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LINGUIST List 22.2727

Fri Jul 01 2011

Calls: Syntax, Semantics, Historical Linguistics/Germany

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <alisonlinguistlist.org>

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        1.     Chiara Gianollo , DGfS 2012 Workshop: Change at the Syntax-Semantics Interface

Message 1: DGfS 2012 Workshop: Change at the Syntax-Semantics Interface
Date: 30-Jun-2011
From: Chiara Gianollo <chiara.gianolloling.uni-stuttgart.de>
Subject: DGfS 2012 Workshop: Change at the Syntax-Semantics Interface
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Full Title: DGfS 2012 Workshop: Change at the Syntax-Semantics Interface

Date: 07-Mar-2012 - 09-Mar-2012
Location: Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Contact Person: Chiara Gianollo
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: https://dgfs.de/cgi-bin/dgfs.pl/tagung?lang=en

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics; Semantics; Syntax

Call Deadline: 15-Aug-2011

Meeting Description:

The workshop ‘Language Change at the Syntax-Semantics Interface’ (AG 4) is
organized as part of the 34. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für
Sprachwissenschaft / Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society
(DGfS) ‘Language as a Complex System’, to be held at the Goethe-Universität
Frankfurt am Main, Germany, March 7-9, 2012.

Invited Speakers:

Regine Eckardt - University of Göttingen
Elly van Gelderen - Arizona State University
Ian Roberts - University of Cambridge


Chiara Gianollo - University of Stuttgart
Agnes Jäger - University of Frankfurt
Doris Penka - University of Konstanz

We address the role of complexity in language from a diachronic
perspective, by focusing on the interplay of syntactic and semantic factors
in language change. Recent work on grammaticalization has highlighted the
necessity of an integration of the methods and research questions of
historical syntax and semantics: Syntactic analyses such as Roberts &
Roussou (2003) and van Gelderen (2004) mesh well with semantic approaches
emphasizing the ‘bleaching’ of semantic content (e.g. Von Fintel 1995);
however, grammaticalization often brings about the enrichment of some
meaning components (cf. Hopper & Traugott 1993, Eckardt 2006), which still
awaits a proper syntactic treatment. Besides, our understanding of many
other phenomena could be enhanced by a more integrated approach: for
instance, while it is frequently argued that syntactic change takes place
during first-language acquisition, the type of triggers and the actuation
dynamics for some kinds of semantic changes seem to lie in the adult
competence (cf. Eckardt 2006). It has also been argued (e.g. Keenan 1994,
Longobardi 2001) that semantics is more prone to change than syntax, which
instead represents the inert core of grammar, changing only when driven by
interface phenomena.

Call for Papers:

We welcome contributions addressing one or more of the following questions:

(a) How do processes of syntactic and semantic change differ in their local
causes, their actuation, and their spread among communities?

(b) What is the division of labor between syntax and semantics in

(c) How do syntactic and semantic competence interact and influence each
other in major structural changes (such as changes in word order,
development of negation, change in sentential complementation, change in
alignment systems, development of new grammatical categories)?

(d) Is syntax demonstrably more inert than semantics? or should we rather
distinguish between more or less inert sub-modules within syntactic and
semantic competence?

We expect to bring together researchers interested in diachrony from a
variety of perspectives (typological/language- or family-specific,
formal/functional), and willing to constructively discuss their
methodological assumptions and empirical findings.

Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts are invited for 30-minute presentations (20 + 10 for discussion)
in English or German. As reviewing will be double-blind, abstracts should
be anonymous; author's information should be submitted in the accompanying
e-mail. Please send your abstract (PDF format, one page plus an optional
second page for figures and references) to

Important Dates:

Deadline for abstract submission: August 15, 2011
Notification of acceptance: September 12, 2011
Workshop: March 7 - 9, 2012

Scientific Committee:

Regine Eckardt
Elly van Gelderen
Chiara Gianollo
Agnes Jäger
Paul Kiparsky
Doris Penka
Ian Roberts
Helmut Weiß

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