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Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg
August 4-15, 2008


Workshop: What Syntax Feeds Semantics

organised as part of ESSLLI 2008
European Summer School on Logic, Language and Information
11-15 August, 2008 in Hamburg, Germany

Workshop Purpose

The purpose of this workshop is to investigate on what kind of syntactic representation semantic interpretation applies. A dominant trend defends the existence of a covert level of representation, Logical Form (LF) in Generative Grammar/Minimalism, mediating between surface syntax and the semantic component. However, many of the original empirical reasons for LF have been challenged, and, for many phenomena commonly attributed to LF, alternative accounts exist that derive the semantics from the surface syntax. Other grammar formalisms -e.g. TAG, HPSG, LFG, CCG- use different syntactic inputs to arrive at the desired semantic interpretation. The workshop aims to provide a forum for researchers (including advanced PhD students) to present and discuss their work with colleagues working on the same or on different frameworks, in connection with the broad subject areas represented at ESSLLI.

Workshop Topics

The workshop is concerned with topics where the debate on the syntax-semantics mapping has been particularly active or can potentially lead to new results. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • scope and Noun Phrases (NPS): quantificational NPs, plurals, branching quantifier readings, etc.
  • scope reconstruction
  • connectivity effects (reflected in Binding Theory, NPI-licensing, opacity, etc.)
  • scope in degree constructions (comparatives, superlatives, etc.)
  • ellipsis (VP-ellipsis, gapping, NP-ellipsis, etc.)
  • representation and binding of pronouns
  • representation and binding of world/situation variables
  • representation and binding of temporal variables

Workshop Format

The workshop is part of ESSLLI and is open to all ESSLLI participants. It will consist of five 90-minute sessions held over five consecutive days in the second week of ESSLLI. There will be 3 slots for paper presentation and discussion per session. On the first day the workshop organizer will give an introduction or extended lecture on the topic to familiarize the audience with the phenomena.

Invited Speakers

  • Arnim von Stechow, University of Tübingen
  • Aravind K. Joshi, University of Pennsylvania

Preliminary Programme

Workshop Programme Committee

  • Chris Barker, NYU
  • Rajesh Bhatt, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • Miriam Butt, University of Konstanz
  • Daniel Hardt, Copenhagen Business School and languagelens
  • Pauline Jacobson, Brown University
  • Laura Kallmeyer, University of Tuebingen
  • Maribel Romero, University of Konstanz (Chair)
  • Manfred Sailer, University of Goettingen
  • Uli Sauerland, ZAS
  • Philippe Schlenker, Institut Jean-Nicod and NYU
  • Yael Sharvit, University of Connecticut
  • Mark Steedman, University of Edinburgh
  • Satoshi Tomioka, University of Delaware

Important dates

  • 27 March 2008: Submission deadline **EXTENDED**
  • 27 April 2008: Notification of acceptance
  • 01 May 2008: Preliminary programme
  • 17 May 2008: Final papers for proceedings
  • 21 June 2008: Final programme
  • 11-15 August 2008: Workshop

Local Arrangements:

All workshop participants including the presenters will be required to register for ESSLLI. The registration fee for authors presenting a paper will correspond to the early student/workshop speaker registration fee. There will be no reimbursement for travel costs and accommodation.

Contact e-mail: