LINGUIST List 6.1768

Thu Dec 21 1995

Calls: Phonology, Comparative Germanic, OV/VO

Editor for this issue: Anthony M. Aristar <aristartam2000.tamu.edu>


Directory

  1. Jeroen van de Weijer, Three HIL conferences in January 1997

Message 1: Three HIL conferences in January 1997

Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 15:10:51 Three HIL conferences in January 1997
From: Jeroen van de Weijer <VDWEIJERrullet.LeidenUniv.nl>
Subject: Three HIL conferences in January 1997

Three conference announcements!

The Holland Institute of Generative Linguistics (HIL) will organize three
conferences and workshops in the beginning of 1997 at the Vrije Universiteit
in Amsterdam. HIL will then exist five years. Here are the first announcements
and calls for papers of these conferences, viz.
 * The Third HIL Phonology Conference (9-11 January)
 * The Twelfth Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop (9-11 January)
 * The OV/VO Workshop (7-8 January)


 HILP 3
 Call for Papers

On 9-11 January 1997, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will host the
3rd Holland Institute of Generative Linguistics Conference on
Phonology, HILP 3.

Abstracts should be submitted before July 1st 1996. The address of the
selection committee is:

 Selection Committee HILP 3
 Prof. Geert Booij
 Vrije Universiteit, vakgroep Taalkunde
 De Boelelaan 1105
 1081 HV Amsterdam
 The Netherlands

Please send 5 anonymous abstracts.
Speakers whose abstract is selected will receive a (partial)
reimbursement of their traveling costs.

E-mail: booijgjet.let.vu.nl
WWW: http://oasis.leidenuniv.nl/hil/confs/hilp3/hilp3.htm

 =============================================================================
 =============================================================================


 12th COMPARATIVE GERMANIC SYNTAX WORKSHOP

 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam/HIL
 9-11 January 1997
 ================================

On 9-11 January 1997, the 12th meeting of the Comparative Germanic Syntax
Workshop will be held at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam/HIL.

Abstracts are solicited for 40-minute presentations (followed by 15 minutes
of discussion) which address topics in the syntax of the Germanic languages
from a comparative point of view.

To submit, send *five copies* of an abstract whose length should not exceed
2 pages (single-spaced; 12pt. font), including examples, diagrams and
references. Please add a 3x5 card stating the title of your abstract, your
name and affiliation (including E-mail address, fax and telephone number).

Abstracts should be received at the address given below by 1 July 1996.
(Submissions by E-mail or fax will be accepted; please make sure that, if
you opt for this route, your abstract is properly decipherable.)

Speakers will be partially reimbursed for their travel expenses.

 Address your queries and send your submissions to:

 CGSW 12
 c/o Marcel den Dikken
 Holland Institute of Generative Linguistics
 Vakgroep Taalkunde (ATW)
 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
 De Boelelaan 1105
 1081 HV Amsterdam
 The Netherlands

 Fax: +31 20 4446500
 Phone: +31 20 4446482
 E-mail: dikkenjet.let.vu.nl

 WWW: http://oasis.leidenuniv.nl/hil/confs/cgsw12/cgsw.htm

 ============================================================================
 ============================================================================

 WORKSHOP ANNOUNCEMENT

 On the typological differences between VO- and OV-languages:
 Minimalism and the Uniform Base Hypothesis

 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam/HIL
 7-8 January 1997
 ================================

On 7-8 January 1997, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam/HIL will host a workshop
specially focused on the typological differences between VO- and OV-languages
and their formal account, against the background of recent theoretical devel-
opments in the minimalist framework (Chomsky 1993, 1995) and Kayne's (1994)
antisymmetry thesis. The theme of the workshop is detailed in what follows.

In the eighties, the distinction between VO-languages, on the one hand, and
OV-languages, on the other, used to be generally accounted for by assuming a
directionality parameter on government (Travis 1984): in VO-languages
canonical government is to the right, so that the (nominal) complement of a
verb must be on the right of the verb in order to get Case, whereas
OV-languages set the canonical government directionality parameter to the
left, so that the complement of the verb must be on the left in order to get
Case. With the introduction of Checking Theory (Chomsky 1993), the postulation
of a canonical direction of Case-assignment was rendered superfluous, and in
fact unstatable; in all languages, checking the Case-feature of the nominal
complement of the verb takes place in the specifier position of some func-
tional projection (FP, commonly identified as AgrOP) above VP: by moving the
object into SpecFP and moving V into F, as in (1), the verb and its complement
enter into a Spec-Head relation and Case-checking can take place.

