06 December 2015

Call for papers: Semantic Contribution of Det and Num

Workshop title: Semantic Contribution of Det and Num. (In)definiteness, genericity and referentiality 

May 27 and 28, 2016. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona  

Workshop description: 

The structure and interpretation of nominal phrases of different syntactic and semantic complexity have been among the most extensively studied topics in linguistics in the past decades. The literature has established various syntax-semantic mappings of noun phrases to express (in)definiteness and genericity across languages, stemming from the classical studies on the topics (Carlson 1977, Kamp 1981, Heim 1982). Much of the syntactic literature, adopting the DP Hypothesis of Abney (1987), has been devoted to the internal architecture of the DP (cf. Longobardi 1994, Zamparelli 2000, Borer 2005, Alexiadou 2014). Yet another much discussed issue is the derivation of referential properties of nominal phrases and the syntactic and semantic ingredients involved (e.g., articles, type-shifting, number specification, mass and count distinction, etc.) in building different types of referentiality (Chierchia 1998, Bouchard 2002, Dayal 2004, Cheng 2012, Aguilar-Guevara et al. 2014, Dobrovie-Sorin and Beyssade 2014, among many others). Recently, a number of experimental studies have been carried out which complement the theoretical investigation (cf. Ionin 2015). 

In this workshop we aim at bringing together researchers involved in the study of nominals, nominalization, genericity, specificity and indefiniteness in theoretical and experimental linguistics. We welcome work on formal syntax and semantics of nominal phrases in natural languages, focusing specifically on the role of Determiner(s) and Number in establishing referential properties of the nominal phrase. We also encourage submissions on experimental studies on production/processing and L1 and L2 acquisition of referentiality, article systems and genericity. 

Particular topics to be addressed in the workshop include, but are not limited to, questions like the following:

1.     What is the structure of nominal expressions in languages with and without articles?

2.      To what extent the count / mass distinction is related to the presence / absence of Number?

3       What is the semantic contribution of Det and Num? How is this contribution achieved in languages with no overt determiners and no Number specification?

4.      Why do languages that allow bare nominals and / or null articles also allow weak and expletive definites? How are these distinctions expressed in a language with no articles? What is the contribution to meaning of weak and expletive articles?

5.     Where is Number to be interpreted within the nominal domain? Is there a parametric distinction between languages that interpret Num on N and languages that interpret Num on D?

6.      How do different languages refer to kind entities? Should a distinction be made between kind entities and pluralities of individual objects? How do these differences relate to Number specification?

7.      What is the semantic contribution of indefinite determiners? What are the elements that make possible for an indefinite expression to contribute to indefiniteness, I-genericity or D-genericity?

8.      Is the taxonomic distinction between kinds and subkinds linguistically relevant? Which are the elements that may constrain linguistically either a kind or a subkind reading?

9.      How are nominal expressions interpreted at different stages in the acquisition of L1 and L2?10.    How does the interpretation of quantifiers interact with the funcional structure within the nominal domain, and more specifically with the presence / absence of a definite article? 

Invited speakers: 

Artemis Alexiadou (Humboldt University)

Tania Ionin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Lisa Cheng (Leiden University)

Ora Matushansky (CNRS / Université de Paris 8)

Claire Beyssade (Université de Paris 8)

Florian Schwarz (University of Pennsylvania) 

Call for Papers

We invite abstracts for 45 minutes presentations (35-minute talk plus 10 minutes discussion) that address any of the topics above or related questions. Abstracts should be anonymous and not exceed 2 pages (A4 format), including examples and references, using a 12pt font with 2.5 cm (1 inch) margins on all for sides. Please send your abstracts electronically in pdf-format by December 15, 2015 to the following email address: cr.clt@uab.cat and include your name, affiliation and the title of the abstract in the body of the e-mail. 

Important dates

Deadline for abstract submission: December 15, 2015

Notification of acceptance: February 1, 2016

Final programme: February 29, 2016

Workshop: May 27-28, 2016 

Scientific committee: Artemis Alexiadou, Claire Beyssade, Olga Borik, Lisa Cheng, Sonia Cyrino, M.Teresa Espinal, Tania Ionin, Urtzi Etxeberria, Ora Matushansky, Florian Schwartz, Xavier Villalba. 

Organizers: Olga Borik and M.Teresa Espinal. Centre de Lingüística Teòrica. UAB.