Challenges for inflectional Description
ESRC seminar series:
CHALLENGES FOR INFLECTIONAL DESCRIPTION
R45126450496: January 1997 - December 1998
extended to June 1999
Description (from end of award report)
This seminar series involved the Universities of Brighton, Essex, London (School of Oriental and African Studies - SOAS), Surrey and Sussex, with additional participants (other than the guest speakers) from Cambridge, Cardiff Institute of HE, Imperial College, Kentucky and University College London. Eight seminars were held according to the proposal. We were opportunistic about our invitations and the seminars were run under budget. We are grateful for the opportunity to run a further two seminars, still well within the original budget. Of the total of ten, three were held at Essex, three at Surrey, two at Sussex and one each at Brighton and SOAS.
Nine seminars involved an invited guest speaker:
Prof. Keren Rice
University of Toronto
Prof. Daniel Everett
University of Pittsburg
Prof. Jean-Yves Urien
Prof. Gregory Stump
University of Rennes & University of Kentucky, visiting Essex at the time
Prof. Nicholas Evans
University of Melbourne
Prof. Marianne Mithun
University of California, Santa Barbara
Mohawk and Yup’ik
Prof. Alan Timberlake
University of California, Berkeley
Prof. Bernard Comrie
Max-Planck Institute, Leipzig
Prof. Martin Haspelmath
Max-Planck Institute, Leipzig
no guest (see below)
several lesser-used langs of Europe
Prof. Geert Booij
Free University of Amsterdam
Each guest led a fruitful extended discussion on a pre‑circulated paper. In each case the most challenging points of the inflectional system of the particular language were presented by the guest and then analyzed together. This took the entire morning. The ninth seminar was given over to minority languages of Europe, with presentations on Catalan, Welsh, Icelandic, Basque, Bulgarian, Macedonian and various other Slavonic languages, all by regular members of the group.
The afternoon of each seminar was given over to participants’ research, typically four papers, each consisting of a half-hour presentation with fifteen minutes discussion. Regular participants from each institution (including postgraduates writing theses on morphology) were invited to each seminar. Others were invited individually according to the particular seminar topic. Attendance varied only slightly: typically there were 15-18 present, with 5-6 postgraduates included.
The series went well, and exceeded our expectations. We fully met the aims and objectives specified in the proposal. The guest speakers were stimulating and responsive (a full morning’s discussion has not been a problem). The format of the seminars worked very well. It provided a forum for established scholars to report on current work, including interim results on four ESRC-funded projects which were running at Sussex, Essex and Surrey. It also gave a friendly but well-informed audience in which postgraduates gave their first presentations.
While the guests were invited to share their expertise, there was a useful return effect, in that several commented favourably on the quality and volume of work being carried out in this area in Britain.
However, it is more convincing to point to the outputs (return to web page for these).
We thus believe we have fully met the four aims and objectives specified. We are grateful to the ESRC for the opportunity to do so.
Report written by: Professor Greville Corbett (Surrey) - organiser
on behalf of the site organisers:
Professor Gerald Gazdar (Sussex)
Professor Dick Hayward (SOAS)
Dr Andrew Spencer (Essex)
The following papers have been published, or are being published, and were presented and discussed at one of the ‘CID’ seminars:
Clahsen, Harald 1999. Lexical Entries and Rules of Language: A Multidisciplinary Study of German Inflection. In Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22.991-1060, with various commentaries, including those by Geert Booij, Jim Blevins, Greville Corbett and Andrew Spencer, which were presented at the tenth seminar.
Corbett, Greville G. 1999. The place of agreement features in a specification of possible agreement systems. In: Greville G. Corbett (ed.) Agreement (Special issue of Folia Linguistica XXXIII/2), 211-223.
Evans, Nicholas; Brown, Dunstan & Corbett, Greville G. 1998. Emu Divorce: A Unified Account of Gender and Noun Class Assignment in Mayali. Papers from the 34th Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, 147-172.
Hayward, Richard J. 1998. The origins of the North Ometo verb agreement systems. Journal of African Languages and Linguistics 19.93-111.
Hayward, Katrina 1998. The verbal auxiliary padha in contemporary Javanese. In: M. Janse, ed. Productivity and Creativity: Studies in General and Descriptive Linguistics in Honor of E. M. Uhlenbeck, 317-335. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Hippisley, Andrew and Gerald Gazdar 2000. Inheritance hierarchies and historical reconstruction: towards a history of Slavonic colour terms. Chicago Linguistic Society 35: Main Session. Chicago: Chicago Linguistics Society, 125-140.
Nikolaeva, Irina 1998. Optimal syllables are not always optimal: a prosodic structure of Yukaghir. Lingua 105.201-229.
Spencer, Andrew and Marina Zaretskaya 1998. Verb Prefixation in Russian as lexical subordination. Linguistics 36:1-39.
Spencer, Andrew and Marina Zaretskaya (in press). Pri-prefixation in Russian. Journal of Slavic Linguistics.
Spencer, Andrew (to appear) Agreement morphology in Chukotkan. To appear in M. Poechtrager and J. Rennison (eds.) Contemporary Morphology. Amsterdam: J. Benjamins.
Spencer, Andrew (in press) Transpositions and argument structure. In: . Geert Booij and Jaap van Marle (eds.) Yearbook of Morphology 1998.
Spencer, Andrew (to appear). Inflection and the lexeme. To appear in: Ferenc Kiefer (ed.) Proceedings of the 8th International Morphology Meeting, Budapest, July 1998. Acta Linguistica Hungarica, Kluwer-Akadémiai Kiadó.
Wheeler, Max (to appear) Morfologia 5: Flexió verbal irregular i verbs defectius [Morphology 5: irregular verb inflection and defective verbs], in Joan Solà et al. (eds), Gramàtica del català contemporani, Barcelona: Empúries