29-30 March 2021, University of Amsterdam / online
- Gerrit Jan Kootstra (Radboud University Nijmegen)
- Alena Witzlack-Makarevich (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
In many languages grammatical relations are to some extent lexically restricted, in the sense that certain verbs or verb classes take different argument coding frames than others. While such constraints are well studied for “non-canonical” case marking (e.g. Tsunoda 1985, Aikhenvald et al. 2001, Bickel et al. 2014, Malchukov & Comrie 2015), they have also been reported for grammatical relations defining other types of constructions, including a range of voice- and valency-related constructions (e.g. Polinsky 2013, Vigus 2018, Olthof et al. forthcoming, Say in prep.), as well as some clause-combining constructions. To illustrate the latter, the split-S alignment pattern in Acehnese main clauses is also relevant for control constructions (Durie 1987), while in Chickasaw lexical restrictions on agreement in main clauses do not carry over to the switch-reference system (Munro & Gordon 1982).
Having limited applicability, lexical restrictions can be said to be disadvantageous from a processing perspective, since they increase, potentially even multiply, the number of rules of a language. Yet many languages seem to have lexical restrictions in one way or another. This raises questions about why these restrictions should exist in the first place, and about why, how, and where they persist in languages. Shedding light on these issues requires not only a cross-linguistic understanding of lexical restrictions in language use, but also thinking beyond the linguistic system proper. This includes addressing questions about the cognitive nature of lexical restrictions, e.g. about their role in language processing or language acquisition, but also about their cultural-historical behavior in different genealogical and areal contexts.
With this workshop, therefore, we aim to stimulate the conversation between different (sub)disciplines, bringing together descriptive, comparative, corpus-based, and experimental studies, as well as multi-disciplinary studies that compare linguistic data with genetic and/or socio-historical evidence. In sum, we welcome contributions that address, among others, the following questions:
- What lexical constraints on language-specific constructions defining grammatical relations exist, especially constructions related to voice/valency and clause combining?
- Do lexical concepts cluster in terms of their behavior in similar constructions across languages (of a particular family or area)? Can such clusters be connected to certain semantic features?
- How are lexical constraints on grammatical relations distributed across time and space?
- How does this distribution compare with genetic and socio-historical evidence?
- How are such constraints acquired and used in language production and comprehension?
- How do lexical constraints play out as statistical preferences as reflected in corpus data?
Please submit a one-page abstract (with references and/or examples/graphics allowed on a separate page), no later than December 14th 2020, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notification of acceptance will be given January 22nd 2021.
Please note that the workshop will take a hybrid format, accommodating both on-site and on-line presentations. All on-site presentations will be live-streamed.
Aikhenvald, A. Y., R. M. W. Dixon & M. Onishi (eds.). 2001. Non-canonical marking of subjects and objects. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Bickel, B., T. Zakharko, L. Bierkandt & A. Witzlack-Makarevich. 2014. Semantic role clustering: an empirical assessment of semantic role types in non-default case assignment. Studies in Language 38, 485–511.
Durie, Mark. 1987. Grammatical relations in Acehnese. Studies in Language 11, 365–399.
Malchukov, A. & B. Comrie (eds.). 2015. Valency classes in the world’s languages. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton.
Polinsky, M. 2013. Antipassive constructions. In M.S. Dryer & M. Haspelmath (eds.), The world atlas of language structures online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Munro, Pamela & Lynn Gordon. 1982. Syntactic relations in Western Muskogean. Language 58, 81–115.
Olthof, M. et al. Forthcoming. Verb-based restriction on noun-incorporation across languages. Linguistic Typology.
Say, S. In prep. The antipassive derivation and the lexical meaning of the verb.
Tsunoda, T. 1985. Remarks on transitivity. Journal of Linguistics 21(2). 385–396.
Vigus, M. 2018. Antipassive constructions: Correlations of form and function across languages. Linguistic Typology 22(3). 339-384.