LINGUIST List 23.2768

Tue Jun 19 2012

Calls: Syntax, Linguistic Theories/Germany

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <>

Date: 19-Jun-2012
From: Anke Assmann <>
Subject: DGfS Workshop: Interaction of Syntactic Primitives
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Full Title: DGfS Workshop: Interaction of Syntactic Primitives
Date: 13-Mar-2013 - 15-Mar-2013 Location: Potsdam, Germany Contact Person: Anke Assmann
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories; Syntax

Call Deadline: 03-Sep-2012

Meeting Description:

Interaction of Syntactic PrimitivesWorkshop at the 35th Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS)

Recent research in syntax has shown which theoretical primitives are available in different frameworks to derive syntactic phenomena. Minimalism, for example, uses the two basic operations MERGE and AGREE that are restricted in various ways. Construction Grammar analyses these phenomena via abstract constructions stored in the lexicon. Frameworks like HPSG or LFG determine possible representations using representational constraints. Finally, Optimality Theory makes use of extrinsic orderings of Faithfulness and Markedness Constraints to determine the optimal syntactic structure. These findings enable us to explore possible interactions of theoretical primitives in the respective frameworks.

The goal of this workshop is to facilitate the discourse between proponents of different theories concerning the question which primitives (rules, constraints, constructions, operations and orderings) interact and how. Are there cases where the application of one operation facilitates or blocks the application of another (transparent interaction)? On the other hand, do we sometimes expect interactions of primitives but do not find them (opaque interaction)?

Transparent and opaque rule interactions have been well-known in phonology where they have been labelled 'Feeding', 'Bleeding', 'Counter-Feeding' and 'Counter-Bleeding' (Kiparsky 1973). These terms can be transferred to the interactions of theoretical primitives in syntax. The concepts have often been implicitly assumed in many syntactic analyses but have rarely been stated explicitly (exceptions being e.g. Rezac 2004, Pullum 1979). The phenomenon of 'wanna-contraction' in ECM-infinitives, for example, where the embedded subject is moved to the matrix clause, can be described as Counter-Feeding ('*Who do you wanna meet Mary?'). The contraction of 'want' and 'to' is blocked by the intervening 'who' in its base position. Moving the element could feed contraction but does not (Bresnan 1978, Arregi & Nevins 2012).

The workshop is intended for proponents of different frameworks who show how syntactic phenomena can be derived by invoking interactions of theoretical primitives. Some of the main questions will be: Are the interaction patterns/orderings extrinsic or intrinsic, universal or language specific, context sensitive or context free? What are the differences and similarities of the various frameworks?

Invited Speakers:

Ellen Woolford (University of Massachusetts Amherst)t.b.a

Workshop Organizers:

Anke Assmann, Doreen Georgi, Philipp Weisser (University of Leipzig)


Arregi, Karlos & Andrew Nevins. 2012. Morphotactics: Basque Auxiliaries and the Structure of Spellout. Springer.Bresnan, Joan. 1978. Contraction and the transformational cycle in English. Indiana University Linguistics Club.Kiparsky, Paul. 1973. Abstractness, Opacity and Global Rules. In Three Dimensions in Linguistic Theory. Tokyo: TEC.Pullum, Geoffrey. 1979. Rule Interaction and the Organization of a Grammar. Garland, New York.Rezac, Milan. 2004. Elements of Cyclic Syntax: Agree and Merge. PhD thesis, University of Toronto.

Call for Papers:

We welcome submissions dealing with transparent and/or opaque interaction of theoretical means from all syntactic frameworks.

We invite abstracts for 30 minute talks (20 minutes presentation + 10 minutes discussion). Abstracts must be no longer than two pages (A4, 11pt font), including references and examples.

Abstracts must be submitted in PDF format to:

Submission deadline: 3 September 2012Notification of acceptance: 10 September 2012

Page Updated: 19-Jun-2012