UiB : HF : LLE

Indo-European Case and Argument Structure in a Typological Perspective


Workshop: Variation and Change in Argument Realization


In collaboration with Michela Cennamo at the University of Naples, the IECASTP project at UiB organizes a workshop on Variation and Change in Argument Realization:

Invited Speakers:

  • Balthasar Bickel (University of Leipzig)
  • Mirjam Fried (Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague)
  • Adam Ledgeway (University of Cambridge)
  • Ranko Matasovic (University of Zagreb)
Date: 27–30 May 2010
Location: Naples and Capri, Italy
Location in Naples: Centro Congressi, Via Partenope 36, 80121 Napoli
Location in Capri: Centro Internazionale per la Cultura Scientifica "Villa Orlandi", Via G. Orlandi, Anacapri – Napoli
Call for papers: Research on the nature of argument structure and the factors determining its encoding and representation has highlighted the complex interplay of semantic, syntactic and pragmatic factors that determine argument realization within and across languages (cf. Cennamo 2003, Levin and Rappaport Hovav 2005, Bentley 2006, Goldberg 2006, Barðdal 2006, 2008, Ramchand 2008, Van Valin 2009, among others). The consensus view emerging from a large body of synchronic research acknowledges the key roles played by event-based notions such as aspect (e.g., telicity, incremental theme) and control, and inherent features of argument fillers, such as animacy and definiteness, in determining the mapping from the lexical semantic to the morphosyntactic planes. The existence of non-event based aspects in the encoding of arguments has also prompted current investigation of the contribution of the idiosyncratic (the root) and structural facets (the event-structure templates) of the meaning of verbs to argument realization, and the principles governing their integration (Rappaport Hovav 2008).

This workshop aims at exploring these issues from a diachronic and variational perspective (cf. Barðdal and Chelliah 2009, Cennamo 2009), bringing together different strands of research on event/argument structure, as reflected in the choice of key-note speakers, and focusing on:

a) the applicability of current models, whether typological, projectionist, constructional, neo-constructional, co-compositional, and others, on actual diachronic changes and variational data from different domains, such as auxiliary selection, argument marking and linking, ditransitives, the conative, locative, (anti)causative alternation, etc.

b) the predictions they make as to the progression and actualization of change, for instance whether syntactic aspects are affected earlier by change than lexical aspects, the role played by pragmatic notions, frequency, etc.

c) the generalizations offered for recurrent patterns of variation and change, and the uniformity encountered.

Contributions are invited from scholars of different theoretical persuasions for discussion on the general and specific implications of different theoretical models on argument/event structure in a diachronic and/or variational perspective, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • voice
  • case-marking and grammatical relations
  • (in)transitive alternations
  • split intransitivity
  • existential/presentative constructions

Please send your abstracts of 500 words or less to Eystein Dahl (Eystein.Dahl@uib.no). Abstracts should be sent no later than 15 December 2009, preferably in pdf-format. A response on abstracts will be sent out no later than 20 January 2010.


  • Barðdal, J. 2006. Construction-specific properties of syntactic subjects in Icelandic and German. Cognitive Linguistics 17 (1): 39-106.
  • Barðdal, J. 2008. Productivity: Evidence from Case and Argument Structure in Icelandic . Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Barðdal, J. and S. L. Chelliah (eds.). 2009. The Role of Semantic, Pragmatic, and Discourse Factors in the Development of Case . Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Bentley, D. 2006. Split intransitivity in Italian . Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Cennamo, M. 2003. (In)transitivity and object marking: some current issues. In G. Fiorentino (ed.), Romance Objects , Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 49-104.
  • Cennamo, M. 2009. Argument structure and alignment variations and changes in Late Latin. In Barðdal, J. and S. L. Chelliah (eds.), 307-346.
  • Goldberg, A. E. 2006. Constructions at Work: The Nature of Generalization in Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press .
  • Levin, B. and M. Rappaport Hovav 2005. Argument Realization . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Ramchand, G. C. 2008. Verb Meaning and the Lexicon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Rappaport Hovav, M. 2008. Lexicalized meaning and the internal temporal structure of events. In Rothstein (ed.), Crosslinguistic and Theoretical Approaches to the Semantics of Aspect. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 13-42.
  • Van Valin, R. D. 2009. Lexical representation, co-composition, and linking syntax and semantics. J. Pustejovsky & P. Bullion (eds.), New Developments in the Generative Lexicon. Dordrecht: Kluwer. To appear.












Jóhanna Barðdal, Principal Investigator
Dept. of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies, UiB
Box 7805
NO-5020 Bergen
Phone +47-55 58 24 38
Fax +47-55 58 96 60
johanna.barddal at uib.no

    Updated May 4, 2010 by JB


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