CRISCO

Normandie Université, Université de Caen Normandie, April 3-4 2018

Colloque Information Structure and Language Change

Organised by the CRISCO research centre


Introduction

Research into language change has identified a number of determinant factors. There is a growing body of evidence that change affecting major syntactic phenomena like word order involves an informational dimension at some stage(s) of the process. This has been claimed to apply to the prototypical syntactic marking of speech-acts (in situ partial interrogatives, loss of inversion for total interrogatives in French), V2 loss (e.g. work by A. van Kemenade & B. Los for English), increasing contextual restriction of OV order (e.g. Taylor & Pintzuk 2012 for English) and Stylistic Fronting (work by Fischer i.a.). While local correlations between word-order change and information structure have been observed, conditions of interface between the two orders of representation remain to be established. The idea that configurations satisfy informational requirements when they lose syntactic currency seems conceptually appealing in explaining how such configurations become marked (on a recent approach to marked and default word order, see e.g. Biberauer 2016). Whether a characterised informational value is the cause or the consequence of change in syntactic currency remains to be empirically assessed however, requiring a robust diagnostic of informational value in historical resources that reliably reflect effective change.

The purpose of this conference is to advance the current understanding of the general role(s) of Information Structure for language change. The focus is on word order evolution in Germanic and Romance. Proposals are invited, spelling out the research problem and background, the notions and criteria, the method and data, the key findings and their relevance for the meeting. Irrespective of theoretical persuasion, abstracts are expected to spell out an explanatory dimension with a strong empirical support. The two-page anonymous abstract is to be submitted in the Sciencesconf page of the conference ; an indication should be provided of whether a poster presentation could be considered. A notification of the programme committee decision will be sent at the beginning of December 2017, and the draft versions of papers will be expected before the conference, for distribution among participants. A selection of papers is expected to be published.

Organiser
Pierre Larrivée (Pierre.Larrivee AT Unicaen DOT fr)

Programme committee
Theresa Biberauer (Stellenbosch/Cambridge), Susann Fischer (Hamburg), Chiara Gianollo (Bologna), Adam Ledgeway (Cambridge), Bettelou Los (Edinburgh), Scott Schwenter (Ohio), Graeme Trousdale (Edinburgh), Marit Westergaard (Tromsø)

Calendar
October 1st 2017 : Deadline for abstract submission
December 1st 2017 : Notification from Programme Committee
December 15 2017 : Publication of programme
March 15 2018 : Deadline for reception of draft papers for circulation
April 3-4 2018 : Conference

Programme

April 3 2018

- 14h00 : Ans van Kemenade (Radboud). ”Discourse particles” between clause structure and discourse organisation
- 14h40 : Benjamin Lowell Sluckin (HU Berlin). Information Structure Change in an Emerging Grammar : V1 and V3 in Kiezdeutsch
- 15h20 : George Walkden (Konstanz). In defence of the information-structural approach to V3 in Germanic
- 16h00 : Comfort break
- 16h20 : Roland Hinterhoelzl and Chiara De Bastiani (Venice). On the syntax of object pronouns in OE and EME
- 17h00 : Aroldo Leal De Andrade (Minas Gerais) and Charlotte Galves (Campinas). Contrast and Word Order : A Case Study on Old and Classical Portuguese
- 17h40 : Paulo Pinheiro-Correa (Fluminense). From VS to SV order in thetic statements in Brazilian Portuguese

April 4 2018

- 10h00 : Sophie Prévost (Lattice, CNRS/ENS/Université Sorbonne Nouvelle). Evolution of the position of the subject in French :
A constant yet variable interplay between syntactic and informational factors
- 10h40 : Christine Rahn (Hanover) and Pierre Larrivée (Caen). The Informational Value of Fronting in Middle French
- 11h20 : Andreas Dufter (Munich). On participle fronting in Old and Middle French
- 12h00 : lunch
- 14h00 : Richard Ingham (Westminster). Topic, Focus and null subjects in Old French
- 14h40 : Sam Wolfe (Oxford). Variation and Change in Old French Word Order : The case of si
- 15h20 : Comfort break
- 15h40 : Afra Pujol i Campeny and Ioanna Sitaridou (Cambridge). A comparative study of information structure in Old Ibero-Romance
- 16h20 : Lílian Teixeira De Sousa (Bahia). Pragmatics and Language Change : A Study on Brazilian Portuguese Sentential Negation
- 17h00 : Malte Rosemeyer (Leuven). Variation and change in Portuguese partial interrogatives

Documents joints


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