 21.2729|
Sat Jun 26 2010
Calls: Syntax, Historical Linguistics, Pragmatics, Typology/Germany
Editor for this issue: Elyssa Winzeler
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The German Middle Field: Comparative and Diachronic
Message 1: The German Middle Field: Comparative and Diachronic
From: Augustin Speyer <speyerstaff.uni-marburg.de>
Subject: The German Middle Field: Comparative and Diachronic
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Full Title: The German Middle Field: Comparative and Diachronic
Date: 23-Feb-2011 - 25-Feb-2011
Location: Goettingen, Germany
Contact Person: Augustin Speyer
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics; Pragmatics; Syntax; Typology
Language Family(ies): Germanic; Slavic Subgroup
Call Deadline: 15-Aug-2010
This workshop is part of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Deutsche
Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft (DGfS). Organizers: Kristine Bentzen
(Tromsø), Roland Hinterhölzl (HU Berlin/Venice), Augustin Speyer (Marburg),
Luka Szucsich (HU Berlin).
We will focus on pragmatically/semantically triggered word order variation
(WOV) in the middle field (MF) in German (= scrambling) from a comparative
and diachronic perspective, addressing the issue of how scrambling in
German is similar to and different from related phenomena in other
In this respect, some of the most urgent questions are the following:
According to Haider & Rosengren (1998), scrambling should be restricted to
OV-languages with verb-class specific base orders.
A) What is the nature of word order variation in Slavic and Scandinavian
languages, which are generally analysed as VO-languages?
In Mainland Scandinavian, object shift is dependent on verb movement,
restricting WOV to the postverbal field. Yiddish, which has preserved mixed
OV/VO word orders, allows for WOV only in the preverbal field.
B) What triggers object shift? Which factors decide whether object shift is
restricted to pronouns as in Mainland Scandinavian or may also target full
DPs as in Icelandic?
C) Do the Slavic languages show WOV only in the preverbal field or also in
the postverbal field? Is word order freedom in Slavic similar to word order
freedom in German or is it of a different nature?
D) Is there a connection between the side of WOV and the head complement
parameter or which other factors, including prosody could be held responsible
for this property?
Like in modern Yiddish, in OHG and OE (languages with mixed OV/VO order)
discourse-given constituents moved to the top of the MF. Except for OE (cf.
Pintzuk & Taylor 2006), little is known about how indefinite NPs
quantificational phrases are ordered with respect to each other and with
respect to the verb in older Germanic.
E) Are indefinite pronouns and indefinite NPs placed differently in OHG as
In modern German genitive objects and dative objects of Acc-Dat-verbs may
not be scrambled.
F) How behave genitive objects in OHG and MHG? How do the different case
arguments in Slavic fit in?
G) Is there a connection between scrambling of NPs and the aspect type of
the verb in Slavic as there is a connection between scrambling and the
(in)definiteness of argument NPs in German?
Invited speakers include Hubert Haider (Salzburg) and Helmut Weiß
Call for Papers
We welcome abstracts for 20-minute papers (plus 10 minutes for discussion)
which address one or more of the various properties of scrambling in German
and similar phenomena in other languages, most prominently other Germanic
languages and Slavic languages, from a diachronic or synchronic comparative
perspective, as expressed in (but not confined to) the leading questions in the
Abstracts (1 page, Times New Roman 12 dpi, plus 1 page for tables, figures,
references) should be sent to speyerstaff.uni-marburg.de, preferably in pdf-
format (alternatively: doc).
Deadline: August 15, 2010
Notification of acceptance/rejection: September 15, 2010
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