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LINGUIST List 22.4120

Fri Oct 21 2011

Calls: General Linguistics/Sweden

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

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        1.     Javier Martín Arista , Alternations and Paradigms: Structural-Functional Perspectives

Message 1: Alternations and Paradigms: Structural-Functional Perspectives
Date: 21-Oct-2011
From: Javier Martín Arista <javier.martinunirioja.es>
Subject: Alternations and Paradigms: Structural-Functional Perspectives
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Full Title: Alternations and Paradigms: Structural-Functional Perspectives

Date: 29-Aug-2012 - 01-Sep-2012
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact Person: Pilar Guerrero
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Call Deadline: 12-Nov-2011

Meeting Description:

Alternations and Paradigms: Structural-Functional Perspectives
Workshop to be held within the 45th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (http://www.sle2012.eu), University of Stockholm, 29 August-1 September 2012

Convenors: Pilar Guerrero (University of Córdoba, Spain) and Javier Martín Arista (University of La Rioja, Spain)

This workshop focuses on some points of contact between morphology and syntax in the wider setting of a structural-functional theory of language that is based on the external explanation (or motivation) for morphosyntactic structure. The starting point of the discussion is the notion of contrast in the linguistic system. While most linguistic units contrast with one another in an unstructured way, some units are opposed to other units systematically and meaningfully. Functional structuralism as represented by Trubetzkoy's phonology already dealt with this question by means of oppositions, but a new look on the question is needed, as well a widening of the scope of discussion. It is our contention that this can be done by incorporating the related concept of paradigm and coaching the discussion in terms of recent advances in the structural-functional schools of linguistics, as represented by Functional Grammar (Dik 1997), Functional-Discourse Grammar (Hengeveld and Mackenzie 2008), Role and Reference Grammar (Foley and Van Valin 1984; Van Valin and LaPolla 1997; Van Valin 2005), Halliday's Systemic Functional Grammar (Halliday 1994; Halliday and Matthiessen 2004) and other linguistic communities and frameworks of a functional persuasion.

Call for Papers:

This workshop aims at exploring the points of convergence and divergence between the descriptive and explanatory concepts of alternation and paradigm along the following lines:

1) Alternations constitute morpho-phonological contrasts with phonological motivation in the diachronic axis or morpho-syntactic realizations of the projection of verbal arguments, while paradigms organize the expression of derivational functions (derivational paradigm) and inflectional operators (inflectional paradigm).

2) Both alternations and paradigms constitute, ultimately, recurrent contrasts of form and meaning but they differ in their realization: whereas alternations can be realized morphologically and/or syntactically, paradigms have a morphological basis.

3) The motivation of alternations can be semantic or pragmatic, as in the different choices of argument realization with a given verb, whereas the motivation of paradigms is lexical (in the derivational paradigm) or morphosyntactic (in the inflectional paradigm).

4) The sort of contrast holding in alternations is different from the one arising in paradigms. Alternations are usually binary and less often trinary whereas paradigms convey a multilateral contrast.

5) Some alternations and paradigms are based on a full contrast based on substantive elements whereas others require the identification of a zero element or the definition of a meaning contrast without formal counterpart.

6) Some contrasts lose functionality in such a way that a formal difference is not matched by an opposition in meaning.

Contributions are expected that engage in these questions by dealing, specifically, with:

- Phonology and morpho-phonology
- Morphology: inflection and word-formation
- Syntax
- Lexical semantics
- The semantics-syntax interface
- The pragmatics-syntax interface
- Synchronic analysis
- Diachronic analysis
- Comparative analysis
- Typological analysis

Special attention will be paid to theoretical, methodological and descriptive aspects that constitute the stronghold of the functional-structural linguistic schools, including layered representation, functions at several levels of description, the interaction of projections and templates, the linking syntax-semantics and semantics-syntax, the insertion of satellites and operators, the pragmatic basis of formal expression, etc.

In order to bring into the discussion a variety of inter-linguistic data, all Indo-European as well as non-Indo-European languages are welcome in the workshop.

Abstracts are invited for 20 minute presentations with 10 minute discussion. Interested contributors are kindly invited to email Javier Martín (javier.martinunirioja.es) and Pilar Guerrero (ff1gumepuco.es) with their name, affiliation and a provisional 300-word abstract by 12 November 2011.

Important Dates:

Submission of provisional abstract: 12 November 2011
Notification of acceptance of workshop proposal: 15 December 2011

If the workshop proposal is accepted then full abstracts will need to be submitted via the SLE conference website by 15 January 2012:


Notification of acceptance: 31 March 2012
Conference: 29 August-1 September 2012


Dik, S. C. 1997. The Theory of Functional Grammar (2 volumes). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Edited by K. Hengeveld.

Foley, W. and R. D. Van Valin Jr. 1984. Functional Syntax and Universal Grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hengeveld, K. and L. Mackenzie. 2008. Functional Discourse Grammar. A typologically-based theory of language structure. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Halliday, M. A .K. 1994. An Introduction to Functional Grammar. 2nd ed. London: Edward Arnold.

Halliday, M. A. K. and C. M. I. M. Matthiessen. 2004 An Introduction to Functional Grammar. 3rd ed. London: Hodder Education.

Van Valin, R. D. Jr. 2005. Exploring the Syntax-Semantics Interface. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Van Valin, R. D. Jr. and R. LaPolla. 1997. Syntax: Structure, Meaning and Function. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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