Syntactic Variation. A pragmatic view

A Hispanic Linguistics symposium with Scott Schwenter (Ohio State University)

KU Leuven, Friday January 12th 2018.

Faculty of Arts. Blijde Inkomststraat 21, 3000 Leuven. MSI 00.08

10:15 – 11:00 Malte Rosemeyer (KU Leuven) Opening
10:30 – 11:00 Bert Cornillie & Natalia Pericchi (KU Leuven) Indirect object doubling and textual prominence. Evidence from ditransitive dar ‘to give’ in Argentinian Spanish
11:00 – 11:30 Sofía Pérez, Pedro Gras & Frank Brisard (UAntwerpen) Insubordination, polifunctionality and language variation: on insubordinate subjunctive complement constructions in Spanish
11:30 – 12:00 Almudena Basanta & Lieve Vangehuchten (UAntwerpen) Past tenses in CSR discourse from Chile, Mexico and Spain: some useful insights for L2 learners
12:00 – 12:30 Discussion
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 14:30 Matti Marttinen Larsson (UGent) “Quiero dormir pero el prof está delante mío”: analyzing the morphosyntactic variation between possessive and prepositional complements in Spanish adverbial locatives with Twitter data
14:30 – 15:00 Miriam Bouzouita (UGent) “¿Vos gustas mío? Yo gusto tuyo.” On the use of possessive complements instead of prepositional ones in verbal contexts
15:00 – 16:00 Scott Schwenter (Ohio State University) The role of persistence effects in language variation and change
16:00 – 16:30 Discussion
16.30 – 17.30 Reception

Organizers: Bert Cornillie (KU Leuven) & Malte Rosemeyer (FWO- Vlaanderen – KU Leuven)

Contact and registration:

Experimental Methods in Language Acquisition Research XIV 2018

Lectures and Hands-on Tutorials on Methodological Aspects of Language Acquisition Research, especially designed for PhD students and advanced MA students.

EMLAR 2018 will take place from April 18th until April 20th at the University of Utrecht. Registration is possible until March 31st.

Keynote speaker: Jeffrey Lidz

Invited speakers: Beppie van den Bogaerde, Hans Rutger Bosker, Juliana Gerard, Ileana Grama, Paul Meara, Maria Carmen Parafita-Couto, and Paul Vogt!

Sign up at


Behavioral Methods in Infant Research| CHILDES | Computational Models | Ethical Decisions in Psycholinguistics | ERP | Eye Tracking: Reading | Eye Tracking: Visual World Paradigm | LENA & Analysis of Spontaneous Speech| LimeSurvey | Multilevel Analysis |New Statistics | PRAAT | SPSS | Statistics with R | Tools for Researching Vocabulary

PhD students are invited to present a poster!

For questions, email

Pluralia tantum and other wonders of the number system: a canonical analysis

CRISSP is happy to announce a new CRISSP Seminar with Greville Corbett on Thursday January 18, 2018.

Lecturer: Greville Corbett (University of Surrey)
Title: Pluralia tantum and other wonders of the number system: a canonical analysis
Date & time: Thursday January 18, 2018, 16.00-17.30
Location: KU Leuven, Faculty of Arts, room LETT 02.16
Participation: free

Pluralia tantum and other wonders of the number system: a canonical analysis

Greville Corbett

Pluralia tantum is a label for nouns which lack a singular when, in some sense, they should not. The fact that English binoculars has no singular is worth noting (that is, it is not predictable). True, there are other nouns denoting items consisting of two significant parts which behave similarly (spectacles, trousers, …); indeed they are subject to ‘middle-size generalizations’, (Koenig 1999). But there are two reasons to take note of binoculars and similar nouns. First, there are many English nouns equally denoting items consist- ing of two significant parts which are unremarkable in this respect: bicycle, bigraph, Bactrian camel, cou- ple, duo, …And second, there are languages with number systems roughly comparable to that of English in which the equivalent of binoculars is a normal count noun: Russian binokl’. Conversely, Russian sani ‘sleigh’ is a plurale tantum noun. How then do we talk of ‘one sleigh’ in Russian? These items are the en- try point to a collection of items, some with much stranger behaviour, lurking between the unexpectedly defective and the semi-predictable. Moreover, while pluralia tantum nouns are of continued interest in the general linguistic literature (see, for instance, Wisniewski 1999), it is typically only the English type which is considered. The aim, therefore, is to set out a fuller typology of these fascinating nouns, so that their significance can be more fully appreciated and analyses can be based on a better data set. I start from the notion of canonical noun, and demonstrate the different non-canonical properties according to a set of orthogonal criteria.