LINGUIST List 31.2755

Wed Sep 09 2020

Confs: Ling Theories, Morphology, Semantics, Syntax/United Kingdom

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 09-Sep-2020
From: Víctor Acedo-Matellán <>
Subject: Events and Event Structure at the Limits of Grammar
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Events and Event Structure at the Limits of Grammar
Short Title: EESLiG

Date: 15-Sep-2020 - 16-Sep-2020
Location: Oxford, United Kingdom
Contact: Víctor Acedo-Matellán
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL:

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

Meeting Description:

The idea that the grammar makes reference to events has a long and storied history, going back at least to Aristotle, and revived by the works of Vendler (1967) or Verkuyl (1993). More recently, Borer (2005), Ramchand (2008), and Travis (2010), among others, provide specific empirical arguments (e.g., the different roles of the subject and the object, the impact of case, the use of particles/prefixes/prepositions, etc.) that at least parts of event structure are represented grammatically. In spite of these results, an ongoing tension concerns the scope of the grammar in relation to events. To provide an illustration regarding telicity, some researchers like Rappaport Hovav (2008) wonder what it is that distinguishes verbs like EAT and PUSH, so that the former yields telicity with a certain type of object and the latter do not; on the contrary, Borer (2005) points out that this distinction does not depend on the verbs themselves qua particular entries of our mental dictionary or lexicon, but purely on grammatical structure, and observes that verbs like PUSH do yield telicity when a compatible conceptual scene is provided. A consensus is far from reached in this and other areas of the representation of events.

The fundamental question encompassing discussions of this sort is: How much should we attribute to grammatical mechanisms in the encoding of event structure and how much is a function of extragrammatical processes (lexical, pragmatic, or more broadly cognitive)? Answers to questions like this one have been foundational to our understanding of the organization of the grammar itself, the extent to which aspectual and event interpretations are carried by elements of grammar or by words of descriptive category, the difference between grammaticality and acceptability, and the role of arbitrary listedness vs. generative rule-governed behaviours.

Keynote Speakers:
Prof. Hagit Borer (Queen Mary University of London)
Prof. Malka Rappaport Hovav (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Important Dates:
10 July: deadline for submission of abstracts
31 July: notification of acceptance

Víctor Acedo-Matellán (Un. of Oxford)
Matthew E. Husband (Un. of Oxford)
Arkadiusz Kwapiszewski (Un. of Oxford)

Program Information:

The conference programme can be accessed here:

Borer, Hagit. 2005. Structuring Sense, vol. ii: The Normal Course of Events. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rappaport Hovav, Malka. 2008. Lexicalized meaning and the internal temporal structure of events. In Susan D. Rothstein (ed.), Theoretical and crosslinguistic approaches to the semantics of aspect, 13–42. Amsterdam/New York: John Benjamins.
Ramchand, Gillian C. 2008. Verb Meaning and the Lexicon. A First Phase Syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Travis, Lisa dM. 2010. Inner Aspect. Dordrecht/Heidelberg/London/New York: Springer.
Vendler, Zeno. 1967. Linguistics in Philosophy. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Verkuyl, Henk. 1993. A Theory of Aspectuality. The Interaction between Temporal and Atemporal Structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Page Updated: 09-Sep-2020