9th Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics

BCGL 9: Phase Theory
Brussels, December 13-14, 2016.

Contact Person: Will Harwood
Web Site: http://www.crissp.be/bcgl9

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Syntax

Meeting Description:

Throughout the history of generative grammar, there have been various ways of implementing locality effects, for example through Transformational Cycles (Chomsky 1965; Kayne 1969) or Barriers (Chomsky 1986). Phase Theory (Uriagereka 1999; Chomsky 2000, 2001) constitutes the most recent development in this line of thinking. It is often argued that there exist discrete structural domains in natural language that exhibit a degree of syntactic, semantic, and phonological independence from their surrounding linguistic environment. Phase Theory offers a tool for understanding such domains. However, since the inception of phases, there have been many different proposals about the specific formalization of this concept, along with much debate about the extent to which phases can be evidenced empirically (and indeed whether phases exist at all). The aim of this workshop is to discuss the empirical validity and theoretical specifics of Phase Theory. The questions and issues this workshop aims to address, include, but are not limited to the following:

1. What are the empirical diagnostics for phases and how reliable are these? Common diagnostics for phases are:
– (related to the narrow syntax) successive-cyclic movement (islands), agreement, binding conditions, quantifier scope, and parasitic gaps (Fox 1998; Nissenbaum 1998; Legate 2003);
– (related to the PF-interface) ellipsis (Holmberg 1999, 2001; Gengel 2007, 2008), and prosodic rule application (Sato 2009);
– (related to the LF-interface) idiomatic expressions (Svenonius 2005; Harwood & Temmerman 2015; Kim 2015).

2. What is the definition of a phase? Do phases correspond to sub-numerations (Chomsky 2000, 2001), spell-out domains and/or workspaces (Uriagereka 1999)? Or do they need to be defined in terms of e.g. Prolific Domains (Grohmann 2003), Layered Derivations (Zwart 2009), or Cyclic Linearization (Fox & Pesetsky 2003, 2005)? Related questions are: What is the timing of spell-out and what exactly is spelled out (Chomsky 2000, 2001; Fox & Pesetsky 2003, 2005; Richards 2011; Bošković 2014)?

3. What does the inventory of phases look like: CP, vP, DP, PP, …? Is the size of a phase fixed? Are phases rigid and absolute or context-sensitive (cf. Bošković (2013, 2014), Wurmbrand (2013) and Harwood (2015) for dynamic phases, Den Dikken (2007) for phase extension, and Gallego (2010) for phase sliding)?

4. To what extent do phases at one interface (necessarily) coincide with phases at another interface (Marušič 2005; d’Alessandro & Scheer 2015)?

CRISSP is proud to present the ninth installment of the Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics (BCGL), devoted to Phase Theory. We are pleased to announce that the following invited speakers have agreed to give a talk at BCGL 9:

  • Željko Bošković (UConn)
  • Julie Anne Legate (UPenn)
  • Gereon Müller (University of Leipzig)

BCGL 9 will be followed by CRISSP 10, a one-day workshop celebrating the 10th anniversary of the research institute CRISSP featuring invited presentations by Luigi Rizzi, Alec Marantz, and Angelika Kratzer, among others. For more details, please visit www.crissp.be/10

Conference Location:

CRISSP – KU Leuven Brussels Campus
Warmoesberg 26
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Conference Organizers:

Jeroen van Craenenbroeck
Will Harwood
Dany Jaspers
Cora Pots
Koen Roelandt
Jolijn Sonnaert
Tanja Temmerman
Guido Vanden Wyngaerd

Abstract Guidelines:

Abstracts should be anonymous, and submissions are limited to 2 per author, at least one of which must be co-authored. They must not exceed two pages, including data, references and diagrams. The font should be at least 11-point, with one-inch margins. They should be submitted as pdf-documents through EasyChair: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=bcgl9

Important Dates:

First call for papers: May 3, 2016.
Second call for papers: August 17, 2016.
Abstract submission deadline: September 1, 2016.
Notification of acceptance: October 1, 2016.