From: Marjo van Koppen <Marjo.vanKoppenlet.uu.nl>
Subject: Atoms and Laws of the Noun Phrase: a Comparative Perspective
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Full Title: Atoms and Laws of the Noun Phrase: a Comparative Perspective
Short Title: Atoms and Laws
Date: 02-Jul-2009 - 03-Jul-2009
Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Contact Person: Marjo van Koppen
Meeting Email: marjo.vankoppenlet.uu.nl
Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Call Deadline: 15-May-2009
Organization: Jeroen van Craenenbroeck and Guido Vanden Wyngaerd
(CRISSP/Brussels, Norbert Corver and Marjo van Koppen (UiL-OTS/Utrecht)
Call for Papers
The general theme of this workshop is the design of the noun phrase. In
particular, we hope to further our insight into the atoms (building blocks) and
laws (rule systems) of the noun phrase, by approaching this subject matter from
a micro-comparative, a macro-comparative and a diachronic perspective. A second
important question that will be addressed concerns the issue of cross-categorial
symmetry: to what extent is the nominal system comparable to the sentential
system (or other phrasal systems), e.g. with respect to the typology of the
computational rules that are involved or the way in which morphosyntactic
diversity is encoded in the atoms?
(a) What are the atoms of the noun phrase? That is, what are the 'building
blocks' (i.e. categories) within the nominal domain that through the
combinatorics of the computational system yield a nominal projection? A central
question that needs to be dealt with concerns the inventory of so-called
functional categories (and their projections). Thus far, research on the noun
phrase has argued for the existence of functional categories such as Num(P),
Pos(P), and D(P). The question arises as to whether the set of (functional)
atoms is richer, and consequently whether the structure of the nominal system is
more articulate than is generally assumed thus far. Alternatively, one might
raise the question as to whether the inventory of
functional atoms is too rich as it is generally assumed to be. In that case, the
question arises where unification of apparent atoms is possible. In short: What
is the inventory of functional atoms within the noun phrase?
(b) What are the laws (rules) of the noun phrase? That is, to what extent are
nominal structures the result of simple External Merge (i.e. the junction of two
categories) ? Or is the displacement property (so-called Internal Merge), which
is widely attested in the clausal system, also attested within the nominal
system? A related question concerns the construction-specificity of the rule
system , i.e. to what extent are 'types of nominal constructions' (e.g. N of
pseudopartitives, partitives, possessives, appositives, head-argument
constructions) the result of (language specific) and construction-specific
rules? Or do they result from more general, construction-independent rule
formats for structure building?
(c) To what extent is the syntax of the noun phrase similar to/different from
the syntax of the sentence (or, for that matter, other phrasal domains)? Ever
since Chomsky (1970) and Jackendoff (1977), the search for cross-categorial
parallelism has been an important heuristic strategy in syntactic theory (see
also Abney 1987, Szabolcsi 1987). The question arises whether symmetry is found
between the clausal system and the nominal system. For example, is the typology
of displacement as attested in the clausal domain (head movement, phrasal
A-movement, phrasal A-bar movement) also found in the nominal system ?
(d) What are the atoms of linguistic diversity, i.e. the parameters, within the
noun phrase, and how are they set (i.e. what is their value)? This question
about the 'setting of parameters' can be examined from a number of comparative
perspectives: (i) a synchronic microvariation (i.e. cross-dialectal)
perspective, (ii) a diachronic perspective, (iii) a macrovariation perspective.
The following people have accepted our invitation to present a paper at the
Atoms and laws of the noun phrase-workshop:
- Liliane Haegeman (UGent)
- Hilda Koopman (UCLA)
- Željko Bošković (UConn)
- Tal Siloni (Tel Aviv)
For this workshop we welcome papers on any topic related to the issues raised
Abstracts should not exceed two pages, including data, references and diagrams.
Abstracts should be typed in at least 11-point font, with one-inch margins
(letter-size; 8"1/2 by 11" or A4) and a maximum of 50 lines of text per page.
Abstracts must be anonymous and submissions are limited to 1 individual and 1
joint abstract per author.
Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Send name, affiliation, e-mail,
mailing address and title of the paper in the body of the message. The
anonymous abstract should be sent as an attachment, and only abstracts in
pdf-format will be accepted. Abstracts should be sent to marjo.vankoppenlet.uu.nl.
Accepted papers are allotted 30 minutes for presentation plus 10 minutes for
First call for papers: March 24, 2009
Second call for papers: May 1, 2009
Submission deadline: May 15, 2009
Notification of acceptance: June 1, 2009
Workshop: July 2-3, 2009
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