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LINGUIST List 23.3922

Fri Sep 21 2012

Calls: Morphology, Pragmatics, Semantics, Syntax, Typology/Croatia

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

Date: 21-Sep-2012
From: Rik van Gijn <erik.vangijnuzh.ch>
Subject: Switch Reference, State of the Art and Where to Go from Here?
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Full Title: Switch Reference, State of the Art and Where to Go from Here?

Date: 18-Sep-2013 - 21-Sep-2013
Location: Split, Croatia
Contact Person: Rik van Gijn
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Morphology; Pragmatics; Semantics; Syntax; Typology

Call Deadline: 01-Nov-2012

Meeting Description:

Switch Reference, State of the Art and Where to Go from Here?
46th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea
Conveners: Rik van Gijn (University of Zürich), Jeremy Hammond (MPI Nijmegen), Robert D. Van Valin (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf & MPI Nijmegen)

Next year it will be 30 years since the publication of John Haiman & Pam Munro's seminal book Switch reference and universal grammar. Since its publication, many new studies of switch reference in different languages have been published, which have confirmed, but more often criticized or expanded Haiman & Munro's findings. Nevertheless, Haiman & Munro's (1983) collection of papers is in many ways still *the* reference work on the topic. In part, this confirms the strength of the book, but in part it is also the result of the fact that no similar descriptive edited volume, with up-to-date information has ever been published since Switch reference and universal grammar. Monographs on the topic (e.g. Stirling 1993, Finer 1984) or with large components on the topic (e.g. Foley & Van Valin 1984, Van Valin & LaPolla 1997, Kibrick 2011) are written from the perspective of particular theories. Although we do not want to diminish in any way the value of these publications, we believe it is time for a descriptive update of Haiman & Munro (1983). We would like to start this project by organizing a workshop at the SLE conference in 2013 in Split.


Finer, Daniel. 1984. The formal grammar of switch-reference. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst, Mass.
Foley, William A & Robert D. Van Valin. 1984. Functional Syntax and Universal Grammar. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.
Haiman, John & Pamela Munro. 1983. Switch Reference and Universal Grammar: Proceedings of a symposium on switch reference and universal grammar, Winnipeg, May 1981. (Ed.) John Haiman & Pamela Munro. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Kibrik, Andrej A. 2011. Reference in Discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Stirling, Lesley. 1988. Switch-Reference and Logophoricity in Discourse Representation Theory. University of Edinburgh.
Van Valin, Robert D. & Randy J. LaPolla. 1997. Syntax: structure, meaning, and function. Cambridge, U.K.; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Call for Papers:

Pre-call for Workshop Proposal SLE on Switch Reference:

We would like to address the following topics in relation to switch reference (this list is by no means exhaustive, we encourage participants to expand it if they see fit):

- The definition of SR. Haiman & Munro's classic definition 'Canonical switch-reference is an inflectional category of the verb, which indicates whether or not its subject is identical with the subject of some other verb' (p. ix) has been heavily criticized (even in the volume itself) as being too syntactic. However, the inclusion of all kinds of pragmatic functions into the realm of switch reference makes a new definition difficult. Should we expand the definition to include more pragmatic features, are the different authors speaking about different phenomena, or should we rather take Haiman & Munro's definition as the canonical point of departure (as they seem to suggest themselves) and chart the different deviations from this canonical definitions, a la Corbett (2005)?

- The function(s) of SR: Haiman & Munro mention reference tracking as the main function of SR, but many other studies have suggested additional functions, mostly to do with text cohesion in different forms and shapes, suggesting that SR has a strong pragmatic component.

- The encoding of switch reference: if we regard SR as a feature with at least two different (opposing values), how are these values marked? Further, what different types of constituents are they marked on?

- The kind of complex sentences in which SR occurs: is SR marking restricted to cosubordinate clause chains, or does it extend to more subordinate relations as well?

- The geographic extent of SR and geographical differences between SR systems: Classic hot spots that are often mentioned for SR are Papua New Guinea, Australia, and the Americas. However, further areas may display this phenomenon. Moreover, we are interested in the question how these different areas compare to each other. Are the SR systems comparable, or are there major differences between the areas?

- The diffusability of SR: The fact that we find SR in certain contiguous areas, suggests that they may be especially prone to diffuse over large areas, and it has been shown for some cases that this in fact did happen (e.g. see Aikhenvald 2002 for Tariana). We are in particular interested in similar case studies, which actually show the diffusion of SR systems from one language to the other.

We encourage both contributions about particular languages and comparative work (both regional and global), but in either case, there should be a large descriptive component.

Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2002. Language contact in Amazonia. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Corbett, Greville, The canonical approach in typology. In: Zygmunt Frajzyngier, Adam Hodges & David S. Rood (eds) Linguistic Diversity and Language Theories. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 25-49.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words, excluding references should be sent by email, before November 1 to one of the following email addresses: erik.vangijnuzh.ch, Jeremy.Hammondmpi.nl.

Rik van Gijn
Seminar für Sprachwissenschaft
University of Zürich
+41 44 6342859

Jeremy Hammond
Syntax Typology and Information Structure Group
MPI for Psycholinguistics
+31 24 3521171

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