LINGUIST List 29.2336

Thu May 31 2018

Calls: Gen Ling, Ling Theories, Psycholing, Semantics, Syntax/Germany

Editor for this issue: Kenneth Steimel <>

Date: 30-May-2018
From: Andreas Blümel <>
Subject: New Horizons in the Study of Nominal Phrases (DGfS 2019)
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Full Title: New Horizons in the Study of Nominal Phrases (DGfS 2019)

Date: 06-Mar-2019 - 08-Mar-2019
Location: Bremen, Germany
Contact Person: Andreas Blümel
Meeting Email:
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Psycholinguistics; Semantics; Syntax

Call Deadline: 13-Aug-2018

Meeting Description:

Does the DP-projection dominate the NP or does the latter dominate the
determiner system? As of yet this simple question has not received a
conclusive answer. The DP- vs. NP-debate remains unresolved, despite the
decades-long success of the DP-hypothesis.

Empirically, early arguments in its favor include possessor agreement in
Hungarian as well as the possessor -s that can attach to XPs, and gerunds in
English (Szabolcsi 1983, Abney 1987). The NP-hypothesis is arguably a minority
position in the field as evidenced by the fact that many syntax text books
introduce the DP-hypothesis as a standard (e.g. Adger 2003; Carnie 2013).
Several arguments speak in its favor nonetheless.

The time is ripe to carefully evaluate the strength of the arguments advanced
to buttress one or the other position. Questions include:

- To what extent are noun phrase internal functional categories such as Num,
Quant, and indeed D theoretically justified and what is their internal feature
composition (Wiltschko 2009)? Can phenomena which have led to their invocation
be subsumed under traditional categories like nouns, pronominals and
adjectives (Van Eynde 2006; Leu 2015)? Are determiners phrasal (Chomsky 2007:
25-26; Leu 2015)? How are they introduced into the structure, by substitution
or adjunction (or descendants thereof, cf. Oishi 2015)?

- The DP-hypothesis has contributed to expanding the cross-linguistic
descriptive landscape and yielded many novel intricate and detailed facts of
the structure of nominal phrases (cf. e.g. Alexiadou et al 2007). So while the
hypothesis has doubtlessly helped to deliver insights and unearth many facts,
it has been pointed out that „[t]he postulation of Det [… obfuscated] the
manifold differences between adjectival and pronominal determiners, and it […
complicated] the treatment of the many properties which the adjectival
determiners share with adjectives and which the pronominal determiners share
with pronouns''? (Van Eynde 2006: 155-156) So categorization of elements
within the noun phrase has become much more fine-grained. And yet: To what
extent might theoretically relevant distinctions have been missed?

- Asymmetries between selection of C-heads and the ways in which embedding
verbs select types of nouns (but not D-heads) might call into question a core
motivation for the DP-hypothesis (sentence/noun phrase-parallelisms), cf.
Bruening 2009. He argues for a return to the NP-hypothesis. Reactions to the
argument point to the lack of evidence showing that verbs syntactically select
formal features of nouns (Salzmann 2018: 23). So while serious damage has been
done to the view that verbs select DPs, it has not been shown that they
syntactically select NPs (insofar as c-selection is needed, cf. Pesetsky
1982). New pieces of evidence and/or arguments are called for.

The aim of this workshop is to gather work that speaks to the issue of DP vs.
NP, to address questions like the ones above, to assess the state of the art
and to inspire further research. We invite contributions from any formal
theoretical framework that advances empirical arguments, be they syntactic,
semantic, morphological or phonological. Cross-linguistic aspects are as
welcome as evidence from the diachrony of noun phrases. We likewise call for
experimental work or language acquisition research that sheds light on the

We are happy to announce that we have confirmation by two distinguished
invited speakers from different grammatical frameworks who represent the two
opposing views on the structural organization of noun phrases:

- Giuliana Giusti (Università Ca' Foscari Venezia)
- Frank Van Eynde (KU Leuven)


Andreas Blümel (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
Anke Holler (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)

Call for Papers:

We invite submissions of anonymous abstracts, which must not exceed 2 pages
(A4 or US Letter), including examples and references. The abstracts should
address the topic of the Meeting Description. Presentations are 30 minutes
altogether with 20/25 minute talks plus 10/5 minutes discussion. Submissions
should be in pdf-format, with 12pt font and 2.5cm/1 inch margins on all sides.
Please submit your abstract by August 13 2018 to:

Please include your name(s), affiliation(s) and the title of the abstract in
the body of the e-mail. Generally, authors may submit at most one abstract per
DGfS-workshop. If the submission to our workshop is single authored, a second
abstract to a separate workshop is exceptionally permitted, but must be
co-authored. The workshop will be part of the 41st annual meeting of the
German Linguistics Society (DGfS 2019) to be held at the University of Bremen
from March 6-8, 2019.

Page Updated: 20-July-2018