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

Morphology Days 2017 – First Call for Papers

November 23-24, 2017

Université catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

Morphology Days is a (nearly) biennial international meeting which deals with morphology within different frameworks and in various perspectives. Previous successful editions of this conference have taken place in Leuven (2015), Leeuwarden (2013), Leiden (2012), Nijmegen (2011), Luik (2009) and Amsterdam (2007).

The next edition of the conference will take place at the Université catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium) on November 23-24, 2017.

We invite papers dealing with issues in morphology for a presentation in the main sessions of the conference.

Keynote speakers
Hélène Giraudo (Université de Toulouse)
Laura Michaelis (University of Colorado at Boulder)
Freek Van de Velde (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)

Abstract submission
We invite abstracts in English (500 words maximum, excluding bibliography). Each abstract will be reviewed anonymously by the scientific committee.
Abstract submission:

Important dates
Deadline for abstract submission: June 1, 2017
Notification of decision: September 1, 2017
Program available: September 15, 2017

Organizing Committee
Philippe Hiligsmann (Université catholique de Louvain)
Kristel Van Goethem (F.R.S.- FNRS & Université catholique de Louvain)
Laurent Rasier (Université de Liège)
Nikos Koutsoukos (Université catholique de Louvain)
Isa Hendrikx (Université catholique de Louvain)
Camille Spinhayer (F.R.S.- FNRS & Université catholique de Louvain)

Scientific committee
Dany Amiot (Université de Lille)
Jenny Audring (Universiteit Leiden)
Geert Booij (Universiteit Leiden)
Marie-Aude Lefer (Université catholique de Louvain)
Torsten Leuschner (Universiteit Gent)
Daniela Marzo (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
Matthias Hüning (Freie Universität Berlin)
Joachim Sabel (Université catholique de Louvain)
Barbara Schlücker (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn)
Ton van der Wouden (Meertens Instituut & Leiden University)

Kristel Van Goethem:

Journée linguistique 2017

Nouvelle date limite pour la soumission : 31 mars 2017

Comme chaque année, le CBL (Cercle Belge de Linguistique) organise une journée linguistique. Cette année la conférence aura lieu le vendredi 5 mai 2017 à la Faculté de Lettres et Philosophie de l’Université d’Anvers. Toutes les activités (communications et déjeuner) auront lieu dans le bâtiment D (entrée par le coin de Grote Kauwenberg et Vekestraat ou par Grote Kauwenberg).


Les communications (20’ de présentation + 10’ de discussion) peuvent traiter d’un sujet linguistique quelconque et peuvent se faire dans une des trois langues nationales (néerlandais, français, allemande) ou en anglais. Les propositions (max. 500 mots, sans références) doivent indiquer clairement le sujet, les objectifs, les données et la méthode utilisées ainsi que les résultats (provisoires). Toutes les propositions (avec le nom et l’affiliation des auteurs) peuvent être envoyées à Jessica Van de Weerd ( avec Patrick Dendale en cc. (, jusqu’au vendredi 31 mars 2017. Avant le 14 avril 2017 vous serez mis au courant de l’acceptation de votre proposition.


La participation à la journée linguistique est gratuite pour les membres ainsi que pour les non-membres. Ceux qui veulent faire une communication doivent être membres (c’est-à-dire ceux qui ont rempli la fiche d’adhésion et payé la cotisation (€ 20 ou € 40 pour ceux qui veulent obtenir le dernier volume du Belgian Journal of Linguistics) pour l’année 2017).


Comme l’année passée, cette année il y aura également un prix pour la meilleure présentation par un doctorant. Si vous désirez participer, vous devez le mentionner lors de la soumission de votre proposition.

Dates importantes:

  • 24 mars 2017: date limite pour la soumission – nouvelle date : 31 mars 2017
  • 14 avril 2017: confirmation d’acceptation
  • 28 avril 2017: date limite pour l’inscription pour le déjeuner
  • 5 mai 2017: Journée Linguistique

Organisation: Jessica Van de Weerd et Patrick Dendale

English spoken: The position of English in Brussels

May 30, 2017

Université Saint-Louis, Brussels, Belgium



Located in a Germanic dialectal area as attested by all historical toponyms, Brussels has known over the centuries an increasing influence of French that culminated in the 19th century when French became de facto the language of the newly funded Belgian state. That state of affairs discriminated against speakers of Dutch dialects, which led to claims for linguistic equality that is still being pursued through the reforms of the Belgian State. Since 1989, Brussels is officially bilingual (French-Dutch). However this status does not reflect the linguistic diversity of the capital city where over 100 languages are spoken according to the latest “Taalbarometer” (Janssens 2013) nor the influence of English that is the second best known language after French.

The presence of English as a world language is well documented in metropolises but it may have found in Brussels a very fertile ground due to the presence of EU- and international institutions but also due to its increasing instrumental value as a lingua franca between French- and Dutch-speaking Belgians.

