LINGUIST List 24.1825

Thu Apr 25 2013

Calls: Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Linguistic Theories/Germany

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <>

Date: 25-Apr-2013
From: Anke Assmann <>
Subject: Workshop on Opacity in Grammar
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Full Title: Workshop on Opacity in Grammar Short Title: WOPiG
Date: 03-Oct-2013 - 03-Oct-2013 Location: Leipzig, Germany Contact Person: Gereon Müller
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories; Morphology; Phonology; Syntax

Call Deadline: 30-Apr-2013

Meeting Description:

The Department of Linguistics at the University of Leipzig is pleased to announce the workshop ‘Opacity in Grammar’ (WOPiG). The aim of WOPiG is to bring together researchers from phonology, morphology, and syntax in order to address the puzzles posed by opaque interactions of grammatical operations.

Some linguistic expressions are opaque in the sense that the reason why a certain grammatical process has applied (or why it has not applied) cannot be read off of their surfaces. Traditionally, this kind of opacity was captured by concepts such as overapplication or underapplication; counter-bleeding or counter-feeding; or blocking.

Opaque interaction arises in all linguistic frameworks where the analysis of linguistic expressions is the result of the interaction of elementary operations and/or constraints. While opaque interactions would seem to be easily resolvable in derivational or stratal frameworks, opacity presents a challenge for representational frameworks. Indeed, recent developments in all grammatical components tend to make use of timing: in phonology, Harmonic Serialism (McCarthy (2010)) or Candidate Chains (McCarthy (2007)) are used; in morphology, the Distributed Morphology approach of, e.g., Arregi and Nevins (2012) allows ordering of postsyntactic morphological rules; in syntax, the timing of elementary operations like Merge, Move, and Agree becomes more and more important (e.g., Rezac (2004)). In light of these trends, the aim of WOPiG is to bring together proponents of derivational and representational frameworks in order to discuss how opaque interactions can be resolved with derivational and representational means.


Arregi, Karlos and Andrew Nevins (2012), Morphotactics: Basque Auxiliaries and the Structure of Spellout, Springer, Dordrecht.
McCarthy, John (2007), Hidden Generalizations. Phonological Opacity in Optimality Theory, Equinox, London.
McCarthy, John (2010), ‘An Introduction to Harmonic Serialism’, Language and Linguistics Compass 4(10), 1001-1018.
Rezac, Milan (2004), Elements of Cyclic Syntax: Agree and Merge, PhD thesis, University of Toronto.

Invited Speakers:

Eric Baković (University of California, San Diego)
Paul Kiparsky (Stanford University)
Howard Lasnik (University of Maryland)

Final Call for Papers:

We invite abstracts for thirty-minute talks (followed by ten minutes of discussion) on any topic that is related to opacity in phonology, morphology, and syntax. Questions that the talks could address include - but are not limited to - the following: how can opacity be resolved in general? Are there differences between theories developed for phonology, morphology, or syntax? Is ordering of operations necessary for resolving opacity or can opacity also be derived by enhancing representations (see traces/copies in syntax; turbidity/(colored) containment/virtual phonology in phonology)? If ordering of operations is necessary, should operations apply sequentially or simultaneously; is the order intrinsic or extrinsic (‘universal’ or ‘parochial’; Pullum (1979)); are there universal principles that determine the order of operations? If ordering is not necessary, how can opaque interactions that seem to involve ordering be reanalyzed? Are there interactions between phonological, morphological and syntactic operations (apparent or not)? Are there phenomena that tend to be opaque cross-linguistically?


Pullum, Geoffrey K. (1979), Rule Interaction and the Organization of a Grammar, Garland, New York.

Abstract Guidelines:

Abstracts should not exceed two pages, including data, references and diagrams. Abstracts should be typed in at least 11-point font, with one-inch margins (letter-size; 8 1/2 by 11 or A4). Abstracts must be anonymous and submissions are limited to 1 individual and 1 joint abstract per author per workshop.

Abstract submission only via EasyChair:

Important Dates:

Deadline for abstract submission: April 30, 2013Notification of acceptance: June 30, 2013Final program: t.b.a.Workshop: October 3, 2013


WOPiG will precede the 28th Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop (October 4-5), which has been announced in a separate call.

Detailed information can be found at:

If you have any questions, you can contact us at:


Anke Assmann, Petr Biskup, Doreen Georgi, Fabian Heck, Timo Klein, Gereon Müller, Martin Salzmann, Barbara Stiebels, Nina Topintzi, Jochen Trommer, Philipp Weisser

Page Updated: 25-Apr-2013