LINGUIST List 32.780

Wed Mar 03 2021

Confs: Syntax/Online

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 02-Mar-2021
From: Wellington Almeida <>
Subject: A Meaning First Approach to Generative Grammar
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A Meaning First Approach to Generative Grammar

Date: 12-Mar-2021 - 12-Mar-2021
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Online), Brazil
Contact: Wellington Almeida
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Meeting Description:

This is the fourth talk of the event On Linguistics, organized by the Graduation Program in Linguistics of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. The speaker is Professor Uli Sauerland (Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics) and the mediator is Professor Marcus Maia (UFRJ).

A Meaning First Approach to Generative Grammar

Abstract: In a recent paper, Professor Sauerland presented a Meaning-First approach (MFA) to grammar (Sauerland & Alexiadou 2020, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.571295). In this talk, he introduces the core assumptions of the approach, namely that: 1) complex thought-structure generation is independent of language and occurs in species other than humans, and 2) humans can communicate thoughts by compression into an articulateable form. He then presents two phenomena where the approach makes interesting, testable predictions: 1) an account of multi-modal code-blending as parallel compression (Branchini & Donati 2016, 10.5334/gjgl.29), and 2) phenomena in child language where children create sentences with extra words in them.

Uli Sauerland's main interests lie in formal semantics and pragmatics, but he also has contributed to syntax, morphology, fieldwork, and language acquisition. He has taught at many universities including visiting professorships at Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Vienna, Osaka University and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Currently, his main responsibilities are as the vice-director and leader of the semantics-pragmatics research area of the Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics in Berlin, as an honorary professor at the University of Potsdam, and as the coordinating principal of the ERC Synergy project LeibnizDream.

Program Information:

The talk will be streamed live on YouTube at at 10 am (UTC-3).

Page Updated: 03-Mar-2021