LINGUIST List 27.3358

Tue Aug 23 2016

Confs: Syntax/Germany

Editor for this issue: Kenneth Steimel <>

Date: 23-Aug-2016
From: Andrew Murphy <>
Subject: Shrinking Trees
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Shrinking Trees

Date: 10-Oct-2016 - 10-Oct-2016
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Contact: Andrew Murphy
Contact Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Meeting Description:

A standard assumption of earlier versions of generative grammar was that transformations can remove syntactic structure - either complete subtrees of a phrase marker (as in transformations like Passive, Equi NP Deletion, or Indefinite Object Deletion), or just certain nodes or shells (see, e.g., Tree Pruning as envisaged by Haj Ross, or Chomsky's concept of S-bar Deletion). Subsequently, based on a more principled approach to syntactic transformations with the Projection Principle at its core, the hypothesis that trees could genuinely shrink in this way was generally abandoned. Current minimalist approaches maintain this assumption by postulating that syntactic operations can make trees grow (via Merge) or stay the same size (via Agree) but can never make them shrink. Against this background, and with the Projection Principle long gone, this workshop investigates the question of whether there is evidence for simple and general syntactic operations that lead to shrinking trees after all, by removing either subtrees or shells from the current structure, either permanently or temporarily.

Attendance is open to everyone who is interested, and there is no registration fee, but for logistical reasons we would like to ask participants to notify us before October 1 (via email to


Workshop on 'Shrinking Trees'
Universität Leipzig, Institut für Linguistik
October 10, 2016
Lecture Hall of the Biblioteca Albertina, Beethovenstr. 6


Howard Lasnik (Maryland)
'Shrinking Trees: Some Early History'

Gereon Müller (Leipzig)
'Restructuring by Removal'

11:00-11:30: Coffee Break

Susi Wurmbrand (UConn)
'Finiteness and Restructuring'

David Pesetsky (MIT)
'Exfoliation: Towards a Derivational Theory of Clause Size'

13:30-14:30: Lunch Break

Andrew Murphy (Leipzig)
'Arguments for Ellipsis as Syntactic Deletion'

Caterina Donati (Paris)
'Successive Cyclic Movement as a Shrinking Tree Epiphenomenon'

16:30-17:00: Coffee Break

Fabian Heck (Leipzig)
'Non-Monotonic Raising-to-Subject'

Katja Barnickel (Leipzig)
'Derived Non-Monotonic Coordination in German'

Page Updated: 23-Aug-2016