LINGUIST List 26.2919

Tue Jun 16 2015

Calls: General Linguistics, Historical Linguistics, Semantics, Syntax, Typology/Germany

Editor for this issue: Erin Arnold <>

Date: 16-Jun-2015
From: Constantin Freitag <>
Subject: Verb Second in Grammar and Processing: Its Causes and Its Consequences
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Full Title: Verb Second in Grammar and Processing: Its Causes and Its Consequences

Date: 24-Feb-2016 - 26-Feb-2016
Location: Konstanz, Germany
Contact Person: Constantin Freitag
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Semantics; Syntax; Typology

Call Deadline: 19-Jul-2015

Meeting Description:

The verb second (V2) property seen in most Germanic but also in some other Indoeuropean or even extra-Indoeuropean languages may be part of a wider variational scenario in which particular features (as encoded in the finite verb) must be represented in the left clausal periphery (cf. Anderson, 1993). Although the V2 property has received much attention in the syntactic literature, there is still dissent which functional projections/steps of movement are involved in the derivation of V2 order or if it is even base generated. Furthermore, it is still unclear if the V2 order is a purely structural linearization condition, or if it is tied to the semantic component in narrow syntax, as proposed for German (Truckenbrodt, 2006). Every generalization must also consider the variation among V2 languages concerning basic word order, clause types which exhibit V2 (main clause, embedded clause, relative clause), and co-occurrence of V2 order and complementizers.

L1-acquisition research suggests that children acquire the V2-property of German as a secondary step after having settled for head-final basic word order (Clahsen and Muysken, 1986). For L2-acquisition it is reported that the acquisition process runs through a fixed order of structural hypotheses which differ from L1-acquisition patterns. These findings suggest that the V2 is a derived order.

Despite the consideration of V2 in theoretical work, the consequences of V2 for sentence processing have not received much attention. For instance, German has been mostly studied with respect to its underlying verb-final order. But the early availability of the morphological and lexical verb information in V1/V2 may have important consequences for the parsing process. For instance Knoeferle et al. (2005) showed that the verbal information is immediately used in anticipating upcoming event participants. Other aspects of verb related interpretation processes, however, such as covert reconstruction of quantifiers (Bott and Schlotterbeck, 2015), thematic prominence effects (Scheepers et al., 2000), and NPI licensing (Freitag and Bayer, 2015) seem to be delayed to the right clause boundary, i. e. the supposed base position of the finite verb.

By bringing together researchers from different linguistic subdisciplines, this workshop aims to come one step closer to a deeper understanding of V2, and to find directions for future research.

Call for Papers:

Workshop at the Universität Konstanz (Germany) as part of the 38th Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS), February 23-26 2016.

Topics and Objectives

We encourage submissions that present theoretical or empirical contributions based on language-specific, cross-linguistic, diachronic, or language acquisition research on the empirical properties of phenomena that are caused by, or correlate with the V2 property. Theoretical proposals should make clear-cut predictions that allow for experimental falsification. Experimental approaches, on the other hand, should address the predictions of theoretical implementations.

Questions we want to address include:

- What is the structural analysis of the V2 position across languages and clause types?
- Is V2 only a linearization phenomenon, or is it tied to syntactic/semantics features?
- What does the acquisition of finiteness, verb placement and the use of complementizer reveal about the principles of the V2 phenomenon?
- Does the processing system make immediate use of the verbal information in 2nd position? Is this a general effect of early verbal information (cf. SVO) or specific to V2? How does the processing system cope with the late availability of verbal information in non-V2 clauses, e.g. German V-final embedded clauses?
- Which aspects of the interpretation are immediately triggered by the verb in V2 position and which are assigned at its base position? Do we find effects of verb position on the distribution of possible readings in syntactically and/or semantically ambiguous sentences?

Submission Guidelines:

We invite abstracts for 30 minute and 60 minute talks (1 page PDF). Abstracts will be reviewed. For futher submission details see our workshop website.

Abstracts will be submitted electronically via easychair:

Important Dates:

Submission Deadline: 19 July 2015
Notification of Acceptance: 15 September 2015
Workshop Dates: 24-26 February 2016

Invited Speakers:

Markus Bader (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main)
Sten Vikner (Aarhus University)

Workshop Web Page:

Workshop Organizers:

Oliver Bott (, University of Tübingen)
Constantin Freitag (AThEME, Universität Konstanz)
Fabian Schlotterbeck (SFB 833, University of Tübingen)

Page Updated: 16-Jun-2015