LINGUIST List 29.3465

Mon Sep 10 2018

Calls: Anthro Ling, Lang Documentation, Semantics, Syntax, Typology/Brazil

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

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Date: 10-Sep-2018
From: Tonjes Veenstra <>
Subject: Complex Structures in Brazilian Languages
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Full Title: Complex Structures in Brazilian Languages

Date: 08-May-2019 - 08-May-2019
Location: MaceiĆ³. Alagoas, Brazil, Brazil
Contact Person: Tonjes Veenstra
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics; Language Documentation; Semantics; Syntax; Typology

Call Deadline: 30-Oct-2018

Meeting Description:

The special session ''Complex structures in Brazilian indigenous languages'' is part of the Abralin -- 50 anos Conference. The description of this session is also available on the Abralin website.

Organizadores: Suzi Lima e Tonjes Veenstra

Proposal In the literature on Brazilian indigenous languages, although many papers present preliminary descriptions on various aspects of the syntax of these languages, few have explored in detail the syntax and semantics of complex sentences. In this special session, we are particularly interested in gathering scholars who have been working on the description and analysis of structures characterized by two or more non-serialized verbs, that is, structures that highlight syntactic and semantic embedding. More specifically, this special session will feature papers that describe and analyze relative clauses, switch-reference marking, quotative constructions with a special focus on indexicals, sequence of tense effects and counterfactuals. The contributions of this special session are threefold: 1) further the documentation of complex structures in Brazilian languages; 2) discuss the development of new methods, questionnaires and stimuli for fieldwork in the field of morphosyntax and semantics of complex structures; 3) advance the debate about such topics in theoretical linguistics.

Contributions to the Field of Language Documentation:

As discussed by Moore, Galucio and Gabas (2008) only 38% of Brazilian languages have an advanced description. However, in most cases, an advanced description does not include a detailed analysis of the complex constructions in a particular language. While some work has been done on the documentation and analysis of complex structures on Brazilian languages which suggests that the field is growing (for example, Storto 2012, Vivanco 2017, and the papers featured in Amaral, Maia, Nevins and Roeper 2018 on a variety of topics on embedded structures in Brazilian languages such as embedding of evidentials [Stenzel 2018], embedding of imperatives [Thomas 2018], switch reference [Nonato 2018], multiple embedding of relative clauses [Storto, Vivanco and Rocha 2018] among others) for most languages the description of complex structures is incipient, which is unfortunate since much of these languages are endangered. Furthermore, the emergence of descriptions of the phenomena described above can be useful not only for the better understanding of a particular language but can also be revealing for typological studies.

Methodological Contributions:

A fundamental aspect of fieldwork is the design of materials for field elicitation. As such, one of the goals of this session is to bring to light new methods (cf. for example Sauerland 2014), questionnaires and stimuli used in the description of the topics featured in this session.

Theoretical Contributions:

Finally and crucially, the presentations featured in this special session will contribute to advance the discussion of such topics in theoretical linguistics by means of featuring new data of languages underrepresented in the literature so far. This is critical since evidence from less well-studied languages has in several cases proved to be very revealing for linguistic theory. Three examples of this type are the discussion of indexical shift in complex clauses in Amharic (Schlenker 2003), Slave (Anand and Nevins 2004), and others, the semantics of logophoric pronouns in Ewe (Pearson 2015), and the discovery of backwards control initially in Tsez (Polinsky and Potsdam 2002).

Call for Papers:

Submissions at:

- Only abstracts will be accepted. They must be sent using the registration platform.
- Abstracts must contain a title and a minimum of three keywords.
- Abstracts must contain a maximum of 4000 characters with space.
- If you identify yourself in any way in the abstract, your submission will be rejected without being evaluated.
- Abstracts that do not comply with the above guidelines will not be considered.

Page Updated: 10-Sep-2018