Light verb constructions in Germanic languages

17-18 November 2017, Université Saint-Louis, Bruxelles

Deadline extension for submission of abstracts: 30 July 2017

Aims and scope

The German term “Funktionsverbgefüge” (‘light verb construction’; LVC) designates a combination of a noun phrase (with or without a preposition) with a light verb. The nominal and the verbal constituents build a semantic unit, e.g. German zur Entscheidung kommen, in Verbindung setzen, English to make a decision, to take a look and Dutch in aanmerking komen, ter beschikking staan. LVCs constitute an interesting research topic which can be studied from different perspectives. They can express different aspectual dimensions (causative, durative, inchoative, etc.), are more or less suitable for passivization and sometimes fill a semantic gap. Interesting research issues include their definition, the delimitation criteria – for instance between collocations and LVCs – as well as the typology of their constituents (preposition, article, nominal constituent and light verb). LVCs are also in competition with simple verbs and the question arises whether both ways of expression are interchangeable and semantically identical. From a more applied perspective, LVCs constitute a great challenge for foreign language learners. More specifically, the selection of a specific light verb, which can be among others a posture or placement verb like German stehen, setzen, versetzen, etc., is far from easy for learners. In spite of similarities between Germanic languages like German, Dutch and English, there are several differences in the formation and the use of these constructions. This makes a comparison of LVCs within Germanic and other languages another interesting issue.

The aim of this conference is to bring together researchers who are interested in the study of LVCs from different perspectives. We welcome submissions dealing with issues such as the following (but not exclusively):

  • criteria for the delimitation between LVCs and collocations
  • the syntactic structure of LVCs/Typology of their constituents
  • posture and placement verbs in LVCs
  • the semantics of prepositions in LVCs
  • LVCs vs. simple verbs
  • aspectual differences
  • comparison of LVCs between Germanic languages and/or other languages

Abstract submission 

Submissions are welcome for 25-minute oral presentations (including 5 minutes for questions) and posters. Conference languages: German and English. Abstracts of no more than 500 words (+ references) can be sent by email to until 30 July 2017.

Please include the following information in the main body of your email: author’s name, affiliation, email address, presentation title and preferred mode of presentation (oral presentation or poster). Notification of acceptance will be sent on 20 August 2017. Continue reading