LINGUIST List 29.3697

Wed Sep 26 2018

Calls: Historical Linguistics/USA

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

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Date: 22-Sep-2018
From: Elly van Gelderen <>
Subject: Comparative Approaches to the Diachronic Morpho-Syntax
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Full Title: Comparative Approaches to the Diachronic Morpho-Syntax

Date: 04-Jun-2019 - 04-Jun-2019
Location: Tempe, AZ, USA
Contact Person: Elly van Gelderen
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics

Call Deadline: 15-Dec-2018

Meeting Description:

(Session of Diachronic Generative Syntax)

Comparative Approaches to the Diachronic Morpho-Syntax of the Indigenous Languages of North and Central America
CFP Workshop – 4 June 2019 – Arizona State University

The diachronic study of indigenous languages has been challenging because of the limitations of earlier material. However, a lot of work done in order to understand the synchrony of a construction has also informed diachrony. Comparative work on different languages in the same family has helped reconstruct earlier stages, for example, Kroeber’s (1999) and Davis’ (2005) work on negatives followed by clausal complements in Salish and Langacker’s (1977) reconstruction of Uto-Aztecan phenomena which uses comparative data to find earlier stages. Munro (1976) and Gordon (1986), while synchronic, provide many reconstructions for Yuman. Mithun (2016) is another illustration of how comparative data can shed light on changes in a variety of phenomena, such as negatives, pronominals, demonstratives, and distributives. Also, Rice (2008) applies a comparative approach to noun incorporation in Athabaskan. A somewhat different approach to the diachronic questions is to employ internal reconstruction, for example Givón (2000) gives a possible diachrony of the Tolowa Athabaskan verb complex.

The purpose of the workshop is to show how synchronic or diachronic comparative research can inform the diachronic morpho-syntax of indigenous languages. With these languages, it is especially hard to separate syntax from morphology and, comparing languages in one family, the syntax is seen to `become’ morphology (Givón 1971). The theoretical framework for the workshop is open.

The workshop will be held on 4 June 2019 before the Diachronic Generative Syntax conference (5-7 June 2019) with which it will share a registration website.

Keynote speaker for the Workshop
Pamela Munro, UCLA

Call for Papers:

Abstracts for the workshop are invited for 30-minute presentations (followed by 10 minutes of discussion). Abstracts must not exceed two pages in length, including examples and references (12 pt font). Submission is limited to one single-authored and one co-authored abstract per author, or two co-authored abstracts, whether it is for the main conference or for the workshop, or both. Abstracts must be anonymous.

Abstracts for the workshop should be sent to

Registration details: TBA
Deadline for submission: 15 December 2018
Notification of acceptance: 31 January 2019

Organizing Committee:

Elly van Gelderen,
Johanna Wood,
and Angela Schrader.

If you have questions or comments, please contact


Davis, Henry 2005. On the Syntax and Semantics of Negation in Salish. International Journal of American Linguistics 71.1: 1-55.
Givón, Talmy 1971. Historical syntax and synchronic morphology: An archaelogist's field trip. Chicago Linguistic Society 7: 394-415.
Givón, Talmy 2000. Internal Reconstruction; as method, as theory. In Spike Gildea (ed.), Reconstructing Grammar, 107-159. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Gordon, Lynn 1986. Maricopa Morphology and Syntax. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Kroeber, Paul 1999. The Salish Language Family. Lincoln: The University of Nebraska Press.
Langacker, Ronald 1977. Studies in Uto-Aztecan Grammar, I. Arlington: SIL.
Mithun, Marianne 2016. What cycles when and why? In Elly van Gelderen (ed), Cyclical Change Continued, 19-45. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Munro, Pamela 1976. Mojave Syntax. New York: Garland Publishing.
Rice, Keren 2008. On incorporation in Athapaskan languages. In Thórhallur Eythórsson (ed.). Grammatical change and linguistic theory: The Rosendal papers, 375– 409. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Page Updated: 26-Sep-2018