(1) ... [FP .... F ... [VP ... V Object]
 ^\ ^\___________/ /
 \_________________/

In principle, this proposal makes it possible to assume that the distinction
between VO- and OV-languages is only a "surface"-phenomenon, which is due to
the level at which the pertinent movement operation takes place -- a
difference which is expressible in terms of the strength of the N-features of
F, such that in VO-languages, in contradistinction to OV-languages, the
N-feature is weak and movement of NP is postponed to LF, and is consequently
not reflected in the phonetic realization of the construction.

The prospect of reducing directionality effects to the parametrized strength
of the features of functional heads is interesting from the perspective of
language acquisition (since it allows us to restrict parametrization to prop-
erties of the functional system; the directionality of government approach
held no such promise). It also comports well with Kayne's (1994) independent
argument that all languages have a specifier-head-complement order in the
base, and that all apparent complement-head orders are transformationally
derived by movement of the complement into some specifier position that c-
commands the surface position of the head.

Kayne's hypothesis has yielded a host of problems for the description of
(especially) the OV-languages, not least because it followed from Kayne's
proposal that movement is always leftward. Consequently, besides the fact that
all proposals that relied on a government directionality parameter had to be
recast in terms of movement, all accounts that involved rightward movement had
to be reformulated as cases of leftward movement. Today witnesses a wide
variety of proposals along these lines, typically taking the following form:
if an element Y surfaces to the right of some element X in language La,
whereas the order is reversed in language Lb, then either X takes an add-
itional movement step in overt syntax in La that is lacking in Lb, or Y under-
goes an overt-syntactic movement operation in Lb that is lacking in La. Pro-
posals of this general type often reach a fair degree of observational and
descriptive adequacy; their explanatory adequacy ultimately rests upon the
identification of appropriate triggers for the postulated movement operations,
triggers that (in the optimal case) are independently motivated.

This workshop is NOT primarily interested in accounts aimed at showing that
minimalist and antisymmetric approaches to the OV/VO distinction can be con-
ceived and technically made to work. Rather, this workshop aims to investigate
the systematic (typological) properties of VO- and OV-languages. For instance,
predicative adjectives always follow the verb in VO-languages (see English
(2a)), whereas they always precede the verb in the OV-languages (cf. Dutch
(2b)).

(2) a. that we painted the house green.
 b. dat we het huis groen schilderden.

On a directionality parameter approach there are various ways to account for
this. One proposal involves assuming that the accusative object and the
resultative adjective form a Small Clause: since the object is assigned Case
by the verb under government, the complete Small Clause must follow the verb
if canonical government is to the right, whereas it has to precede it if
canonical government is to the left. In the minimalist and antisymmetric
framework, explanations of this sort are lost. For example, one could in
principle imagine a(n unwanted) derivation of the type in (3) in which only
the verb and the object move, but in which the adjectival predicate remains
in situ.

(3) ... [FP .... F ... [VP ... V [SC NP Predicate]
 ^\ ^\___________/ /
 \___________________/

Since movement of the object is triggered by some strong N-feature of the
functional head F, descriptive generalizations such as "adjectival predicates
precede the verb iff the accusative object precedes the verb" constitute a
tough challenge for the new framework outlined above, since apparently the
position of the resultative adjective must in some way be made sensitive to
the strength of the N-feature of F (which is responsible for the obligatorily
overt movement of the NP), which is not an easy task.

That there is tight relationship between the position of the object with
respect to the verb, on the one hand, and the position of other elements and
the verb, on the other, is quite clear from the diachronic development of
English. Old English can be characterized as an OV-language, and elements such
as resultative adjectives, particles and stranded prepositions (generally)
preceded the verb (in clause-final position). After the change from OV to VO,
these elements henceforth occurred after the verb. And there are reasons to
assume that these changes took place simultaneously. The need to arrive at a
principled account of word order generalizations such as the one given above
is evident from the fact that numerous generalizations of this sort can be
formulated.

