LINGUIST List 27.1423

Thu Mar 24 2016

Confs: Romance, Ling Theories, Morphology/USA

Editor for this issue: Ashley Parker <>

Date: 24-Mar-2016
From: Jonathan MacDonald <>
Subject: Workshop on Romance Se/Si
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Workshop on Romance Se/Si

Date: 21-Apr-2016 - 22-Apr-2016
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Contact: Jonathan MacDonald
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories; Morphology

Language Family(ies): Romance

Meeting Description:

A workshop on Romance SE/SI constructions will be held on April 21 and 22, 2016 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The reflexive (SE/SI) clitic is one of the most widely studied topics in Romance Linguistics, both in traditional descriptions and theoretical analyses. This stems, in part, from the vast range of constructions in which the clitic may appear, including reflexives, reciprocals, impersonals, passives, middles, anti-causatives, as a marker of telicity with some verbs (aspectual SE/SI), as an inherent part of a certain class of intransitive verbs called ‘pronominal verbs’ (inherent SE/SI), and, in part, from the range of theoretical issues it bears on, including argument structure, the lexicon-syntax interface, the morphology-syntax interface, movement, agreement, Case, binding theory, and (parametric) variation.

The search for a “common core” that triggers fundamentally the same morphological reflex (= SE/SI) in all of these constructions is something that has alluded grammarians and linguists alike and continues to be a fundamental guiding question in current research (see Sánchez López 2002, Dobrovie-Sorin 2006 and Mendikoetxea 2012 for the most recent overviews). While the “common core” question is a key component of research on Romance SE/SI, detailed research on individual SE/SI constructions is just as important as it clarifies our understanding of the nuances of each environment where SE/SI appears and thus leads us toward a better understanding of precisely what they all have in common and also where they differ.

A related important question concerns variation within Romance languages. Not all Romance languages have all of the SE/SI constructions mentioned above (see Zubizarreta 1982, Cinque 1988, Mendikoetxea & Battye 1990, Dobrovie-Sorin 1998, D’Alessandro 2007), nor do all the “same” SE/SI constructions behave the same way in all languages (Cinque 1988, Dobrovie-Sorin 1998). While variation is recognized to exist, the question remains whether this variation can be given a principled explanation. This question is especially important within a Minimalist climate, where the nature and locus of variation raises deep theoretical questions about the architecture of the grammar (see Sigurdsson 2004, Baker 2008, Boeckx 2011 among others).


Workshop on Romance SE/SI

Thursday, April 21

9:00 – 9:30
Registration and welcome address

9:30 – 10:30am
Plenary 1: Paula Kempchinsky, University of Iowa (Title: TBA)

10:30 – 11:50am
Session 1: PCC and impersonal constructions:
''SE constructions and the PCC'' - Javiar Ormazabal & Juan Romero (University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) & University of Extremadura)

''On some syntactic and interpretative differences between Catalan-Spanish and Italian impersonal SE'' - Francisco Ordóñez (Stonybrook University)

11:50am – 1:15pm Lunch

1:15pm – 2:35pm
Session 2: The Projection of Arguments

''SE in Spanish and the projection of External and Internal Arguments'' - David Basilico (University of Alabama, Birmingham)

''Valence expanding se in Spanish'' - Ismael Teomiro (National University for Distance Education (UNED))

2:35pm – 2:55pm Break

2:55pm – 4:15pm
Session 3: Historical analyses of SE

''Grammaticalization of Se from Latin to Spanish and the Object Agreement Cycle'' - Matthew Maddox (University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana)

''Why is French different? Evidence for diverging paths in the grammaticalization of se in Medieval French and Spanish'' - Anne Wolfsgruber (University of Salzburg/University of Girona)

6:30 – Workshop dinner

Friday, April 22

9am – 10:00am
Plenary 2: Carmen Dobrovie-Sorin, CNRS-Université Paris 7 (Title: TBA)

10:00am-10:10am Short break

10:10am – 12:10pm
Session 4: Anticausatives and light verbs

''Two types of anti-causative se: the case of Spanish light verbs'' - Alfredo García Pardo (University of Southern California)

''Scalar constraints on anticausative SE: the aspectual hypothesis revisited'' - Margot Vivanco (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

''Disappearing SE in predicates embedded under causative light verbs'' - María Cristina Cuervo (University of Toronto)

12:10pm – 1:15pm Lunch

1:15pm – 3:15pm
Session 5: Unergatives, figure reflexives and motion verbs

''Unergative frames for non-argument SE verbs: case study'' - Alexandra Cornilescu & Alexandru Nicolae (University of Bucharest & Romanian Academy/University of Bucharest)

''On a class of figure reflexives in Romanian'' - Monica Alexandrina Irimia & Virginia Hill (University of York & University of New Brunswick)

''The role of se’n in causativized verbs of motion: evidence from Catalan'' - Anna Pineda (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

Page Updated: 24-Mar-2016