LINGUIST List 32.1519

Mon May 03 2021

Calls: Uralic; Typology/Online

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 30-Apr-2021
From: Nikolett Mus <>
Subject: Antipassive in Uralic languages
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Full Title: Antipassive in Uralic languages
Short Title: ApUr

Date: 27-Jan-2022 - 27-Jan-2022
Location: Budapest (Online), Hungary
Contact Person: Nikolett Mus
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Typology

Language Family(ies): Uralic

Call Deadline: 12-Sep-2021

Meeting Description:

The Department of Finno-Ugric Studies, Eötvös Loránd University and the Hungarian Research Centre for Linguistics announce this call for a workshop on antipassive constructions in the Uralic languages.

The workshop will take place on January 27, 2022 and will be held as a fully virtual event.

Theoretical background:
A prototypical transitive event has traditionally been defined as a dynamic, concrete event where a volitionally acting agent acts on a patient that is directly affected as a result of this action. Thus, a sentence pattern that prototypically depicts such an event, and is therefore considered to represent active voice, has to consist of three constituents: an Agent (NP) as the subject of the sentence, a bivalent transitive verb as its predicate and a Patient (NP) as the direct object of the verb. In other words, the construction displays a transitive verb with two arguments. This type of transitive sentence can be related to two intransitive patterns with marked versions of the same verbal lexeme only preserving one of its arguments, the other one being demoted. A passive sentence is one where the Patient of the underlying transitive sentence becomes the subject of the sentence, remaining the sole argument of the predicate, whereas an antipassive sentence retains the Agent of the transitive sentence in the role of the subject, being similarly the sole argument of the predicate. Hence, in both cases, the verbal predicate becomes syntactically intransitive. Further common features for the two derived patterns are that in both of them, the verb gets marked for the respective pattern (viz. passive or antipassive voice), and the non-argumental (aka adjunctival) constituent is backgrounded. The demotion of these adjuncts can be partial (they appear in an oblique form) or total (they are omitted altogether). It should be noted that the verbal marker that differentiates either of these constructions from their active counterpart can, but is not necessarily supposed to, only serve this function in the language.

In order, then, to be a genuine antipassive construction, the following four criteria must be met (cf. Heaton 2017): 1. The antipassive clearly has a corresponding unmarked or less marked bivalent active transitive construction; 2. There is an overt marker for antipassivity; 3. The agent of the transitive construction is preserved, while the patient is either inexpressible or optionally displayed in the form of an oblique phrase; 4. The antipassive construction is intransitive (no direct object is possible alongside its predicate).

The workshop welcomes contributions that address, among others, the following questions:
1. Does the examined Uralic language have antipassive constructions at all?
2. In antipassive constructions, can the Patient be expressed in the sentence by an oblique form or is it necessarily omitted?
3. Is the marker of antipassivity special (dedicated to this function only) in the language or does it fulfil other tasks, too? If it does, which ones?
4. Can it be proven that the marker appears just for indicating antipassivity and not some (other) modification of the verbal meaning (such as reflexivity, reciprocity, etc.)?
5. Is the speakers’ choice between antipassive constructions and active transitive ones optional or are there any syntactic, semantic, pragmatic circumstances or stylistic considerations that require using them?
6. Can we form any hypotheses about the origin and/or rise of antipassive constructions in the given language?

Call for Papers:

The languages of the workshop are English and/or Russian. Abstracts are expected to be written in English. In case you deliver your talk in Russian, please indicate its title in Russian. Presentations will be 30 minutes long followed by a 10-minute discussion. Participants are invited to submit abstracts not later than September 12, 2021. Submissions are limited to two per author, with at most one paper being single authored. Abstracts should not exceed one page (excluding references, examples, tables, keywords, etc.) and must be set in Times New Roman with a 12pt font, single spaced having 2,5 cm (1 inch) margins. The anonymous abstracts must be sent in pdf format to the address:
Please indicate the name, affiliation of the Author(s) and the title of the abstract in the text of the e-mail.

Ferenc Havas
Erika Asztalos
András Czentnár
Nikolett F. Gulyás
Laura Horváth
Nikolett Mus
Ditta Szabó
Bogáta Timár

Page Updated: 03-May-2021