Call for Papers

Yet, the position of English in Brussels is under-documented and the first aim of this research day is to offer a better overview of the prevalence and functions of English in Brussels. More specifically, the following questions among many others could be discussed:

  • In what domains – for instance business, advertisement, (higher) education, the media… – is English used in Brussels?
  • Is the use of English widespread or restricted to specific geographical areas?
  • Where and how is English visible in Brussels? How prevalent is it in the linguistic landscape? What is its share in the local media?
  • Among which groups is it used? Is it the prerogative of highly educated expats or is it reaching other parts of the population such as recent migrants? Could it become an intra-national lingua franca between Dutch- and French-speakers?
  • What are the attitudes towards English? Is it welcome as a prestige marker or a useful neutral lingua franca or is it resented as a foreign influence?
  • What are the characteristics of the English spoken in Brussels? Is it a foreign language relying on British or American norms or is it turning into a second language with local features as may be the case in EU institutions and their ‘Euro-Speak’? Could the recent Brexit influence the future of English in Brussels?

The research day is primarily intended to facilitate cross-disciplinary discussions as a starting point for a large scale research project on English in Brussels.

Proposals of 400 words (+ references) for 20-minute papers (+ 10 minutes discussion) are invited by March 31, 2017 through Easy Abstracts (

Further Information

Languages of the research day: Dutch, English, French with written support in one of the other two languages.

Participation is free but enrolment is compulsory.

Organisers: Emmanuelle Labeau (Aston University, Birmingham, UK) and Rudi Janssens (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, B)

With the support of SESLA (Université Saint-Louis, Bruxelles), CLaRA (Aston University), BRIO, Brussels Studies Institute.

Call for papers Translation in Transition 3

After successful editions in Copenhagen in 2014 and Germersheim in 2015, we are pleased to announce that the third Translation in Transition Conference will be held on July 13-14, 2017 at the department of Translation, Interpreting and Communication of Ghent University (Belgium).
The ongoing digitalisation of our world has caused translation to transition from a mostly manual task to a semi- or even fully automated task. Translation research has gone through a comparable transition, with advanced research methods and statistics allowing researchers to study the translation process and product more thoroughly than ever, thereby bridging the gap between related fields as corpus linguistics, computational linguistics, psycholinguistics and bilingualism studies. Within this rapidly evolving field, the traditional dividing line between translation as written text production and interpreting as oral text production has been blurred and there are now numerous areas of research and methodological frameworks that are common to both Translation and Interpreting Studies (TIS). For instance, Translation Studies in recent years has taken an interest in the cognitive processes underlying translation, a field that was previously mainly occupied by interpreting scholars. On the other hand, Interpreting Studies, inspired by developments in translation research, has recently undergone an empirical turn with the compilation of interpreting corpora and a renewed focus on interpreting as a product. Despite these obvious advances in the field, many empirical and theoretical challenges remain: how, for instance, do written translation and interpreting relate to each other, taken both from a product and a process point of view? What are similarities and differences between translation and interpreting, what do these reveal about the nature of these translation modes and how do they inform translation theories? Which theories are available to interpret empirical findings consistently and coherently? How would an empirical theory of translation and interpreting look like? And what about other translation modes, such as audiovisual translation and localisation: how do these relate empirically to written translation and interpreting? Finally, how do technological advances (such as CAT or post-editing) shape the translational product and process? By acknowledging the recent changes in both translation and interpreting research, TT3 takes a step to overcome these challenges.

9th Brussels Conference on Generative Linguistics

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

Contact Person: Will Harwood
Web Site:

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)? Continue reading

AFLiCo 7 – Discours, Cognition & Constructions: Implications & Applications

7e Colloque International de l’Association française de Linguistique cognitive
31 mai-3 juin 2017 Liège (Belgique)


L’objectif principal de ce colloque consiste à confirmer et à renforcer le réseau de collaboration et de discussion des chercheurs en linguistique cognitive, en France dans un cadre international, comme ont pu le faire les colloques AFLiCo précédents à Bordeaux (2005), Lille (2007), Nanterre (2009), Lyon (2011), Lille (2013) et Grenoble (2015), et les journées JET à Bordeaux (2010) et Paris (2012, 2014 et 2016).


  • Myriam Bouveret (Université de Rouen & CNRS)
  • Barbara Dancygier (University of British Columbia, Canada)
  • Nicole Delbecque (KU Leuven, Belgium)
  • Sandra Halverson (Bergen University College, Norway)
  • Peter Harder (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • Nick Riches (Newcastle University, UK)

