LINGUIST List 28.1112

Fri Mar 03 2017

Calls: General Linguistics, Historical Linguistics/France

Editor for this issue: Kenneth Steimel <>

Date: 02-Mar-2017
From: Alexandru Mardale <>
Subject: Diachrony of Differential Object Marking
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Full Title: Diachrony of Differential Object Marking

Date: 16-Nov-2017 - 17-Nov-2017
Location: Paris - INaLCO, France
Contact Person: Alexandru Mardale
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Historical Linguistics

Call Deadline: 01-Jun-2017

Meeting Description:

This workshop addresses the differential marking of the object argument in the narrow sense, as defined in Witzlack-Makarevich & Seržant (2017+): “Any kind of situation where an argument of a predicate bearing the same generalized semantic role may be coded in different ways, depending on factors other than the argument role itself and/or the clausal properties of the predicate such as polarity, TAM, embeddedness, etc.” For example, in (1), the direct object of the verb ‘to see’ in Spanish may be marked in two different ways depending on the properties of the NP, all other things being equal:

a. Vi *(a) la mujer Modern Sp. (von Heusinger & Kaiser 2005: 35)
see.PST.1SG DOM DEF woman
‘I saw the woman.’

b. Vi (*a) la mesa
see.PST.1SG DOM DEF table
‘I saw the table.’

The phenomenon of the Differential Object Marking (DOM) has been widely discussed in the literature after it was put forward by Bossong (1982, 1985). DOM is typically conditioned by factors pertaining to various grammatical dimensions such as animacy, definiteness/specificity, topicality, pats-of-speech distinctions (e.g. pronouns vs. nouns), etc. (cf. Aissen 2003, Bossong 1982, 1985, 1998, Croft 1998, Dalrymple & Nikolaeva 2011, Iemmolo 2011, Lazard 1994, 2011, Leonetti 2003, 2007, Næss 2004, de Hoop & de Swart 2007; cf. the overview in Witzlack-Makarevich & Seržant 2017+).

However, much less attention has been paid to the diachronic aspect of DOM in the literature, Dalrymple & Nikolaeva (2011) being an important exception here alongside with few case-studies on particular languages (such as Melis 1995 and von Heusinger & Kaiser 2005 on Spanish, Heusinger & Onea 2008, Mardale 2009, 2015, Hill 2013, Avram & Zafiu 2017 on Romanian, Iemmolo 2011 on Romance, Seržant & Taperte 2016 on Latvian, McGregor, to appear, on Khoe languages).

Invited speakers:

- Virginia Hill (University of New Brunswick)
- Irina Nikolaeva (SOAS University of London)

The organizers:

- Alexandru Mardale (INaLCO de Paris & Laboratoire SeDyL UMR 8202 CNRS)
- Ilja A. Seržant (Universität Leipzig)

Call for Papers:

In this workshop we welcome contributions focusing on the diachronic aspect of DOM.

Potential topics may address questions such as the following:

- What are the possible sources for DOM?
- What kind of internal developments are attested with DOM systems once they are established?
- How stable diachronically the phenomenon of DOM actually is?
- Are the typical DOM constraining factors such as animacy, topicality, definiteness diachronically interrelated? If so, which function is typically acquired first?
- How can DOM phenomena be transferred or copied via language contact, if at all?
- How do DOM systems disappear in favor of a straightforward government?
- When and why related phenomena, such as clitic-doubling, may interact with DOM?

Abstracts are invited for the workshop session. Each presentation has 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes of discussion. Only one paper per participant is admitted.

Abstracts should be anonymous, maximally of two pages in length, including references and examples (in doc, pdf or docx).

Abstracts should be submitted per e-mail to both organizers:,

Important dates:

- Deadline for abstract submission: June 1, 2017
- Applicants notified of abstract acceptance: July 1, 2017
- Conference session: November 16-17, 2017

Page Updated: 03-Mar-2017