LINGUIST List 28.895

Thu Feb 16 2017

Confs: Linguistic Theories, Syntax/Spain

Editor for this issue: Kenneth Steimel <>

Date: 15-Feb-2017
From: Dennis Ott <>
Subject: Generative Syntax: Questions, Crossroads, and Challenges
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Generative Syntax: Questions, Crossroads, and Challenges
Short Title: GenSyn2017

Date: 21-Jun-2017 - 23-Jun-2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Contact: Dennis Ott
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories; Syntax

Meeting Description:

For the last sixty years, Generative Grammar (GG) has been the dominant approach in the formal study of human language within the cognitive sciences. Building on classical ideas developed in a new context, GG provided the basis for a new wave of investigations that gave rise to significant theoretical and empirical discoveries, establishing a fertile ground for synergies with other disciplines.

In terms of doctorates, jobs, and programs in universities across the globe, the success of the enterprise is undeniable. There can also be no doubt that the steady increase in researchers, resources, and methods has led to a massive expansion of the empirical database accessible to GG. At the same time, however, one needs to keep asking whether these developments have yielded a corresponding increase in the explanatory depth of the theory. Has cross-fertilization with other disciplines benefited theorizing? Have novel methods of investigation helped unify theoretical and experimental aspects of the field? Are new ideas and ideals in sight to push the enterprise forward? Should we view present-day specialization and concomitant heterogeneity as the sign of a new synthesis brewing, or rather as the deplorable end of an era of normal science?

The present workshop extends an invitation, especially - but not exclusively - to young researchers in the field, to pause and reflect on these and related questions, with the goal of assessing where we are headed, why there, and what the best way is of getting there (or nearby). Where have we made real progress and what questions should most urgently be addressed? What achievements in the field have been underappreciated, which failures customarily ignored? What are the principal obstacles on the road ahead, and how can they be circumnavigated? Where is more data needed, and where does a focus on data coverage thwart theoretical progress? Unlike regular conferences in linguistics, this event seeks to provide a venue for reflections and discussions of questions of this general kind, which often take a back seat in more traditional formats.

The workshop will be structured around the contributions of a number of invited participants, who will submit a position paper ahead of time (to be published ahead of the event) and give short informal talks, which will serve to kickstart open discussion. Rather than featuring the usual presentations on specifics of individual research, the event will thus be designed to spur informal discussion, in which audience members are explicitly encouraged to engage.

Students of all levels as well as professional linguists of any persuasion are encouraged to actively participate in the event, either in person or by using other modes of communication (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

Please sign up on the conference website. Registration is free!

Invited Keynote Speakers:

Noam Chomsky
Juan Uriagereka
Riny Huybregts

Invited Participants:

Roberta D'Alessandro
Theresa Biberauer
Alba Cerrudo (student speaker)
Brandon Fry (student speaker)
Tim Hunter
Aritz Irurtzun
Brooke Larson
Marc Richards
Dan Siddiqi
Masaya Yoshida

Page Updated: 16-Feb-2017