LINGUIST List 32.2319

Thu Jul 08 2021

Calls: Gen Ling, Psycholing, Semantics, Syntax, Text/Corpus Ling/Germany

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 08-Jul-2021
From: Paola Fritz-Huechante <>
Subject: Change of State Verbs – Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives
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Full Title: Change of State Verbs – Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives
Short Title: DGfS 2022

Date: 23-Feb-2022 - 25-Feb-2022
Location: Tübingen, Germany
Contact Person: Paola Fritz-Huechante
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Psycholinguistics; Semantics; Syntax; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Call Deadline: 01-Aug-2021

Meeting Description:

This workshop is part of the 44th annual meeting of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS 2022) to be held at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen from 23 - 25 February 2022.

Organizers: Paola Fritz-Huechante & Antonio Machicao y Priemer (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Invited Speakers:
Louise McNally (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
Stephanie Solt (Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft – ZAS)

The compositional semantics of change of state (CoS) verbs –e.g. ''to wet'', ''to dry'', ''to lengthen''– has commonly been approached in terms of gradability. Scalar analyses focus on the degree of a property (e.g. wetness) that an object undergoing a CoS has at the end of the event, and to what extent this degree counts as manifesting the property specified at the semantic core (e.g. the adjective ''wet'') of such particular verb (cf. Kennedy & Levin 2008). These analyses lead to a finer distinction of scale structures encoded at the lexical level, e.g. as open vs. closed scale verbs (cf. Kennedy & McNally 2005). Yet, empirical studies have also tested these scales with respect to the different implicature readings and polarity effects specific items yield (Gotzner et al. 2018; Solt 2018). CoS verbs are also puzzling due to their different telicity readings (Rappaport Hovav 2014). For instance, telicity variation in transitive CoS has been attributed to the properties of the object undergoing a change. In this case, the object is described as an 'incremental theme', establishing a homomorphism from object to event. Alternatively, other analyses assume a relation between scale structure and telicity. In a nutshell, predicates specifying a maximal degree on a scale allow a telic interpretation, whereas if there is no specification of a maximal degree, they are atelic. Besides telicity, analyses on event structure have centered on the type of changing ''process'' these predicates denote, e.g. durative vs. punctual (Beavers 2013).

At the syntax-semantics interface, three main issues arise (cf. Rappaport Hovav & Levin 1998; Martin 2020):
(i) to which extent is the (complex) event structure of CoS verbs better mapped onto (or is a consequence of) the syntactic structure vs. a lexicalist approach,
(ii) what can the morphosyntactic structure tell us about the combinatory potential of CoS verbs with specific degree phrases, modifiers and PPs (e.g. 5 cm, to 5 degrees) and the corresponding inferences drawn,
(iii) is there a correlation between the morphosyntactic structure (viz. external vs. internal causer) and the semantics of CoS verbs (e.g. entailment of a result state).

This workshop brings together scholars working on semantic, pragmatic or morphosyntactic aspects of CoS verbs from theoretical or empirical perspectives. It addresses (but is not limited to) the following questions:

- Which role do features of gradable adjectives play for the analysis of CoS verbs?
- What are the criteria to account for the relation between telic/atelic interpretations and scalar structure?
- What are the limits between durative and punctual readings and how can they be accounted for?
- Which (cross-linguistic) morphosyntactic mechanisms can be used to alter CoS readings?
- What is the impact of morphosyntactic structure in processing different scalar readings?
- How does the structural complexity of (causative) CoS verbs interact with theta roles and the (gradual) achievement of a result state?
- How can we model the (in-)compatibility of degree modifiers and measure phrases with CoS verbs?
- To which extent can positive and negative environments affect the implicatures/entailments of degree phrases and modifiers?
- What are the effects of vagueness or polarity in language use and how can they be captured?

Second Call for Papers:

We invite submissions of anonymous abstracts from both theoretical or empirical perspectives by August 1, 2021. Authors should submit 1-page abstracts (including references) in a 12 point font (e.g. Times New Roman) in PDF-format to:

Questions regarding the workshop will be received at the same mail.

Talks will be given 30 or 60 minute slots including discussion, depending on the program. Please specify your preferred length (30', 60', or both) in your submission. The workshop language is English for both abstracts and talks. Please note that according to the DGfS regulations presenters may not present in more than one workshop. However, they can be named as co-authors in other talks.

Abstract deadline: 1 August 2021
Notification of acceptance: 30 August 2021
Conference date: 23 – 25 February 2022

Note that the format (in person or online) in which the annual conference will take place will be decided by the end of October. Find all information on the conference on the following websites:

Conference (Tübingen):

In addition, a limited number of travel grants of up to 500 euro each are available for accepted contributions by DGfS members with low income or without income.

Page Updated: 08-Jul-2021