Abstract deadline approaching: Structure of Amazonian Languages II conference

The deadline for abstract submissions for this exciting-sounding conference is drawing nigh. Abstracts are due August 15, and the CFP makes it sound like open spots are scarce. The full announcement and CFP are available via Linguistlist (here), and I’ve also included the Announcement and CFP below:

The Structure of the Amazonian Languages II

Location: Recife, Brazil
Start Date: 24-Nov-2008 – 28-Nov-2008
Contact: Stella Telles

Meeting Description: This conference is the second of a series of three meetings, as part of a cooperation initiative between the CELIA Paris, UFAM Manaus, Leiden University, and the VU University Amsterdam research centers. The themes to be discussed at the second meeting are ‘nominalization’ and ‘word-prosodic systems’. Although the nature of the meeting is that of a seminar for which part of the contributors are individually invited, there is space in the program for non-invited speakers, which we wish to encourage submitting a paper through this call. In addition, the meeting is open for students and scholars that are interested in assisting without presenting a paper.

Call for Papers

Call Deadline: 15-Aug-2008
Call for Papers

The conference themes are:

Nominalization and Subordination

Since deverbal nouns have the ability to recover the arguments of their finite counterpart, nominalization is one of the procedures that languages make use of to put a verbal predicate in a position of dependence with regard to another predicate. The link between nominalization and subordination is more or less tight cross-linguistically. Very visible in Turkish, Tzeltal, or Arabic, it is pervasive in the Amazonian languages.

Several typological issues must be addressed in considering the relation between subordination and nominalization. First, the way in which the recovery of arguments is achieved, since the case assigner is a noun. When the nominalization concerns a transitive verb, one observes a relatively general tendency for ergative alignment, which has a direct incidence on the way syntactic pivots are established between the main clause and the subordinate clause. Second, the loss of the finiteness properties of the verb and the acquirement of typical nominal categories (gender-classes, quantification, definiteness) can reveal a continuum the landmarks of which have to be stated language particularly. Since the deverbal construct generates a noun phrase, the subordination markers will often be recovered from the inventory of adposition type relational markers. With respect to relativization, the designation ”headless relative” sometimes obscures the necessary distinction between a clause in a modifier position in a noun dominated phrase and a deverbal noun in the same syntactic dependent position. Moreover, in languages that allow a certain degree of choice in discourse between a finite dependent clause and a deverbal modifier, the semantic and pragmatic correlates of each option must be highlighted. The diachronic recovery of finiteness properties by deverbal forms, often accomplished through a reanalysis of the nominal morphology, may cause changes in the alignment patterns. More specifically, the study of the relations between nominalization and subordination, if taking into account the so-called masdar form in the Arabic grammatical tradition, is very well-suited to shed a new light on that hybrid form known from many Tupi and Jê languages, which the tradition of Tupi-Guarani studies calls ”indicative 2”.

Word-Prosodic Systems

An assessment of any typological feature in South American indigenous linguistics is premature. Although for certain families (e.g. Tupi-Guarani) available descriptions are sufficiently good and numerous to allow for interesting family-wide observations, for many others there is almost nothing. This is especially true regarding the characteristics of the word-prosodic systems (stress or tone based) that exist in the Amazonian languages. Even among the ‘well-documented’ languages, very few have had their word-prosodies analyzed in a meaningful way. The descriptions are mostly sketchy, sometimes no more than a generic statement and contain few, if any, examples. A systematic consideration of word-level stress and/ or tonal patterns including detailed accounts of morphological or lexical conditioning is rarely encountered. Terms such as ‘pitch accent’ are used often with a vague definition and are employed to refer to systems that are very dissimilar. For this conference we wish to invite papers that present detailed analyses of word-prosodic systems in the Amazonian languages, preferentially based on laboratory evidence.

The abstract should be no longer than 2 pages including examples and bibliography, single spaced, Times New Roman, pitch 12. The abstract should be send in both Word/W and PdF formats to the local organizers.

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