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LINGUIST List 21.4370

Tue Nov 02 2010

Calls: Syntax, Typology/Spain

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


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        1.     Søren Wichmann , The Argument/Adjunct Distinction Cross-Linguistically

Message 1: The Argument/Adjunct Distinction Cross-Linguistically
Date: 30-Oct-2010
From: Søren Wichmann <wichmanneva.mpg.de>
Subject: The Argument/Adjunct Distinction Cross-Linguistically
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Full Title: The Argument/Adjunct Distinction Cross-Linguistically

Date: 08-Sep-2011 - 11-Sep-2011
Location: Logroño (La Rioja), Spain
Contact Person: Søren Wichmann
Meeting Email: wichmanneva.mpg.de

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax; Typology

Call Deadline: 11-Nov-2011

Meeting Description:

During this workshop, which is organized by the Leipzig Valency Classes
Project (Andrej Malchukov, Iren Hartmann, Martin Haspelmath, Bernard
Comrie, and Søren Wichmann, cf.
http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/valency/index.php), we wish to shed
new light on the distinction between arguments and adjuncts. This
distinction has been hotly debated since the 1970s (e.g., contributions to
Vater (ed.) 1977), yet the issue remains largely unresolved. One of the
challenges is that some of the most reliable tests (such as verb-anaphoric
tests, especially popular in generative approaches), are not applicable to all
languages. Another challenge is that the notion of valency is understood
both at the levels of semantics and syntax (see, e.g., contributions to Herbst
(ed.) 2007 for some complexities involved discussed primarily from
lexicographic perspective), with some theories introducing still more
intermediate levels (e.g., in the work by Apresjan and Mel'cuk; e.g., Mel'cuk
1988). Yet, this topic is of obvious typological relevance, as it has been
suggested that the distinction might correlate with other typologically
significant parameters (such as pro-arg hypothesis by Jelinik 1984, Baker
1996 and others predicting that NPs show an adjunct-like behavior in
radically head-marking ('polysynthetic') languages).

For the envisaged workshop we invite contributions dealing with the
following topics:

- the distinctions between arguments and adjuncts in individual languages;
- diagnostics for the argument/adjunct distinction in individual languages
and across languages;
- cross-linguistic applicability/universality of diagnostics for argumenthood;
- the question of whether the distinction between arguments and adjuncts is
dichotomous or rather gradient (as argued by Croft 2001 ch. 7, following
Langacker 1987);
- mismatches between semantic and syntactic valency.

Contributions discussing less studied (non-Indo-European) languages are
particularly welcome, as the present workshop is intended to explore the
degree of convergence and variation in this domain.

References
Baker, Mark. 1996. The Polysynthesis Parameter. Oxford: Oxford University
Press.
Croft, William. 2001. Radical Construction Grammar. Oxford: Oxford
University Press.
Herbst, Thomas & Katrin Götz-Votteler (eds.). 2007. Valency: theoretical,
descriptive and cognitive issues. Berlin: Mouton.
Jelinek, Eloise. 1984. Empty categories, case, and configurationality.
Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 2:39-76.
Langacker, Ronald. 1987. Foundations of Cognitive Grammar, Vol. 1:
Theoretical Prerequisites. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Mel'cuk, Igor. A. 1988. Dependency Syntax: Theory and practice. Albany,
NY: SUNY
Vater, Heinz (ed.). 1977. Valence, Semantic Case and Grammatical
Relations. Amsterdam, John Benjamins.

Call For Papers

Towards the organization of the workshop we need preliminary titles and
mini-abstracts (3-5 sentences) from potentially interested participants. The
deadline for these is Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010. That will allow us a little time
for preparing the finalized version of the workshop proposal before the Nov.
15 deadline for session proposals. Please note that expressing an interest
in participation by sending us a title and mini-abstract is not binding. Later
on (Jan. 15, 2011) there is a deadline for regular abstracts, to be submitted
via the conference site. We will send interested participants a reminder
about this, and we will of course also let them know, by mid-December,
whether the workshop was accepted. Other dates: notification of
acceptance of regular abstracts: March 31, 2011; registration open from
April 1, 2011.
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