LINGUIST List 27.2254

Wed May 18 2016

Calls: General Ling, Pragmatics, Semantics, Syntax, Typology/Spain

Editor for this issue: Ashley Parker <>

Date: 18-May-2016
From: Antonio Fábregas <>
Subject: The Syntax-Discourse Interface: Approaches, Phenomena, and Variation
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Full Title: The Syntax-Discourse Interface: Approaches, Phenomena, and Variation

Date: 10-Nov-2016 - 11-Nov-2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Contact Person: Antonio Fábregas
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

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

Call Deadline: 18-Jul-2016

Meeting Description:

CLT, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 10 - 11 of November 2016

Keynote Speakers:

Francisco Ordóñez, Stony Brook University
Dennis Ott, University of Ottawa
Cecilia Poletto, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

In the last 20 years, a great deal of attention has been paid within syntactic, semantic and pragmatic studies to the syntax-discourse interface (word order phenomena, topic-focus articulation, the left periphery of the clause, complemetizers and discourse particles, illocutionary force, subordination, speaker anchoring, etc.; cf. Rizzi 1997, Chomsky 2008, Haegeman 2011, Wiltschko 2014, among many others). This workshop aims at widening and deepening our understanding of the approaches and phenomena within this complex interface through the lense of variation: what remains constant across languages, and what is the range of possibilities allowed within the space defined by the independent constraints imposed by UG or the third factor? The specific questions we are interested in include, but are not restricted, to the following:

- There are two main views of the syntax-discourse interface within generative grammar: the cartographic view (Rizzi 1997, Haegeman 2011) proposes that complementisers must be split in a rich sequence of ordered heads, each one of them designated to define a very specific component (focus, topic, force...); in contrast, the Minimalist view (Chomsky 2008, Abels 2012, Ott 2012) argues that one single head, C, is responsible for all these functions, which ultimately can be expressed in the form of multiple specifiers or coordination + ellipsis, with independent relativised minimality effects and constraints on movement determining the relative height of such specifiers, when two or more co-occur. What is the available evidence for an against each one of these views?
- The traditional notions of focus and topic have been argued to be rough characterisations of families of elements, and it has been proposed that in fact different distinct types of focus and topic must be distinguished both by their semantic and syntactic behaviour –for instance, familiarity topic, contrastive topic and aboutness-shift topic in Frascarelli & Hinterhölzl (2007)–. What are the empirical facts about these subclassifications across languages?
- Similarly, within this debate, it has been claimed that information structure should not be considered a purely left-periphery phenomenon, as other domains, such as DPs or vPs, seem to be able to define notions such as focus (eg., Aboh 2004, Poletto 2006). What are the facts, and what is the behaviour of these DP and vP foci and topics within natural languages?
- Some languages and constructions allow foci or topics to be linearised at the right edge of the clause, but for instance Clitic Left Dislocation seems to be more general and available than Clitic Right Dislocation. What are, again, the facts, and which approach do they support?

Organisers: M. Lluïsa Hernanz (CLT-UAB), Ángel Gallego (CLT-UAB), Antonio Fábregas (UiT)

Call for Papers:


We invite submissions for 45 (35+10) minute long oral presentations. Submissions should be sent by attachment, as anonymous pdfs, to:

Submissions must be no longer than two single-spaced pages, in Times New Roman 12, with 2.5 cms margins, including references and examples. Here are the important dates:

- Deadline for submissions: 18 of July
- Notification of acceptance: 12 of September
- Conference dates: 10-11 of November (CLT, UAB, Barcelona)

Page Updated: 18-May-2016