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LINGUIST List 23.323

Wed Jan 18 2012

Calls: Syntax, Semantics, General Linguistics/Germany

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        1.     Antje Rossdeutscher , Prefix Verbs: The Impact of Preposition-like Elements on the Syntax and Semantics of Verbs


Message 1: Prefix Verbs: The Impact of Preposition-like Elements on the Syntax and Semantics of Verbs
Date: 18-Jan-2012
From: Antje Rossdeutscher <antjeims.uni-stuttgart.de>
Subject: Prefix Verbs: The Impact of Preposition-like Elements on the Syntax and Semantics of Verbs
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Full Title: Prefix Verbs: The Impact of Preposition-like Elements on the Syntax and Semantics of Verbs

Date: 13-Jul-2012 - 14-Jul-2012
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Contact Person: Antje Rossdeutscher
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://www.uni-stuttgart.de/linguistik/sfb732/index.php?article_id=142

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

Call Deadline: 15-Mar-2012

Meeting Description:

Prefix Verbs: The Impact of Preposition-like Elements on the Syntax and Semantics of Verbs

Germanic languages have productive mechanisms that form complex verbs out of simple verbs and particles or prefixes; and many of those particles and prefixes apparently correspond to prepositions (so-called p-elements). Particle- and prefix-verb formation involving p-elements has been subject to extensive debates in the syntactic literature and, more recently, also in semantics. From a semantic perspective, the ways in which p-elements combine with verbs show a lot of variation, and one of the tasks of a theory of the syntax and semantics of p-verbs is to identify these different patterns. A further issue is that both p-elements and the verbs that they combine with are typically ambiguous or polysemous when considered on their own. More often than not these ambiguities disappear when p-element and verb combine: the combining process will eliminate all but one of the different meanings of the elements that are being combined. So a second task for an account of p-verbs is to explain how this kind of filtering of unwanted readings functions. A third issue is that the formation of p-verbs is (like word formation generally) only semi-productive. So a third task for theories of p-verbs is identify the (semi-)productive combination patterns within a wide range of data contaminated by countless idiosyncrasies.

Each of these tasks presupposes answers to the following questions:

- How to represent the basic constituents of p-verb constructions?

In accounts based on Svenonius' split P-hypothesis (cf. Van Riemsdijk 1991, Svenonius 2003 and subsequent work, Ramchand 2008, Ramchand and Svenonius 2002, Romanova 2007 for Russian) P's with the same semantic content can appear both as heads of prepositional phrases and as particles; but because PP heads and particles play different roles in the syntactic structures of which they are part, the meanings they share make different contributions to the semantics of those structures.

All these studies explicitly or implicitly raise the question:

- To what extent can/must semantic differences be analyzed in terms of structural differences that are part of syntax?

This question is also a topic of debate within Distributed Morphology (DM) (Halle/Marantz 1993, Marantz 2006). Some of the work within DM seems motivated by the implicit assumption that the semantics of verbs and their projections is fully determined by their internal syntactic structure and the ('encyclopaedic') semantics of their roots (Borer 2005). This is a matter that arises more specfically with prefix verbs.

There are however also a number of phenomena that are more specifically connected to p-verbs:

(i) Sometimes the argument structures of p-verbs differ from those of their base verbs.
(ii) Sometimes he same p-element and base verb can be combined into p-verbs with distinct argument structures and difference in meaning. Also, in some such cases the p-verbs differ in their morpho-phonetic properties.

Further topics of interest for the workshop arise from a cross-linguistic perspective:

For instance, Germanic and Slavic languages appear to differ in that prefixation in the latter has an (ineradicable) impact on aspect (cf. Mylarczyk 2004 for Polish). The general question suggested by such cross-linguistic comparisons is to what extent prefixation operations in different languages follow universal principles and to what extent those principles are language-specific.

Invited Speakers:

Nicole Dehe
Marcel den Dikken
Jaume Mateau
Andrew McIntyre
Gillian Ramchand
Peter Svenonius
Joost Zwarts

Call for Papers:

Abstract Submission:

Abstracts are invited for 30 minute talks (10 minute discussion) relevant to the conference theme. Submissions are limited to one single-authored and one joint-authored abstract.

The abstracts should be sent by email to antjeims.uni-stuttgart.de.

Please include the word ABSTRACT in the subject line of the e-mail. In the body of the message, please include the names of the author(s), affiliation(s), abstract title and an e-mail address. Abstracts should take the form of a PDF document. Abstracts should be limited to two pages (11pt font size) and a third page containing examples and references. Abstracts must be anonymous.

Deadline for submission: March 15, 2012
Notification of acceptance: April 15, 2012

Scientific Committee:

Artemis Alexiadou
Boris Haselbach
Hans Kamp
Marcel Pitteroff
Antje Rossdeutscher
Florian Schäfer



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