LINGUIST List 31.1240

Thu Apr 02 2020

Calls: Romance; Applied Ling, Historical Ling, Lang Acquisition, Morphology, Syntax/Austria

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 01-Apr-2020
From: Tim Diaubalick <>
Subject: The role of linguistic interfaces
E-mail this message to a friend

Full Title: The role of linguistic interfaces

Date: 24-Feb-2021 - 27-Feb-2021
Location: Graz, Austria
Contact Person: Katrin Schmitz
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Morphology; Syntax

Language Family(ies): Romance

Call Deadline: 31-Aug-2020

Meeting Description:

“The role of linguistic interfaces in the acquisition, variation and loss of features of Spanish and other Romance languages” (section at the XXIII. Deutscher Hispanistentag)
Katrin Schmitz, Tim Diaubalick

The assumption of an interaction between grammatical subsystems depends very much on the theoretical paradigm: While some synchronic and diachronic grammatical theories, such as Optimality Theory (OT) and grammaticalization theory, early based their fundamental assumptions on the interaction of grammatical modules, the idea of autonomous subsystems predominated in early phases of the Generative paradigm before the interest in language acquisition and change increased (see Fischer & Gabriel 2016: 8). Nowadays, the term itself is ambiguous since it is used in different ways: in a wider interpretation, the term “interface” refers to the connection between linguistics and other disciplines (e.g. philosophy, psychology) as well as to the connection between the language faculty and other aspects of cognitive domains, i.e. the external or non-linguistic interfaces.

To date, we find different ideas of conceptualizing interfaces in the literature, often linked to specific linguistic phenomena and chosen interface types. The currently available architecture models (Jackendoff 2002, 2011) and OT-based proposals in the volumes edited by Ramchand & Reiss (2007) and Fischer & Gabriel (2016) are based on rules, constraints or underspecified feature sets. Nevertheless, some fundamental questions are still open, for instance:
1) How does the interaction work in detail?
2) Which rules/constraints/underspecified feature combinations could be assumed to fit for any kind of interaction of linguistic modules? In other words, is there a basic architecture for all types of interfaces or do we have to model each interface in an individual way?
3) If the answer for 2) is yes, is there a common effect for language development, e.g. a general increase of optionality or specific error-prone linguistic behavior?

Call for Papers:

In this vein, this section at the Deutscher Hispanistentag seeks to give more shape to the concept of interface and its applications. We particularly invite any contribution falling into one of the following approaches:
- Comparing evidence from different types of (complex) interfaces in language acquisition, variation and change in order to find fundamental similarities or differences between them
- Comparing approaches to the conception of linguistic interfaces in different theoretical frameworks
- Comparing and discussing methodological issues of the research regarding (complex) interface phenomena in language acquisition, variation and change

These approaches may provide both theoretical and empirical linguistic research with important new knowledge concerning specific properties of the language architecture and of individual (Romance) language systems and their development and maintenance in various constellations.

From April 1, 2020, abstracts can be submitted for a lecture in a section or for a poster via ConfTool ( The notification of accepted or rejected lectures will be sent in October 2020. The inscription -also on ConfTool- starts in October 2020.

You will find a more detailed description of the section at the conference website.
Languages of the talks: German, Spanish, English

Fischer, S. & Gabriel, C. (2016). Grammatical Interfaces in Romance Languages: An Introduction. In: S. Fischer & C. Gabriel (eds.), Manual of Grammatical Interfaces in Romance. Berlin: Walter De Gruyter, 1-20.
Jackendoff, R., 2002. Foundations of Language. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Jackendoff, R. 2011. What is the human language faculty? Two views. Discussion note. Language Vol. 87 (3), 586-624.
Ramchand, G., Reiss, C. (eds.), 2007. The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Interfaces. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Page Updated: 02-Apr-2020