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LINGUIST List 21.4193

Thu Oct 21 2010

Calls: Discourse Analysis, Semantics, Syntax/Spain

Editor for this issue: Di Wdzenczny <dilinguistlist.org>


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        1.     Karen Lahousse , New Forays in to Root Phenomena

Message 1: New Forays in to Root Phenomena
Date: 20-Oct-2010
From: Karen Lahousse <karen.lahoussearts.kuleuven.be>
Subject: New Forays in to Root Phenomena
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Full Title: New Forays in to Root Phenomena

Date: 08-Sep-2011 - 11-Sep-2011
Location: Logroño (La Rioja), Spain
Contact Person: Karen Lahousse
Meeting Email: karen.lahoussearts.kuleuven.be

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Semantics; Syntax

Call Deadline: 11-Nov-2010

Meeting Description:

Workshop organizers:
Cécile De Cat (University of Leeds, U.K.)
Karen Lahousse (University of Leuven, Belgium)

Root phenomena (or main clause phenomena) typically occur in matrix
clauses and in a restricted set of embedded ('root-like') clauses (Heycock
2005). Classic examples for English include subject auxiliary inversion
(including negative inversion), argument fronting (both topicalisation and
focalisation), VP preposing, preposing around be, locative inversion, left
dislocation, tag formation, subject omission and imperatives.
Since Emonds (1970), many have attempted to capture root phenomena as
a syntactic property of clauses. Recent instantiations of the syntactic
approach include the Cartographic analysis (Haegeman 2006), in which
root properties are entirely dependent on the presence of a dedicated
functional projection in the CP field, and the Movement analysis (Haegeman
2010, to appear), in which root phenomena are allowed by default, but
blocked in clauses derived by movement to the CP field of an epistemic
operator, over which further movement is impossible because of
intervention effects. In their influential paper, Hooper & Thompson (1973)
put forward a pragmatic analysis and argue that root phenomena are
possible in clauses that are asserted, but not those that are presupposed.
Peripheral adverbial clauses (such as because clauses) display a surprising
behaviour in that respect. When sentence-initial (1), they are presupposed,
and hence unable to host root phenomena. When sentence-final (2), they
are asserted, and hence able to host such phenomena.
(1) *Because her son, he owns stocks in Xerox, Mildred drives a Mercedes.
(2) Mildred drives a Mercedes because her son, he owns stocks in Xerox.
(Examples from Larson & Sawada 2010.)
As recently pointed out by Larson & Sawada (2010), this contrast is
particularly challenging for strictly syntactic approaches: can we postulate
different structures depending on the position of the adverbial clause?
Larson & Sawada propose to capture the contrast in (1-2) as a
consequence of event quantification. This suggests that the interpretive
component is involved in the licensing of Root Phenomena, at least in
adverbial clauses.

Call For Papers

The aim of this workshop is double.
First, we would like to investigate the extent to which Root Phenomena
require the involvement of the interpretive component, and its nature: is it
Pragmatics, Semantics, Information Structure? A combination of these?
Questions to be addressed under this theme include the following:
(i) What is the division of labour between syntax and the interpretive
component in capturing root phenomena?
(ii) Which root phenomena display information structural or semantic
effects?
(iii) Can a semantic characterisation of clauses account for the restrictions
on all Root Phenomena?
Second, we would like to extend the field of investigation to include not only
'standard' Root Phenomena (i.e. those that are strictly (?) impossible in
non-root contexts, such as VP preposing, locative inversion, exclamatory
inversion, etc. in English) but also phenomena that are not excluded from
non-root contexts but nonetheless sensitive to the +/- root distinction. In
French, these include verb-subject inversion (Lahousse 2010) and Clitic
Left Dislocation (De Cat 2007, 2010). These have been shown to be
subject to different constraints depending on the host clause: CLLD is fully
acceptable in main clauses and 'embedded roots' such as peripheral
adverbial clauses, but much degraded in central adverbial clauses, which
have been shown not to allow root phenomena (see e.g. Haegeman 2006,
2009, 2010); verb-subject inversion in French is limited by heavy constraints
in main clauses and peripheral adverbial clauses, but not in central
adverbial clauses. Questions to be addressed under this theme include the
following:
(i) Which phenomena are sensitive to the +/- root distinction, across
languages?
(ii) What can these phenomena tell us about the properties of the clauses
hosting them?
(iii) Is their sensitivity to the +/- root distinction of a similar nature to
that operating in 'standard' Root Phenomena?

Guidelines for abstract submission

- Abstracts are invited for 20-minute presentations plus 10 minutes for
discussion.
- The abstract should be anonymous and contain no more than 500 words,
exclusive of examples and references.
- Send the anonymous abstract to BOTH c.decatleeds.ac.uk AND
karen.lahoussearts.kuleuven.be, mention your name, address and title of
the abstract in the body of your e-mail.
- Deadline for submission = 11 November 2010

We need to submit the workshop proposal by the 15th of November to the
SLE Scientific Committee for evaluation. Notification of acceptance will be
given by 15 December 2010. If the workshop proposal is accepted, you will
be invited to submit your full abstracts by 15 January 2011.
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