LINGUIST List 26.951

Mon Feb 16 2015

Calls: Historical Linguistics, Morphology, Semantics, Syntax/UK

Editor for this issue: Anna White <>

Date: 13-Feb-2015
From: Maria J. Arche <>
Subject: Copulas Across Languages
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Full Title: Copulas Across Languages

Date: 18-Jun-2015 - 19-Jun-2015
Location: London, United Kingdom
Contact Person: Maria J. Arche
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics; Morphology; Semantics; Syntax

Call Deadline: 27-Feb-2015

Meeting Description:

Meeting Title: Copulas Across Languages
Dates: 18-19 June 2015
Venue: University of Greenwich, London (UK)


María J. Arche (University of Greenwich)
Edward Garrett (SOAS)
Antonio Fábregas (University of Tromsø)
Rafael Marín (CNRS-University of Lille 3)

Contact Person: María J. Arche,

Meeting description: This workshop is about the semantic, syntactic and morphological properties of copulas across languages

Invited Speakers:

Ely van Gelderen (University of Arizona)
Lisa Green (University of Massachusetts at Amherst)
Tonjes Veenstra (ZAS)

Conference website for (free) registration and further information:

Copulas are an area of the grammar where languages exhibit large variation. Some languages show no copula whatsoever in some instances, while other languages have four or five different copular forms. The type of variation is also diverse; in some languages the variation consists of contrasts between inflected/non-inflected forms (e.g., African American English, Green 2000), and others between different lexical copulas (e.g., Spanish, Arche 2006, Fábregas 2012; Irish, Doherty 1996; Bambara, Koopman 2003; Tibetan, Garrett 2001; Odia, Mahapatra 2002; Saramaccan, Veenstra 2012). The rules determining variation also differ. In some languages variation depends on the tense on the clause (Hebrew, Rapoport 1987; Arabic, Benmamoun 2000; Russian, Turkish, Wetzer 1996, Stassen 1997, Baker 2003; or Sakha, Baker & Vinokurova 2012); in others on the predicate type. As for their morphology, some copulas are verbal while others are described as pronominal (Rapoport 1991; van Gelderen 2011), and others have prepositions at their source (Pustet 2003).

Aims of the Workshop:

- To discuss the syntax and semantics of copular variation across languages. What do copulas combine with and what do they mean?
- To discuss the relation of the copulas to TAME (tense, aspect, mood and evidentiality). Why absent in some tenses? What are the evidential readings?
- To discuss the morphological incarnation of the copulas: what is involved in the morphology of the copulas and what does it tell us about what a copula is?

Illumination for these questions can come from:

1) The description of the morphology, semantics and syntactic distribution of different copulas in different languages and dialects and different acquisitional stages of languages.
2) The description of the diachronic development of the morphology, semantics and syntactic distribution of the copulas in different languages.
3) Qualitative or quantitative analysis of copula realisation and variation using corpus-based methods.

Final Call for Papers:

Extended deadline: 27 February 2015

- We welcome abstracts for 30-minute presentations (plus 10 minutes for discussion) which address one or more issues described in (but not confined to) the questions of the workshop description.
- The language of the workshop is English.
- Abstracts exclusively with the title of the presentation should be submitted to in pdf format.
- Abstracts should be maximum two pages, including examples and references, 2.5 cm margins in 12-point Times, single-spaced.
- Submissions are limited to one individual and one joint abstract per author.
- Website containing information about the event, venue and accommodation is at

Important Dates:

Deadline for submissions: 27 February, 2015
Notification of acceptance: 23 March, 2015
Workshop dates: 18 & 19 June, 2015

Page Updated: 16-Feb-2015