LINGUIST List 30.4424

Thu Nov 21 2019

Calls: Syntax/United Kingdom

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 15-Nov-2019
From: Theresa Biberauer <>
Subject: 9th Cambridge Comparative Syntax Conference
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Full Title: 9th Cambridge Comparative Syntax Conference
Short Title: CamCoS 9 New

Date: 30-Apr-2020 - 02-May-2020
Location: Newcastle, United Kingdom
Contact Person: Theresa Biberauer
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Call Deadline: 31-Jan-2020

Meeting Description:

After the success of the eight previous CamCoS conferences (see:, we are delighted to announce CamCoS 9 New, which will be co-organised by Anglia Ruskin University, the University of Cambridge and Newcastle University, and hosted at Newcastle University in honour of Anders Holmberg’s retirement. The theme for this year's conference is ‘Where is the variation: syntax or PF?’

The 9th Cambridge Comparative Syntax conference (CamCoS 9 New) will take place in Newcastle (UK), 30th April-2nd May 2020. The first half-day will feature talks by former colleagues and students of Anders Holmberg and our invited speaker, Professor Halldór Ármann Sigurðsson. The remaining two days will follow the usual 2-day conference format, with both peer-reviewed and invited-speaker presentations focusing on the conference theme and also on comparative syntax more generally.

The invited speakers for CamCoS 9 New are:

Dr Klaus Abels, University College London
Dr Beata Moskal, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Professor Halldór Ármann Sigurðsson, Lund University

Call for Papers:

‘Where is the variation: syntax or PF?’

A question that has in the last decades emerged repeatedly in comparatively oriented generative research is the extent to which the observed linguistic variation should be understood not (principally) in terms of syntactic parameters, but either entirely or largely as a matter of externalisation (Berwick & Chomsky 2011:37-8). For example, there has been much debate regarding whether word-order variation is derived via different syntactic movements (Kayne 1994, Cinque 2005, 2013, Biberauer, Holmberg & Roberts 2014) or variable post-syntactic spell-out rules/parameters (M. Richards 2004, Abels & Neeleman 2009, 2012, Sheehan 2013). Similarly, effects which have traditionally been argued to be syntactic such as Holmberg’s Generalisation (Holmberg 1986, 1999) have been given interface or PF analyses of different kinds (see M. Richards 2004, 2006, Fox & Pesetsky 2005, Erteschik-Shir 2005, Erteschik-Shir & Josefsson 2017). The same could be said for analyses of argument realization (Neeleman and Szendroi 2007, 2008), gender (Sigurðsson 2015), case (Sigurðsson 2012, Baker 2015), agreement (Bobaljik 2008), wh-movement (Bobaljik 2002, N. Richards 2010, 2016), head movement (Bobaljik 2002, Richards 2016), expletive and other “Last Resort” dummy phenomena (Bobaljik 2002), and other aspects of cross-linguistic variation. At the same time, however, we also have numerous recent indications that what we might assume to be a matter of “pure externalisation” nevertheless involve syntactic mediation, suppletion (Bobaljik 2015, Moskal 2015, Smith et al. 2019), and syncretism (Caha 2009, Baunaz et al. 2018) being two striking cases in point.

For CamCoS 9 New, we welcome comparatively oriented papers addressing any aspect of our ‘Where is the variation: syntax or PF?’ theme. Additionally, we also welcome abstracts on any topic in comparative generative syntax. As always, we are particularly interested in papers explicitly addressing parametric issues and/or offering comparative analyses (synchronic or diachronic) of previously un(der)studied varieties and/or phenomena, and papers concerned with “bigger picture” questions, such as what insights modern comparative generative syntax might offer in relation to linguistic typology, syntax-interface mappings, and our understanding of language as a cognitive system. We also encourage papers concerned with methodologies for modern comparative generative syntax.

Anonymous abstracts should not exceed two pages (12-point Times New Roman font, with single spacing and margins of at least 2.54cm/1 inch), including examples and references.

They should be uploaded in pdf format via EasyAbstracts (

A single individual may submit no more than two abstracts, of which only one can be single-authored (two co-authored submissions are also fine).

The submission deadline is Friday, 31 January 2020.

For more information, please contact Theresa Biberauer ( or Michelle Sheehan (

Page Updated: 21-Nov-2019