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LINGUIST List 22.4935

Thu Dec 08 2011

Calls: Syntax, Semantics, Ling Theories/Netherlands

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <alisonlinguistlist.org>

LINGUIST is pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new feature: Easy Abstracts! Easy Abs is a free abstract submission and review facility designed to help conference organizers and reviewers accept and process abstracts online. Just go to: http://www.linguistlist.org/confcustom, and begin your conference customization process today! With Easy Abstracts, submission and review will be as easy as 1-2-3!
        1.     Hanna de Vries , Properties and Optionality in Syntax and Semantics

Message 1: Properties and Optionality in Syntax and Semantics
Date: 08-Dec-2011
From: Hanna de Vries <h.devries1uu.nl>
Subject: Properties and Optionality in Syntax and Semantics
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Full Title: Properties and Optionality in Syntax and Semantics
Short Title: POSS2012

Date: 13-Feb-2012 - 14-Feb-2012
Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Contact Person: Hanna de Vries
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://www.hum.uu.nl/medewerkers/h.devries1/poss2012.htm

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories; Semantics; Syntax

Call Deadline: 10-Jan-2012

Meeting Description:

Workshop: Properties and Optionality in Syntax and Semantics
13-14 February 2012
Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Much research in linguistics over the last decades has involved various procedures of syntactic optionality, which work in parallel to intensional phenomena in semantics. Certain phenomena of optionality, e.g. of unspecified objects or by-phrases in passives, have been treated by assuming empty syntactic positions (Bach 1980, Landau 2010).

Other optionality phenomena, e.g. of verbal adjuncts, were traditionally treated in Montague Grammar using intensional properties, but are more standardly treated as involving modification in event semantics (Parsons 1990, Landman 2000). Even some cases of adjectival modification (e.g. skillful doctor, beautiful dancer) that were traditionally analyzed as involving properties have been argued to involve event modification (Larson 2002). Both theories of intensionality and event semantics take the modification process to be purely semantic and avoid any empty syntactic positions.

The variety of optionality and modification phenomena, and their intricate relations with intensional properties, lead to some hard puzzles about syntax and semantics:

1. Should there be a unified grammatical framework for analyzing phenomena of optionality?
2. Is there still a role for intensional properties in accounting for optionality effects?
3. How precise and elegant are current hypotheses about optionality in natural language grammar?

The workshop will examine these questions from the perspectives of formal syntax and semantics, and the formal philosophy of intensional properties.

Invited Speakers:

Philippe de Groote (INRIA): TBA
Thomas Ede Zimmermann (Frankfurt): TBA

Contributed Talks:

Chris Blom (Utrecht): ACG fragment for verbs with optional arguments
Hanna de Vries (Utrecht): Group distributivity and property-denoting indefinites
Marijana Marelj (Utrecht): Optionality and argument structure
Reinhard Muskens (Tilburg) and Noor van Leusen (Nijmegen): Events, Time, Worlds, Roles, Linking, and Variable Management
Yoad Winter (Utrecht): Property descriptions in locative PPs
Joost Zwarts (Utrecht): The role of events in adjective modification

In addition, there will be a number of slots reserved for solicited papers.


Depending of funding restrictions, presenters of selected talks may expect partial reimbursement of their trip and staying expenses.

Call for Papers:

We invite authors to submit an abstract (1 or 2 pages including references) for a 30-minute presentation (+10 minute discussion). Abstracts should be submitted via EasyChair:


Submission deadline: 10 January 2012
Notification: 17 January 2012

The Workshop on Properties and Optionality in Syntax and Semantics is part of a VICI program funded by NWO (Winter) and a Van Gogh grant (De Groote and Winter) funded by the Dutch-French Academy.

Selected References:

Bach 1980, 'In defense of passive', L&P 3.
Landau 2010, 'The explicit syntax of implicit arguments'. LI 41.
Landman 2000, Events and Plurality, Kluwer.
Larson 2002, 'The grammar of intensionality', in G. Preyer and G. Peter (eds.), Logical Form and Language, Clarendon Press.
Parsons 1990, Events in the Semantics of English, MIT Press.

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