LINGUIST List 27.2340

Tue May 24 2016

Calls: Cognitive Sci, General Ling, Morphology, Phonology, Syntax/Norway

Editor for this issue: Anna White <>

Date: 24-May-2016
From: Antonio Fábregas <>
Subject: Hierarchical Structures in Phonology, Morphology and Syntax
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Full Title: Hierarchical Structures in Phonology, Morphology and Syntax

Date: 27-Oct-2016 - 28-Oct-2016
Location: Tromsø, Norway
Contact Person: Antonio Fábregas
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; General Linguistics; Morphology; Phonology; Syntax

Call Deadline: 15-Jul-2016

Meeting Description:

Hierarchical structures in phonology, morphology and syntax
CASTL, UiT-The Arctic University of Norway

Organised by: Peter Svenonius, Gillian Ramchand, Martin Krämer, Antonio Fábregas

Keynote Speakers:

Laura Downing (University of Gothenburg-UiT)
Natalia Slioussar (HSE Moscow & St. Petersburg State University)
Michael Wagner (McGill University)
Rachel Walker (University of Southern California)

Aims and content of the workshop

The hierarchical organization of linguistic structures in syntax, phonology, and morphology is a fundamental part of current linguistic research, either as a background assumption or as a focus of inquiry.

Linguistic hierarchy can be understood in two ways, structural and categorial.

Structural hierarchy is purely configurational: the subject of a matrix clause c-commands the subject of an embedded complement clause because the matrix is hierarchically superior to the complement. Morphology has an analogue (or homologue) of this; for example, a deverbal nominalization involves a nominal element which is superior to a verbal element (this is often analyzed as syntactic embedding, hence a homologue). This kind of purely structural hierarchy is less typical in phonology, but may exist. For example, purely structural hierarchy could be seen in a feature geometry if the difference between V-place and C-place is that C-place is an undominated place node, while V-place is a place node which is embedded inside another place node.

The other sense of linguistic hierarchy is categorial. Categorial hierarchy involves an extrinsic asymmetry between categories, for example in a thematic hierarchy where Agent outranks Patient, or a grammatical function hierarchy where Subject outranks Object, or a sonority hierarchy where vowel outranks liquid. Categorial hierarchies have disparate sources. A nonuniform taxonomic organization of features, for example one in which a tense-lax distinction is relevant for vowels but not consonants, can be understood in terms of categorial hierarchy.

Generative linguistics has often reduced categorial hierarchy to structural hierarchy, for example in deriving many properties of subjects from their occupying a high structural subject position rather than their bearing a distinct grammatical function.

However, the functional hierarchy which is the focus of cartography centrally links categorial to structural hierarchy without reducing either to the other, so that when for example C and T are combined in a single clause, C structurally dominates T and is a distinct category. A feature geometry (like the one proposed by Harley and Ritter for phi) may be understood to restrict merge, projection, or labeling in such a way that structural hierarchy respects or reflects categorial hierarchy.

Call for Papers:

We invite two-page abstract submissions (Times NR 12, single-spaced, margins set to 2.54/3.17), including examples and references, for 40 minute-long oral presentations (30+10). Submissions should be sent as anonymous attachments to:

Important Dates:

Deadline for submissions: 15 July 2016
Notification of acceptance: 1 September 2016
Workshop: 27-28 October 2016

Page Updated: 24-May-2016