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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

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Conference Information

Full Title: CASTL Spring Conference on Differential Object Marking

Short Title: CASTL2013s
Location: Tromsø, Norway
Start Date: 23-May-2013 - 24-May-2013
Contact: Peter Svenonius
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL: https://castl.uit.no/index.php/conferences/differential-object-marking
Meeting Description: Invited speaker: Mark Baker, Rutgers University

In Differential Object Marking (DOM), animacy or definiteness (or some related aspect of the interpretation of the direct object) affects the formal marking of objecthood – e.g., definite objects are overtly case marked in Hebrew, and optionally case marked in Hindi/Urdu, but not indefinite objects; as another example, specific objects are overtly case marked in Turkish, but not nonspecific objects; definite animate objects are overtly case marked in Spanish, but generally not inanimate or indefinite ones. The overt marking in such cases is sometimes identified as accusative, sometimes as dative. Such phenomena have been discussed together at least since the early 1980’s (cf. the conference web page for references).

Depending on the analysis, the phenomenon of DOM may be extended beyond case-marking alternations of the Turkish type to include object agreement. Theories of DOM sometimes also extend to verb splits (in which different verb classes take differently marked objects, a significant factor in Spanish). Bossong finds that over 300 languages exhibit some kind of DOM, broadly construed. Another potentially related set of issues involves arguments other than the object: Do the factors that cause differential marking of the object cause parallel differential marking of other arguments as well, and why or why not?
Linguistic Subfield: General Linguistics; Syntax
LL Issue: 24.1999

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