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LINGUIST List 20.3130

Thu Sep 17 2009

Calls: Syntax/Belgium

Editor for this issue: Kate Wu <katelinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Adrienn Janosi, 4th Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics

Message 1: 4th Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics
Date: 16-Sep-2009
From: Adrienn Janosi <janosiadyahoo.com>
Subject: 4th Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics
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Full Title: 4th Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics
Short Title: BCGL4: Ellipsis

Date: 09-Nov-2009 - 10-Nov-2009
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Contact Person: Adrienn Janosi
Meeting Email: janosiadyahoo.com
Web Site: http://www.crissp.be/bcgl4.html

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Call Deadline: 25-Sep-2009

Meeting Description:

The Center for Research in Syntax, Semantics and Phonology (CRISSP,
www.crissp.be) in Brussels is pleased to announce the Fourth Brussels Conference
on Generative Linguistics (BCGL4) on ellipsis. It will be held in Brussels from
November 9 till November 10, 2009.

The following invited speakers have accepted to give a talk at BCGL4:
Daniel Hardt (Copenhagen Business School)
Jason Merchant (University of Chicago)

3rd Call for Papers:

Extended Deadline: September 25, 2009

Theme Description:
Ellipsis has been an important research topic in generative linguistics at least
since Ross (1967, 1969), but with the advent of the Minimalist Program (Chomsky
1995), the interest in this topic has risen considerably. Because it is a
fortiori an interface phenomenon, understanding ellipsis requires an
understanding of the interaction between narrow syntax, PF, LF and the
information-structural component. In other words, ellipsis is a useful tool for
gaining a better understanding of how the grammar of natural language works.
Very simply put, ellipsis is the occurrence of meaning without sound. A first
important question to ask is how much syntax is involved in deriving this
meaning. Roughly speaking, there are three types of proposals dealing with this
issue. A first one takes the ellipsis site to be a fully-fledged syntactic
structure that is deleted (or not pronounced) at PF (i.e. PF-deletion; cf. Ross
1969; Sag 1980; Hankamer & Sag 1976, Sag & Hankamer 1984; Tomioka 1999, 2001;
Merchant 2001; Johnson 1996, 2001; Lasnik 1999a, 1999b, 2001).

According to a type of second analysis the ellipsis site does not contain any
internal structure, but is a null pronoun (or proform). The meaning is derived
from the antecedent, either parallel to how overt pronouns are interpreted
(Wasow 1972; Shopen 1972; Hardt 1993, 1999; Lobeck 1995; Depiante 2000) or by
copying the antecedent into the ellipsis site at LF (i.e. LF copy; cf. Fiengo &
May 1994; Chung et al. 1995; Wilder 1997; Beavers & Sag 2004; Fortin 2007). A
third account assumes there is nothing at all in the position of the missing
material (Ginzburg & Sag 2000; Culicover & Jackendoff 2005).

Recently, the debate on the presence or absence of internal structure has been
extended to overt pronouns. Elbourne (2008) proposes that overt pronouns are
definite descriptions underlyingly, such that when a noun undergoes NP-ellipsis,
its determiner is spelled out as a pronoun (cf. Postal 1969). This approach
turns the reasoning of the null proform analysis of ellipsis on its head:
instead of treating the ellipsis site as a (null) pronoun, it treats (overt)
pronouns as ellipsis sites (cf. also Baltin & Van Craenenbroeck 2008). A second
central question in the study of ellipsis involves the relation between the
ellipsis site and its antecedent. Merchant (2001), following Rooth (1992) and
Schwarzschild (1999), proposes that an ellipsis site has to be e-GIVEN: the
(non-focus-marked part of the) antecedent must entail the (non-focus-marked part
of the) ellipsis site and vice versa in order for ellipsis to be recoverable.

However, recent works claim that a purely semantic recoverability condition is
not sufficient and that ellipsis requires syntactic isomorphism between
antecedent and ellipsis site, cf. Lasnik (1995); Johnson (2001); Merchant (2007,
2008) (see also Fiengo & May 1994; Pullum 2000; Fox 1999, 2000; Sauerland 2004;
Hardt 2004, 2005 and van Craenenbroeck 2009 for discussion).

Apart from the conditions on the antecedent (i.e. the recoverability
requirement), ellipsis is subject to a syntactic licensing condition: even when
the ellipsis site is recoverable from the context, it can only occur in a
specific set of syntactic environments. Lobeck (1995), for instance, argues that
VP ellipsis requires strong agreement on the inflectional head and claims that
English, but not German or French, exhibits this kind of agreement. Merchant
(2001) on the other hand, captures the fact that ellipsis requires a licensing
head by positing an ellipsis feature on certain heads, allowing them to leave
their complement unpronounced. A similar analysis is proposed in Aelbrecht
(2009), who argues that ellipsis is licensed by an Agree relation between an
ellipsis feature and the ellipsis licensing head.

For the Fourth Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics, we welcome papers
on any topic related to the theme of the conference.

Abstract Guidelines:
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" ½ 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. Please submit your abstract by
using the EasyAbs link for BCGL4: http://linguistlist.org/confcustom/bcgl2009.

Important Dates:
First call for papers: July 15, 2009
Second call for papers: August 17, 2009
Third call for papers: September 16, 2009
Abstract submission deadline: September 25, 2009
Notification: October 10, 2009

The Organizing Committee:
Dany Jaspers (HUB, CRISSP)
Jeroen van Craenenbroeck (HUB, CRISSP)
Guido Vanden Wyngaerd (HUB, CRISSP)
Lobke Aelbrecht (HUB, CRISSP/UGent)
Marijke De Belder (HUB, CRISSP)
Karen De Clercq (HUB, CRISSP/UGent)
Adrienn Jánosi (HUB, CRISSP)
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