LINGUIST List 23.2720

Wed Jun 13 2012

Calls: Morphology, Semantics/Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <>

Date: 13-Jun-2012
From: Pius ten Hacken <>
Subject: Workshop: The Semantics of Compounding
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Full Title: Workshop: The Semantics of Compounding
Date: 22-Jul-2013 - 27-Jul-2013 Location: Geneva, Switzerland Contact Person: Pius ten Hacken
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:
Linguistic Field(s): Morphology; Semantics

Call Deadline: 15-Jul-2012

Meeting Description:

For a long period following the demise of generative semantics, the study of the semantics of compounding was relegated to the domain of unfruitful research questions. For many linguists in the 1980s, Levi's (1978) framework for deriving compounds served as an example of how not to do morphology. Research interest was restricted to verbal compounds, which could be studied in terms of argument structure and thus reduced to a quasi-syntactic status. For so-called root compounds, Allen's (1978) Variable R condition was deemed sufficient.

In recent years, a renewed interest in the semantics of compounds has emerged. At least three major approaches can be observed. Jackendoff (2009, 2010) proposed a system for generating conceptual structures for compounds within his Parallel Architecture. His interest in compounding is fairly recent and he developed his framework largely independently of the needs of morphology. Slightly earlier, Lieber (2004, 2009) had developed a system that is inspired on one hand by Jackendoff's theory of conceptual structure, on the other by her own long-term research in morphology, which in earlier stages had been mainly oriented towards syntax-based accounts, cf. Lieber (1983). Parallel to these developments in generative linguistics, in Central and Eastern Europe an alternative tradition based on the onomasiological approach to meaning had persisted. This tradition is represented by, for instance, Štekauer (1998). In this tradition, naming needs are taken to drive word formation. Interestingly, in recent years, this tradition has increasingly taken into account the hearer's perspective, as illustrated by Štekauer (2009), which brings about a certain degree of convergence in aims with the generative approaches.

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together representatives of the three above-mentioned approaches. At the same time, it should be noted that all three theories were developed first of all for English. Therefore, there is a specific interest in broadening the set of linguistic data taken into account by considering compounding in other languages.

Ray Jackendoff and Pavel Štekauer have confirmed their participation. Participation of Rochelle Lieber is still to be confirmed.

Call for Papers:

The workshop will consist of three two-hour sessions. Each session will be filled by three presentations (30 minutes plus discussion). In the first session, Ray Jackendoff, Rochelle Lieber (tbc), and Pavel Štekauer will present their approaches. Presentations in the remaining sessions should compare, apply, or evaluate one or more of the approaches indicated above. In order to be considered, please send an abstract of up to 500 words (excluding bibliography) to the workshop organizer at by 15 July.

Page Updated: 13-Jun-2012