LINGUIST List 23.3086

Tue Jul 17 2012

Calls: Semantics, Syntax, Morphology, Typology, General Ling/Germany

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <>

Date: 17-Jul-2012
From: Ljudmila Geist <>
Subject: DGfS Workshop: Perspectives on Argument Alternations
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Full Title: DGfS Workshop: Perspectives on Argument Alternations
Date: 14-Mar-2013 - 15-Mar-2013 Location: Potsdam, Germany Contact Person: Ljudmila Geist
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Morphology; Semantics; Syntax; Typology

Call Deadline: 01-Aug-2012

Meeting Description:

Workshop at the 35th meeting of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS), Potsdam, Germany

Organizers: Ljudmila Geist (University of Stuttgart), Giorgos Spathas (University of Stuttgart), Peter de Swart (Radboud University Nijmegen)

The past few years have witnessed the rapid growth of literature explaining argument alternations such as dative alternation, locative alternation, conative alternation and antipassives. In such alternations semantic prominence is known to correlate with morphosyntactic prominence (Levin and Rappaport 1988: 25): the argument realized as a direct object is more semantically prominent than its oblique counterpart, which can be realized in a number of different ways depending on the type of alternation. The term 'semantic prominence' comprises different features such as topicality, discourse accessibility and affectedness. Following predicate-decompositional approaches (Jackendoff 1976, Koenig and Davis 2006, inter alia), morphosyntactic differences such as direct/oblique can be traced back to different underlying event structures and depth of the embedding of the argument. Alternative approaches such as entailment-based approaches (Dowty 1991, Ackerman and Moore 2001) derive morphosyntactic prominence of arguments from the prototypicality of the thematic role: oblique arguments are 'less prototypical' role fillers than direct objects. For Beavers (2010) 'less prototypical' corresponds directly to underspecification of the thematic role.

In this workshop we want to explore different perspectives for capturing the relative semantic prominence of arguments in constructions allowing semantically induced argument alternations in different languages. In particular, we want to discuss the following issues:

- What are the restrictions on the availability of particular alternations in terms of the verb classes and NP-types (e.g. animate, definite) that can be involved?- What types of 'semantic prominence' are triggered by what alternations and why?- What is the semantic contribution, if any, of the oblique marker?- Are any of those alternations manifested also in nominalizations where internal arguments are already syntactically demoted?- Do morphosyntactic alternatives always differ in meaning?

Invited Speaker:

Jean-Pierre Koenig (University of Buffalo)

Final Call for Papers:

Extended submission deadline: August 1, 2012

We are interested in submissions that deal with the semantic underpinnings of alternating argument realizations and want to discuss the issues from a variety of perspectives: theoretical and empirical, synchronic and diachronic, language specific and comparative.

Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts are invited for 30-minute presentations (20 + 10 for discussion). Abstracts should be anonymous and at most 2 pages in length; author's information should be submitted in the accompanying e-mail. Please send your abstracts electronically in pdf- and doc-format to indefiniteness 'at', and include your name, affiliation and the title of the abstract in the body of the email.

Scientific Committee:

Artemis Alexiadou (University of Stuttgart), Martin Becker (University of Cologne), Joanna Blaszczak (University of Wroclaw), Susann Fischer (University of Hamburg), Berit Gehrke (University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona), Klaus von Heusinger (University of Cologne), Helen de Hoop (Radboud University Nijmegen), Jaklin Kornfilt (Syracuse University), Silvia Kutscher (Humboldt University Berlin), Roland Meyer (University of Regensburg), Beatrice Primus (University of Cologne), Antje Rossdeutscher (University of Stuttgart), Stavros Skopeteas (University of Bielefeld)

Important Dates:

Submission deadline: August 1, 2012Notification: September 3, 2012Submission of revised abstract: Nov 30, 2012Workshop: March 14-15, 2013

Page Updated: 17-Jul-2012