LINGUIST List 24.5341

Thu Dec 19 2013

Calls: Historical Linguistics/Poland

Editor for this issue: Bryn Hauk <>

Date: 19-Dec-2013
From: Eitan Grossman <>
Subject: Valency and Transitivity in Contact: A Cross-Linguistic Perspective
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Full Title: Valency and Transitivity in Contact: A Cross-Linguistic Perspective
Date: 11-Sep-2014 - 14-Sep-2014 Location: Poznań, Poland Contact Person: Susanne Maria Michaelis
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics

Call Deadline: 15-Jan-2014

Meeting Description:

Workshop on “Valency and Transitivity in Contact: A Cross-Linguistic Perspective”
Conference of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, September 2014 (Poznan),


Susanne Michaelis (Leipzig)
Eitan Grossman (Jerusalem)

The aim of this workshop is to explore a topic that has not yet received significant cross-linguistic attention, namely, valency and transitivity in conditions of language contact.

Research on verb borrowing has focused on several major issues, primarily the borrowability of verbs vis-à-vis other word classes and the typology of morphosyntactic integration or ‘accommodation strategies’ (Moravcsik 1978, Wichmann & Wohlgemuth 2007, Matras 2008, Wohlgemuth 2009). Much less prominent in research on verb borrowing are questions related to the integration of loan verbs into the valency and transitivity patterns of the recipient language, on the one hand, and the innovation or retention of valency and transitivity patterns as the result of contact, on the other.

2nd Call for Abstracts:

Workshop on “Valency and Transitivity in Contact: A Cross-Linguistic Perspective”
Conference of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, September 2014 (Poznan),

Possible questions to be addressed in the workshop:

- How are loan verbs integrated into native valency and transitivity patterns? How can this integration be described?
- What factors – whether formal, functional, or sociolinguistic – determine the outcomes of borrowing?
- Is the integration of loan verbs into native patterns determined primarily by the meaning of the verb lexemes and of the valency patterns (or, in another view, of other verbs that participate in the same construction), or by ‘pivot-matching’ (Matras 2009) between formally similar constructions?
- Does the type or degree of bilingualism or sociolinguistic contact situation influence the outcome of borrowing?
- Do the results of contact-induced change shed light on the productivity of valency and transitivity patterns?
- Are loan verbs implicated in changes in the frequency or distribution of valency and transitivity ‘use patterns’ (Heine & Kuteva 2005)?
- Do pidgins show simplification/restriction in valency patterns compared to the corresponding patterns in the contributing languages?
- Do creoles retain valency patterns of the corresponding substrate languages, and if so, which verbs are mostly affected? Does frequency play a role here?
- What happens in mixed languages: are the valency patterns copied along with the 'matter' (verb stems and/or verbal morphology) from one of the contributing languages, or is there a mismatch between 'matter' and 'pattern' of the copied verb?

Transsecting the whole spectrum of language contact situations are questions related to particular construction types, e.g., ditransitives, experiencer constructions, causatives, weather constructions, serial verb constructions, complex predicates, and others.

Papers addressing these questions - and others - from descriptive and theoretical perspectives are welcome, as are papers dealing with specific contact situations or cross-linguistic samples. Especially welcome are papers that address areal and socio-historical aspects of borrowing situations in shaping the outcomes of language contact.

If you are interested in participating in the workshop, the deadline for submitting an abstract is 15 January 2014. Authors are requested to register and upload their abstract individually via the Submit Abstract form

Abstracts should be (1) anonymous, (2) contain between 400-500 words (excluding references), and (3) state research questions, approach, method, data and (expected) results.

For questions regarding the workshop, feel free to contact either Susanne Michaelis (

Page Updated: 19-Dec-2013