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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities

Call for Papers

We invite abstracts for a two-day workshop organized by the Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft and the Research Unit on experimental syntax and heritage languages (HU Berlin) to be held on December 7-8 2017 at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.

The theme of the workshop is multi-verb constructions, also known as verb serialization ( cf. Aikhenvald & Dixon 2006, Aikhenvald & Muysken 2011). The most basic question these constructions pose for any grammatical theory is how multiple predication structures are put together. We therefore invite informed presentations that address some of the topics mentioned below from a (formal) semantic, syntactic and typological perspective, or a combination thereof.

We want to address the following questions: (i) how to combine multiple verbs or verbal roots into one clause? (ii) What are reliable tests for clausehood? (iii) How much functional structure does each verb have in the series (Veenstra & Muysken 2017)? (iv) What is the relation, if any, between serial verbs and light verbs (Hagemeijer 2001, Aboh 2009)? (v) how to analyze event argument serialization, in which the first predication seems to count as the external argument of the second predication?

Another important issue concerns argument sharing and the interpretation of overt NPs in the series. The question is whether the (semantic or syntactic) sharing of arguments is obligatory (Baker 1989). Is argument sharing a defining feature of the construction, or are the cross-linguistic patterns we observe due to language-specific restrictions on how verbs in the different languages combine?

Furthermore, what kind of semantic and syntactic functions can these verbs express or develop into, such as prepositions, complementizers, and the like (including grammaticalization paths of these categories).


Invited Speakers:

Diane Massam (Toronto)
Pieter Muysken (Nijmegen)
Kilu von Prince (HU Berlin)
Malte Zimmermann (Potsdam)
Anne Zribi-Hertz (Paris)



Prof. Artemis Alexiadou (HU Berlin & ZAS Berlin)
Dr. Tonjes Veenstra (ZAS Berlin)
Jens Hopperdietzel, M.A. (HU Berlin)


Call for Papers:

We invite abstracts for 30 minute talks (and 15 minutes for discussion) on empirical and theoretical approaches to the above issues. Abstracts should not exceed two pages (including references). Abstracts should be typed in at least 12-point font, with one-inch margins (letter-size; 8 1/2 by 11 or A4). Abstracts must be anonymous and submissions are limited to 1 individual and 1 joint abstract per author.

Deadline for abstract submission: June 30, 2017
Notification of acceptance: September 1, 2017
Please submit your abstract as pdf file (named: surname_mvc_2017.pdf).
Email: jens (dot) hopperdietzel (at) hu-berlin (dot) de