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LINGUIST List 24.2890

Mon Jul 15 2013

Calls: Syntax, Morphology, Ling Theories, General Ling/Germany

Editor for this issue: Bryn Hauk <brynlinguistlist.org>

Date: 14-Jul-2013
From: Andreas Blümel <a.bluemelgmx.de>
Subject: DGfS 2014 Workshop: Labels and Roots
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Full Title: DGfS 2014 Workshop: Labels and Roots

Date: 05-Mar-2014 - 07-Mar-2014
Location: Marburg, Hesse, Germany
Contact Person: Erich Groat
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://www.online.uni-marburg.de/dgfs2014/index.php

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Morphology; Syntax

Call Deadline: 20-Aug-2013

Meeting Description:

Workshop 'Labels and Roots' at the annual conference of the DGfS, University of Marburg, 2014

Organizers:

Erich Groat
Leah Bauke
Andreas Blümel
(Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main)

Invited Speakers:

Hagit Borer (Queen Mary University of London)
Daniel Seely (Eastern Michigan University)

Description:

In syntactic and morphological theory, complex structures are assumed to be composed of subparts: A=[B C]. The objects A, B, and C each have properties determining their distribution, i.e. their interactions with other objects: what other objects they can be combined with, how they are interpreted semantically and phonologically, whether and where they can move, and so on. We may call these properties their 'labels,' describing their syntactic or morphological category.

What is the relation between the label of an object and the label of its pieces? In the era of tree structures and phrase-structure rules, the label of A bore a stipulated, theoretically unconstrained relation to the labels of its parts, B and C. X-bar theory (Chomsky 1970, Jackendoff 1977) drastically changed this picture, suggesting an endocentric model of syntax (and morphology) in which only lexical features found in either B or C form the basis of A's label: the lexical category features of only one word, the head of the phrase, always projects. More recent approaches have moved towards deriving endocentricity by a general labeling algorithm, tacitly questioning not only the role syntactic category values (v, n, C, T, etc.) play, either for the interfaces, for syntax or both, but also the uniqueness requirement for heads for a given phrase (Pesetsky 1982, Chomsky & Lasnik 1993, Collins 2002, Seely 2006, Boeckx, 2009, to appear, Chomsky 2004, 2007, 2008, 2013).

A distinct but related branch of research attempts to determine semantic and syntactic contributions lexical categories make for the combinatorial system, as in the study of argument structure. How do we account for the morphosyntactic behavior of 'root' elements, and what role do labels play in their behavior? Approaches to questions like these vary. Ramchand (2008) decomposes lexical meanings, locating their subparts on functional material above the lexical stem: functional material overdetermines lexical meanings. In an attempt to eradicate the massive redundancy at the lexicon-syntax interface, the exoskeletal approach to syntax (Borer 2005a & 2005b et seq, de Belder 2011) characterizes lexical roots as having no intrinsic label and as being unable to project. Rather, the specific syntactic configuration under which these roots are merged determines their category and their specific semantic contribution. In a similar vein, in Distributive Morphology (Marantz 1997 et seq, Harley 2005) it is argued that roots are categoryless lexical items whose category is determined by the categorial functional head they are merged with. Despite significant differences, all of these approaches provide the theory with greater restrictiveness, capture important empirical generalizations and also pave the way for deeper consideration of this fundamental issue of roots, labels and the nature of lexical categories.

Call for Papers:

In this workshop, we seek to bring together a variety of syntactic and morphological research whose focus is on empirical and conceptual arguments (in any and all current theoretical frameworks) concerning this fundamental issue, both to assess the state of the art in the field, and to inspire further research.

Some key questions are:

1. Do we need endocentricity at all? If so, what work do syntactic labels do, within the syntax and morphology, and for semantics and phonology? Do all phrases need a label or are some systematically exempt from headedness (e.g. coordinate structures, cf. Chaves 2007)?
2. What is the possible content of a label? Is the content of a label drawn from one or both parts of a complex object?
3. How generally predictable are labels?
4. Are labels by-products of the structure building operation Merge (Chomsky 1995), or determined by a transfer-related labeling procedure (Boeckx 2009, to appear; Chomsky 2007, 2008, 2013), or can they be outsourced completely from the syntax (Adger 2013)?
5. Do lexical roots have (morphosyntactic) features which may serve as their labels (Harley, to appear), or are their syntactic/morphological categories solely provided by formal elements with which they combine (Marantz 2008, Irwin 2012)?
6. How might labeling be involved in more diverse syntactic phenomena, such as agreement, Case, movement, and so on (cf., e.g., Ott 2012, Chomsky 2013)?

We invite contributions addressing the above issues. Presentations are 30 minutes, including question period. Please send abstracts to LabelsAndRoots2014gmail.com. The anonymous abstracts should not exceed one page (references may be on a second page), and should be in at least 11-point font, with one-inch margins (letter-size; 8 1/2 by 11 or A4). Submissions are limited to 1 individual and 1 joint abstract per author.

Important Dates:

Deadline for submission: August 20, 2013
Notification of acceptance: September 15, 2013
Workshop: March 5-7, 2014



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