Typological questions concerning the OV/VO dichotomy, or, more generally, the
distinction between head-finality/initiality, arise not only in syntax. In
morphology, it seems that languages treat derivation in an essentially uniform
fashion (the head being final; see Williams' 1981 Righthand Head Rule), while
difficult typological challenges are posed in the domain of compounding,
which, as far as head placement is concerned, is cross-linguistically much
more diverse. Consider for instance the word-order difference between the
Romance and Germanic languages within deverbal compounds: French "ouvre-bonte"
(V-N) vs. Dutch "blikopener"/English "can-opener" (N-V) (see Kayne 1994 for
discussion). This difference does not strictly correlate with the OV/VO
dichotomy in syntax (witness the fact that English behaves like Dutch, not
like French), which raises the question whether the factors determining head
placement in morphology are different from those that rule head placement in
syntax. If the latter is a function of the strength of morphological features
of functional heads, then how should the former be given formal shape? The
answer to this question will depend to a significant extent on other important
questions about morphology: (i) where morphological complexes are built, (ii)
whether morphological structure (i.e. the internal structure of morphological
complexes) features functional elements or not, and (iii) whether the internal
structure of words (the lexicon) comes under the purview of the Linear Cor-
respondence Axiom.

In suprasegmental phonology, syllables are taken to consist of a structure
(e.g. the classic [Onset [Nucleus Coda]] structure; see also Dependency
Phonology) which parallels the Kayne type antisymmetric layout of syntactic
structures: the head (Nucleus) precedes its dependent (Coda), and the
constituent comprising the head and its dependent linearly follows the
"specifier" (Onset). Metrical phonology has moreover witnessed a recent shift
away from Hayes (1982) type foot typologies distinguishing iambic and trochaic
patterns, towards a systematically trochaic (i.e. left-headed) foot inventory,
in apparent harmony with the antisymmetric movement in syntactic theory.
Meanwhile, at the higher level of prosodic structure it seems (cf. Nespor &
Vogel 1982, 1986) that there is an OV/VO-distinction reflected in the relative
prominence of the constituents that form a phonological phrase -- weak/strong
in VO-languages vs. strong/weak in OV-languages. It is not clear how the
observed prominence structure of the phonological phrase can be related to the
strength of the N-features of functional heads.

Nespor et al. (1995) argue that the prosodic structure of the phonological
phrase is an essential aid in the child's task of finding out whether the
language it is acquiring is of the OV or the VO type. This leads us into the
realm of the acquisition of word-order related phenomena, both in the realm
of L1 acquisition and in the domain of second language learning.

With regard to the former, it is to be noted that children in the earliest
stage of speech production consistently use the order of the verb and the
object found in the adult language, as is evident from the Dutch and English
examples in (4a) and (4b), respectively.

(4) a. eat candy
 b. snoepjes eten

Kayne's antisymmetry would lead us to say that the Dutch order is the result
of overt-syntactic movement of the NP "snoepjes" into some higher SpecFP. One
is then led to ask whether there is any other evidence that movement of this
type takes place at this stage of language development.

With regard to the latter, there is a protracted debate going on about the
influence of the source language on the acquisition of word-order patterns in
the object language. To take a specific example, it seems to be the case that
in the acquisition of the word order of Dutch possessive DPs, Moroccan and
Turkish learners follow different strategies, which suggests that the prop-
erties of the learner's mother tongue play a role in L2 acquisition of word
order. How can this source language influence be accommodated in a minimalist
and antisymmetric approach to syntactic structure?


 CALL FOR PAPERS

- Abstracts are solicited for 40-minute presentations (followed by 15
 minutes of discussion) which contribute to the empirical inventory and
 theoretical analysis of the systematically differential properties of VO-
 and OV-languages.

- Contributions addressing this overall theme against the background of
 *all* areas of linguistic specialization (syntax, phonology, morphology,
 semantics, language acquisition etc.) are equally welcome.

- Submissions that entirely confine themselves to showing that minimalist
 and antisymmetric approaches to the OV/VO distinction can be conceived and
 technically made to work will *not* be eligible for selection.

- To submit, send *three copies* of an abstract whose length should not ex-
 ceed 2 pages (single-spaced; 12pt. font), including examples, diagrams and
 references. Please add a 3x5 card stating the title of your abstract, your
 name and affiliation (including E-mail address, fax and telephone number).

- Abstracts should be received at the address given below by 1 July 1996.
 (Submissions by E-mail or fax will be accepted; please make sure that, if
 you opt for this route, your abstract is properly decipherable.)

 Send your submissions to:

 Workshop OV/VO
 c/o Marcel den Dikken
 Holland Institute of Generative Linguistics
 Vakgroep Taalkunde (ATW)
 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
 De Boelelaan 1105
 1081 HV Amsterdam
 The Netherlands

 Fax: +31 20 4446500
 Phone: +31 20 4446482
 E-mail: dikkenjet.let.vu.nl

 WWW: http://oasis.leidenuniv.nl/hil/confs/ovvo/ovvo.htm
 ==================================================================
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