LINGUIST List 30.1671

Wed Apr 17 2019

Calls: Gen Ling, Ling Theories, Morphology, Semantics, Syntax/USA

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

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Date: 11-Apr-2019
From: Michael Everdell <>
Subject: The Grammar of Regularity and Idiosyncrasy
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Full Title: The Grammar of Regularity and Idiosyncrasy

Date: 13-Jul-2019 - 14-Jul-2019
Location: Davis, CA, USA
Contact Person: Michael Everdell
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

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

Call Deadline: 15-May-2019

Meeting Description:

This workshop examines idiosyncratic form-meaning pairs and how they relate to syntagmatic and paradigmatic regularities, exploring how, if at all, this distinction is to be represented in the grammar. Form-meaning idiosyncrasy can arise within an otherwise regular system because either the form or the meaning shifts, among other
things. Shifts in form relative to their morphological paradigms include allomorphy, suppletion, portmanteaux, and lexical gaps. Shifts in meaning can affect an entire morphological paradigm (shoot/shot up ‘inject’); a single form (transmission ‘the mechanism that transmits power from an engine to the wheels of a motor vehicle’); or a single alternant in a diathesis alternation (transitive grow ‘cultivate’; compared to other uses of grow ‘increase in size’).

Although these form or meaning shifts give rise to idiosyncrasy in the grammar, they may be accounted for in a principled way. However, theoretical frameworks for modeling syntax and morphology and their connection to semantics vary as to where in the grammar the idiosyncrasy-regularity distinction is accounted for. In Distributed Morphology (DM) some analyses involve high/low attachment (Harley 2008), or various post-syntactic operations to account for suppletion and allomorphy (Embick 2010; Haugen & Siddiqi 2016). In lexicalist accounts, idiosyncratic forms can be governed by morphophonological word formation rules which are sensitive to particular lexical items or features (Zucchi 1993; Aronoff 1994). Some construction grammar approaches deny a qualitative distinction between idiosyncrasy and syntactic regularity, replacing some or all compositional rules with meaningful constructions (Goldberg 1995, 2006). Theories that decompose word meaning into an idiosyncratic root and regular template (Dowty 1979, Levin and Rappaport Hovav 1995; Harley 2012) can account for idiosyncrasy by proposing restrictions on the ways that certain roots can combine with templates or with sublexical modifiers. However, the assumption that the idiosyncrasy-regularity distinction corresponds to a strict root-template distinction has been challenged (Beavers and Koontz-Garboden 2012).

Appropriate talks will address phenomena relevant to the interplay between idiosyncrasy and regularity. One goal is to highlight core shared insights across theories in accounting for the above phenomena, so we especially encourage a diverse range of theoretical approaches to modeling idiosyncrasy.

Call for Papers:

Call for abstracts for poster session at satellite workshop at the 2019 Summer Linguistic Institute, UC Davis

We invite abstracts related to the topic of this workshop to be considered for a poster session. Researchers at all levels are invited but we especially encourage work from graduate students.

Deadline for abstract submission: May 15
Notification of acceptance: May 30

Organizers (The University of Texas at Austin): John Beavers (, Kristin Denlinger (, Michael Everdell (, and Stephen Wechsler (

Confirmed Speakers:

James Blevins (University of Cambridge)
David Embick (University of Pennsylvania)
Adele Goldberg (Princeton University)
Jean-Pierre Koenig (SUNY University at Buffalo)
Beth Levin (Stanford University)
Daniel Siddiqi (Carleton University)
Ida Toivonen (Carleton University)

Dates: July 13th (10am-5pm)-14th (10am-2pm)

Full LSA 2019 satellite workshop schedule:

Guidelines for submitting abstracts:

Abstracts must be submitted in PDF format via e-mail to Michael Everdell at with the subject line 'Idiosyncrasy Workshop Poster Abstract'
Abstracts must have no more than 500 words of narrative text. Titles, examples, trees, tables, figures, captions, and references do not count toward this 500 word limit.
The title of the abstract should appear at the top of the page but does not count as part of the 500-word limit.
Abstracts must not exceed two pages including examples, references, figures, etc.
Please include your name in the body of the e-mail but take care to anonymize the abstract pdf itself.

Page Updated: 17-Apr-2019