Continue reading

(Dis)Fluency2017: Fluency and disfluency across languages and language varieties

Call for Papers

15-17 February 2017
University of Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
Fluency and disfluency have attracted a great deal of attention in different areas of linguistics such as language acquisition or psycholinguistics. They have been investigated through a wide range of methodological and theoretical frameworks, including corpus linguistics, experimental pragmatics, perception studies and natural language processing, with applications in the domains of language learning, teaching and testing, human/machine communication and business communication.
Spoken and signed languages are produced and comprehended online, with typically very little time to plan ahead. As a result, they are often characterized by features such as (filled and unfilled) pauses, discourse markers, repeats and self-repairs, which can be said to reflect on-going mechanisms of processing and monitoring. The role of these items is ambivalent, as they can both be a symptom of encoding difficulties and a sign that the speaker is trying to help the hearer decode the message. They should thus be interpreted in context to identify their contribution to fluency and/or disfluency, which can be viewed as two faces of the same phenomenon.
Within the frame of a research project entitled “Fluency and disfluency markers. A multimodal contrastive perspective” (see, the universities of Louvain and Namur have been involved in a large-scale usage-based study of (dis)fluency markers in spoken French, L1 and L2 English, and French Belgian Sign Language (LSFB), with a focus on variation according to language, speaker and genre. To close this five-year research project, an international conference will be organized in Louvain-la-Neuve on the subject of fluency and disfluency across languages and language varieties.

Continue reading

Constructed | Constructive Journalism

8-9 December 2016
Brussels Institute for Journalism Studies (BIJU)
Department of Applied Linguistics
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium

Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2016

Plenary speakers
Cathrine Gyldensted (Windesheimhogeschool Zwolle, The Netherlands)
Peter Bull (University of York, UK)

This conference aims at bringing together researchers from different backgrounds investigating construction in journalism. We define construction in a twofold way. On the one hand, there is the perspective of journalism as an interpretive and discursive construction of social reality which goes back to postmodern and poststructuralist approaches. In this view, news is the product of linguistic and journalistic choices with possible ideological implications. A recent interpretation of this approach focuses on the deconstruction of the idea of the journalist as an ‘objective’ gatekeeper by pointing out new and hybrid roles like that of storyteller, activist or opinion leader. Likewise, the discursive construction of ‘reality’ has evolved along with the development of grassroots and participatory types of journalism afforded by new media technologies. Contemporary analyses have responded to, and moved beyond postmodern and poststructuralist thinking by initiating a ‘both/neither’ dialogue between notions of deconstruction and reconstruction.

On the other hand, there is the perspective of journalism as a constructive activity. Whereas journalistic practice traditionally was defined as impartial and detached, many practitioners and scholars nowadays adhere to the vision that journalists should not only point out problems, but should also play an active role in proposing solutions. Also, in the constructive view, journalists should not ruminate the negative aspects of the news, but they should try to bring untold and affirmative stories. Constructive journalism draws on insights from positive psychology and reception studies and purports to frame news by involving and connecting audiences. Inclusion is an important topic within this perspective, not only as covered in political news but also in all other beats (sports, culture, lifestyle, etc.). Constructive journalism can be related to other approaches of journalism, such as slow journalism, hyperlocal, activist, citizen and peace journalism.

We want to encourage participants to engage in a critical discussion of constructed and/or constructive forms of journalism and to also consider possible overlap and tensions or interactions between both forms. Is constructiveness a construction just like objectivity, adversarialness, neutrality or neutralism? Does construction sometimes occur with constructive purposes? What are the boundaries between constructive journalism and biased forms of communication or even activism? The role of social media and alternative media in this process will be a special point of interest. Continue reading

Appel à communications journée de linguistique annuelle du CBL

Cher membre du CBL,

Call for papers

Call deadline: 25 mars 2015

Comme chaque année, le CBL (Cercle Belge de Linguistique) organise une journée linguistique. L’édition de cette année aura lieu le samedi 9 mai 2015 à la Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles.

Tous les membres du CBL (c’est-à-dire tous ceux qui ont à tout le moins rempli la fiche d’adhésion et payé la cotisation pour l’année 2015) peuvent présenter une communication (20’ + 10’ discussion). La cotisation annuelle du CBL est de 40 euros (en ce compris un volume du Belgian Journal of Linguistics), ou de 20 euros sans revue. De plus amples informations sur l’adhésion au CBL sont disponibles sur

Les communications peuvent porter sur n’importe quelle question linguistique et peuvent se faire dans une des langues nationales (français, néerlandais, allemand) ou en anglais. Une sélection des communications sera publiée sur le site web du CBL dans la revue électronique Travaux du Cercle Belge de Linguistique.

Les propositions de communication (de 500 mots maximum, références non comprises) doivent préciser le sujet, l’approche et la méthodologie. Les propositions peuvent être envoyées, avec le nom du ou des auteur(s), ainsi que l’affiliation à Philippe De Brabanter (, jusqu’au mercredi 25 mars 2015. La confirmation d’acceptation se fera avant le 10 avril 2015.

La participation à la journée est gratuite. Les personnes désirant participer à la journée linguistique sans communication, sont priées de s’inscrire avant le 20 avril auprès de Philippe De Brabanter. Les contributeurs dont le résumé a été accepté sont automatiquement inscrits.


Philippe De Brabanter & Emma Vanden Wyngaerd