From: Matthew Baerman <m.baermansurrey.ac.uk>
Subject: Morphological Complexity
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Full Title: Morphological Complexity
Date: 13-Jan-2012 - 15-Jan-2012
Location: London, United Kingdom
Contact Person: Matthew Baerman
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://www2.surrey.ac.uk/english/smg/researchprojects/morphologicalcomplexity/conference_2012/
Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Morphology; Psycholinguistics; Typology
Call Deadline: 31-Aug-2011
The Surrey Morphology Group will be convening a three-day conference 'Morphological Complexity', to be held January 13-15 2012 at the British Academy in London. This is part of a larger project funded by the European Research Council (grant ERC-2008-AdG-230268 MORPHOLOGY). Conference organizers are Matthew Baerman, Greville Corbett and Dunstan Brown.
Theme of the Conference:
Although inflectional morphology could provide a consistent one-to-one mapping between form and function, it seldom does. Inflectional systems have their own structure which may operate at cross purposes to the grammatical systems whose realisation is their putative reason for being. For example, words may fall into different inflection classes, as in English, where the past tense of some verbs is formed by a suffix (walked), others by a vowel alternation (sang), without any difference in meaning or function. Or the forms may be syncretic, in that the shape of the paradigm fails to match the feature values, as with the future tense paradigm of French verbs, which conflate two values of person in the singular (e.g. səra 'you/she will be') and in the plural (sərõ 'we/they will be'). Both inflection classes and syncretism make for non-congruence between grammatical meaning and morphological form, and so constitute a kind of uniquely morphological complexity, that is, autonomous morphological structure that must be accounted for in its own right. This complexity is further compounded by the existence of multiple and distributed exponence. For example, in the Chinantecan languages (Oto-Manguean languages of Mexico), subject agreement and TAM marking is expressed, inter alia, by suffixes, tone and stem alternations, each of which falls into separate inflection classes and follows distinct patterns of syncretism.
The consequences of morphological complexity for linguistics in general have long been unappreciated, due in part to the extreme cross-linguistic diversity it manifests. But the last several years have seen a marked increase in scientific activity in this field, as techniques in psycholinguistics, information theory, and morphological and computational analysis have become more sophisticated and nuanced. We therefore convene this conference to in order to bring together what might otherwise be scattered lines of research.
Stephen Anderson (Yale)
Mark Donohue (Australian National University)
William Marslen-Wilson (Cambridge)
Vito Pirrelli (Pisa)
Gregory Stump (Kentucky)
Call for Papers:
We invite abstracts for 25-minute talks in any area addressing morphological complexity (e.g. morphological theory, diachrony, psycholinguistics, computational linguistics).
Abstracts should be anonymous, and fit on a single page (using 12-point type with reasonable margins), with the author's name, paper title and contact information on a separate sheet. Either pdf or Word (or equivalent) is acceptable.
Abstracts should be sent to morphological.complexitygmail.com by August 31, 2011.
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