From: Jeroen Van Craenenbroeck <jeroen.vancraenenbroeckkubrussel.ac.be>
Subject: Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics
Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics
Short Title: BCGL 1
Date: 08-Jun-2006 - 09-Jun-2006
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Contact: Jeroen van Craenenbroeck
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL: http://www.kubrussel.ac.be/bcgl
Linguistic Field(s): Semantics; Syntax
The Catholic University of Brussels and the Vlekho College present the first Brussels Conference on Generative Grammar (BCGL 1). The theme of this first edition is 'Quantification in the lexicon and in syntax'.
Keynote speaker is Prof. Anna Szabolcsi (NYU).
''Quantification in the lexicon and in syntax''
Quantification might well be the aspect of natural language that has lent itself to richer, more successful and precise formalization than anything else. This is in many ways creditable to the usefulness for linguistic analysis of a range of tools first developed in logic. For a long time during the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, however, this usefulness remained insufficiently exploited. Logic went more and more mathematical, and predicate calculus was mainly used for applications of mathematics in science and technology. Natural language on the other hand began to look defective and imperfect by comparison, as teeming with systematically misleading expressions which fall woefully short of the adamantine solidity of mathematical logic. But the past decades have seen a fruitful new rapprochement, and the study of quantification has played a major role in this development. Linguists have unearthed an ever wider range of linguistic phenomena of a highly patterned quantificational nature. They have thereby not only amassed evidence that natural language abounds with quantificational structures in its different modules, but in their analyses of these data have also provided evidence that the tools of logic should not just be revered for their successful application in the sciences, but also refined and refashioned to fit the remarkable subtleties of language.
In view of the above, the aim of the present workshop is to provide further proof of both the unity and the variety of natural language quantificational forms and meanings. This will be done by focusing on a range of cases of quantification in the lexicon on the one hand, and by studying further the interaction between quantifiers and the syntactic contexts in which they are used on the other. Issues of the latter type concern not only the nature of the correlation between syntactic contexts and quantifier interpretation, but also restrictions on the type of syntactic contexts in which certain categories of quantifiers are licensed (polarity effects).
It is our hope that by bringing together researchers who share a devotion to the formal study of language and the study of quantification in particular, interesting connections between their analyses and new ideas may see the light of day.
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