The syntax of argument structure has been the focus of a number of empirical studies investigating phenomena such as the causative alternation (Fadlon 2014), unaccusativity (Keller & Sorace 2003, Hirsch & Wagner 2011, Irwin 2013, Verhoeven & Kügler 2014), ergativity (Longenbaugh & Polinsky 2013), argument hierarchies and argument realization (Bornkessel et al. 2005, Lamers & de Swart (eds.) 2012), the dative alternation (Bresnan et al. 2007), inherent vs. structural case (Jacobsen 2000, Bayer et al. 2001), psych predicates (Lamers & de Hoop 2014, Verhoeven 2014, 2015), etc. Such studies provide interesting but potentially controversial contributions to linguistic theory: some discover gradience in the verbal lexicon that can only be precisely measured with quantitative methods (see e.g., Keller & Sorace 2003); others claim that properties attributed to verbal syntax are an epiphenomenon of other layers of grammar (see e.g., Hirsch & Wagner 2011); yet other studies show reflexes of core properties of verbal syntax in processing (see e.g. Polinsky et al. 2012 on ergativity).
The workshop will address the following issues:
- Does the progress in empirical methods promise theoretical advancements in the syntax of argument structure? In particular, do empirical data obtained through corpus or experimental methods confirm/reject/validate evidence previously gained through linguistic intuitions?
- A major shortcoming of experimental and corpus data is that they contain artefacts associated with sources of variation that are external to the grammar. How can we distinguish between grammatically relevant information and grammar-external variation that is involved in experimental or corpus data?
- Theoretical accounts make a distinction between core grammatical properties and linguistic properties attributed to processing. How can this distinction be established by experimental data?
This workshop brings together theoretical linguists, corpus linguists, and psycholinguists that are interested in the syntax of argument structure and employ precise empirical methods in building theories thereof.
The conference website is available here: DGfS 2016
For details about other sessions, registration, travel, etc., visit the DGfS 2016 conference website.