LINGUIST List 26.685

Mon Feb 02 2015

Calls: Historical Ling, Morphology, Psycholing, Syntax, Ling Theories/Germany

Editor for this issue: Anna White <>

Date: 02-Feb-2015
From: Christian Forche <>
Subject: Categories in Grammar – Criteria and Limitations
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Full Title: Categories in Grammar – Criteria and Limitations

Date: 02-Jul-2015 - 04-Jul-2015
Location: Berlin, Germany
Contact Person: Horst Simon
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Morphology; Psycholinguistics; Syntax

Call Deadline: 01-Mar-2015

Meeting Description:

Organizers: Horst Simon & Christian Forche (Freie Universität Berlin)

Invited Speakers:

Peter Auer (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg)
Hans C. Boas (University of Texas at Austin)
Greville G. Corbett (University of Surrey)
Gisbert Fanselow (Universität Potsdam)
Olga Fischer (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
Manfred Krifka (Humboldt-Universität Berlin & ZAS, Berlin)

Workshop Description:

One of the basic operations in every scientific endeavour is to analyze and then categorize the data under study. In this workshop we wish to take the opportunity to reflect on this particular activity and its products in linguistic research.

A major task of the grammarian is to devise well-defined criteria for classification and to come to grips with pieces of data that cannot be easily assigned to any category. It may even turn out that a neat (binary) classification is unattainable on principle – researchers emphasizing this point will resort to grammatical models involving prototypes, blurry boundaries or some other device.

Issues of categorization arise in the analysis of all kinds of grammatical elements (albeit not always to the same degree): e.g. phonological segments, morphological features, inflection classes, word classes, clauses, semantic classes, etc.

With this workshop, we wish to instigate conversations about some fundamentals of grammatical research, involving grammarians working in a variety of research traditions and in different grammatical models.

2nd Call for Papers:

We invite all researchers to submit papers that advance our theoretical understanding of the notion of categories in grammar.

Questions to be discussed in this workshop include, but are not restricted to, the following:

- What criteria can we use to define categories in grammar? E.g., to what extent do semantic criteria play a role in (morpho)syntax?
- Are all levels of grammar alike? E.g., is morphology different from suprasegmental phonology with regard to categoricity?
- What is the relationship between categories and scales/hierarchies?
- How can gradualness be modeled?
- If we use non-discrete categories, how do we prevent arbitrariness of classification? How do grammatical rules operate on non-discrete lower-level entities?
- What is the role of analogy in language structure? E.g., what is the basis of similarities between elements of a category?
- Do written and spoken language share all the same categories? E.g., how do we integrate the syntax of spoken language into our modeling?
- How are categories acquired in first (and second) language acquisition?
- What is the psychological reality of grammatical categories in the minds of speakers? Are there neural substrates?
- How do new categories emerge diachronically? How are they lost?
- Are some categories universal?

Methodologically oriented papers focusing on particular case studies (on any grammatical phenomenon in any language) are also welcome.

Please send an anonymous abstract of no more than 500 words, excluding references, to

There will be 45-minute slots, including discussion time.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 1 March 2015
Notification of acceptance: End of March 2015

For further information please contact:

Page Updated: 02-Feb-2015