LINGUIST List 24.1484

Tue Apr 02 2013

Calls: Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics, Typology, Linguistic Theories/Finland

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <>

Date: 02-Apr-2013
From: Leena Kolehmainen <>
Subject: Subject: Cognitive, Typological and Functional Approaches
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Full Title: Subject: Cognitive, Typological and Functional Approaches
Date: 12-Sep-2013 - 14-Sep-2013 Location: Helsinki, Finland Contact Person: Leena Kolehmainen
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories; Pragmatics; Semantics; Syntax; Typology

Call Deadline: 15-Apr-2013

Meeting Description:

The Linguistic Association of Finland (SKY) organizes a symposium on:

Subject: Cognitive, Typological and Functional Approaches

Grammatical subject is a central notion in linguistic theories. Subjects have been studied across multiple theoretical frameworks, and defined from various perspectives, including, for example, feature-based (Keenan 1976), construction-based (Goldberg 1995), and cognitive-based (Langacker 2008). While there is no doubt that in many languages subjects constitute a core element of grammar, there is no general agreement on how to define them in and across languages, what conditions the way in which subjects are expressed, and what functions they have in discourse. Furthermore, there are numerous languages that lack the idea of a grammatical subject altogether, and the assignment of semantic roles to the constituents of discourse is conditioned by pragmatics and discourse structure.

The aim of this symposium of the Linguistic Association of Finland is to bring together linguists from different fields who work on subjects within cognitive, functional, typological, and interactional approaches. Research is expected to be data-driven, and the discussion of theoretical issues is appreciated to the extent that it helps to elucidate the data and remains accessible to linguists working within other theoretical approaches as well.

The invited speakers are:

Jóhanna Barðdal (University of Bergen)
Pekka Posio (University of Helsinki)
Catherine E. Travis (Australian National University, Canberra)

Registration Fee:

100 euros
Members of the association: 80 euros
Students: 50 euros

Final Call for Papers:

Possible topics for talks include (but are not restricted to) the following:

- Definitions of subject in different theoretical frameworks: feature-based, construction-based and cognitive definitions (Keenan 1976; Goldberg 1995; Langacker 2008), relation between subject and topic and subject-prominent vs. topic-prominent languages (Li & Thompson 1976)
- Languages with variable subject expression (e.g. null-subject and pro-drop languages), different marking strategies, information structure, and choice of referring expressions in the subject position (Kibrik 2011; Dryer 2011; Posio 2012)
- Non-referential and vague subjects, for instance in the sense of reference reducing impersonals (Siewierska & Papastathi 2011; Malchukov & Ogawa 2011)
- Grammaticalization of subjects and subject pronouns (Shibatani 1991; Heine & Song 2011)
- Discourse functions of subjects; differences between deictic and anaphoric subjects (Scheibman 2002; Travis & Torres Cacoullos 2012)
- Subjects in typology; the universality of subject as a grammatical relation (LaPolla 1993); prototypical and non-canonical subjects
- Syntax and semantics of subjects in and across languages: subjects and semantic roles; the role of subjects in argument structure (Shibatani 1977; Van Valin & LaPolla 1997; Levin & Rappaport Hovav 2005)

Abstract Submission:

Anonymous abstracts, no more than 500 words, excluding data and references, should be submitted by April 15, 2013. The abstracts must be anonymous. They will be evaluated by the organizing committee and by the members of the scientific committee. Notifications of acceptance will be announced by May 20, 2013. The talks will be 30 minutes long: 20 min for presentation and 10 min for discussion. In addition, there will be a poster section.

Please submit your abstract via EasyAbs available at:

Proposals for workshops should be submitted no later than April 1, 2013. Workshop proposals will be evaluated by the organizing committee. Notification of acceptance will be given by April 8, 2013. The symposium organizers will provide the lecture rooms and other facilities, but the workshop organizers will be responsible for the organization of their workshops (such as choosing the speakers).

Organizing Committee:

Chair: Leena Kolehmainen (University of Eastern Finland), Sonja Dahlgren (University of Helsinki), Vesa Jarva (University of Jyväskylä), Meri Larjavaara (Åbo Akademi University), Tommi Nieminen (Unversity of Eastern Finland), Santeri Palviainen (University of Oulu), Hanna Parviainen (University of Tampere) and Erika Sandman (University of Helsinki)

Scientific Committee:

Denis Creissels (University of Lyon)
Pål K. Eriksen (National Library of Norway, Oslo)
Marja-Liisa Helasvuo (University of Turku)
Tuomas Huumo (University of Turku)
Laura Janda (University of Tromsø)
Marja Järventausta (University of Cologne)
Jae Jung Song (University of Otago)
Andrej A. Kibrik (Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow)
Seppo Kittilä (University of Helsinki)
Andrej Malchukov (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig)
Maria Vilkuna (Institute for the Languages of Finland)
Camilla Wide (University of Turku)

Important Dates:

Abstract submission deadline: April 15, 2013
Notification of acceptance: May 20, 2013
Proposals for workshops: April 1, 2013
Notification of workshop proposals: April 8, 2013
Early registration starts: June 1, 2013
Deadline for registrations: August 15, 2013
Conference dates: September 12-14, 2013

For further information, see

For all correspondence concerning the symposium, please contact:

Page Updated: 02-Apr-2013