Workshop in Seville (October 2017)

Call for papers: 1st International Workshop on the interface of Information Structure and Argument Structure

Facultad de Filología

Sevilla, Spain, October 26-27, 2017

The main goal of this workshop is to bring together linguists who investigate the different factors that influence sentential syntax, by contrasting Germanic and Romance languages from an interface perspective. These may be discourse factors (e.g., the re-ordering of sentential constituents motivated by information structure and the assigning of topic and focus functions), argumental factors (e.g., the type and number of arguments that a predicate may select), syntax-discourse factors (e.g., the discourse nature of grammatical features that trigger movement to the clause periphery in different types of root and subordinate clauses with respect to fronted focus and dislocated topics), and morphological/phonological (the use of specific forms to induce an information strucutre interpretation or the prosodic visibility of the displaced constituent).

The workshop will be framed within the threshold of the Research Project Information structure and argument structure: An interface investigation of the contrastive syntax of Germanic and Romance languages of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (FFI2013-41059-P). Our research has been focused on types of topics and foci (with their syntatic, semantic and prosodic properties), the syntactic position occupied by different discourse categories, root phenomena, argument structure and the impact of information structure on it. This theory-based approach has been implemented by an analysis of data which hinges upon the use of experimental work to support the theoretical findings.

We welcome submissions which deal with any topic of information structure and argument structure which is theory-based, experiment-focused or both in cross-linguistic perspective (including both macrovariation and microvariation). In particular, we are interested in works which take on the following issues:

  1. Debate on whether informative functions should be analyzed as i) a cartographic sequence of heads, each of which involving very specific semantics, more or less rigidly organized, à la Rizzi (1997, 2004, et suseq.), Haegeman (2012), Frascarelli (2007), or ii) instructions from Logical Form to interpret (probably multiple) specifiers of the same head, a Complementizer head or a Tense head in terms of A-bar movement vs. A- movement, as in Miyagawa (2010, 2017), Jiménez-Fernández & Miyagawa (2014).
  2. Types of topics and foci and their grammatical properties from a comparative perspective (Bianchi, Bocci and Cruschina 2016, Bianchi and Frascarelli 2010, Frascarelli and Hunterhölzl 2007, Jiménez-Fernández 2015a,b). More specifically, we are interested in the connection between the occurrence of this information structure typology and pro-drop vs. Non pro-drop languages. Also, the interaction between types of topics and foci and the root vs. non-root contexts where they are allowed in different languages of the Germanic and Romance families is particularly welcome.
  3. Connection of argument structure/eventive structure and information structure. The association of semantic class and aspectual properties of verbs with a specific word order to induce a salient discourse interpretation, as discussed in Alexiadou, Anagnostopoulou and Schäfer (2015), Fábregas, Jiménez-Fernández and Tubino (2017), Jiménez-Fernández & Rozwadowska (2017), Ojea (2016), among others.

Linguists working in any theoretical framework of Generative Grammar and/or experimental studies are invited to participate, provided they discuss issues concerning the interaction between information structure and argument structure. Each presentation will be allotted 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion. A limited number of abstracts will also be accepted for 1 poster session.

Authors are asked to submit their abstracts in an anonymous PDF file to the following site:
If you do not have an EasyChair account, please follow the instructions provided and create one.

Abstracts should be no longer than two pages in length (including examples and references), in Times New Roman 12-point lettertype, single line spacing and 2,5 cm. margins. Submissions are limited to a maximum of one individual and one joint abstract per author.

The official language of the conference will be English.

Our keynote speakers are:

  • Artemis Alexiadou (Humbolt University, Berlin)
  • Valentina Bianchi (University of Siena, Italy)

Deadline for abstract submission: May 31, 2017

Workshop dates:  October 26-27, 2017


Alexiadou, Artemis, Elena Anagnostopoulou & Florian Schäfer. 2015. External arguments in transitivity alternations: a layering approach. Oxford University Press.

Bianchi, Valentina, Giuliano Bocci & Silvio Cruschina. 2016. Focus fronting, unexpectedness, and evaluative implicatures. Semantics and Pragmatics 9 (3): 1–54.

Bianchi, Valentina & Mara Frascarelli. 2010. Is topic a root phenomenon? Iberia 2, 43-88.

Fábregas, Antonio, Jiménez-Fernández, Ángel L., y Tubino Blanco, Mercedes. 2017.’What’s up’ with datives?. En: Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 12. Selected Papers from the 45th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), Campinas, Brazil, ed. por Ruth Lopes et al. John Benjamins.

Frascarelli, Mara. 2007. Subjects, Topics and the Interpretation of Referential pro. An interface approach to the linking of (null) pronouns. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, 25:691-734.

Frascarelli, Mara. & Roland Hinterhölzl. 2007. Types of topics in German and Italian. In Kerstin Schwabe & Susanne Winkler (eds.), On Information Structure, Meaning and Form, 87-116. Amsterdam & Philadelphia, John Benjamins.

Haegeman, Liliane. 2004. Topicalization, CLLD and the left periphery. In Claudia Maienborn, Werner Frey & Benjamin Shaer (eds.), ZAS Papers in Linguistics 35: Proceedings of the Dislocated Elements Workshop, 157192.

Haegeman, Liliane. 2012. Adverbial clauses, main clause phenomena, and the composition of the left periphery. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Jiménez-Fernández, Ángel L. 2015a. When focus goes wild: An empirical study of two syntactic positions for information Focus. Linguistics: Beyond and Within 1, 119-133.

Jiménez-Fernández, Ángel L. 2015b. Towards a typology of focus: Subject position and microvariation at the discourse-syntax interface. Ampersand: An International Journal of General and Applied Linguistics 2, 49-60.

Jiménez-Fernández, Ángel L. & Miyagawa, Shigeru. 2014. A feature-inheritance approach to root phenomena and parametric variation. Lingua. An International Review of General Linguistics 145, 276-302.

Jiménez-Fernández, Ángel L. & Rozwadowska, Bozena. 2017. On subject properties of datives in psych predicates: A comparative approach. Acta Linguistica Hungarica 64 (3).

Miyagawa, Shigeru. 2010. Why Agree? Why Move? Unifying Agreement-Based and Discourse Configurational Languages. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Miyagawa, Shigeru. 2017. Agreement beyond phi. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Rizzi, Luigi. 1997. The fine structure of the left periphery. In Liliane Haegeman (ed.), Elements of grammar. Handbook in Generative Syntax, 281337. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Call for papers workshop (doc)


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