|Full Title: Lexical PluralsDate: 09-Sep-2015 – 10-Sep-2015
Location: Ghent, Belgium
Contact Person: Peter Lauwers
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
Call Deadline: 22-Mar-2015
Lexical Plurals are plural forms (oats, remains) in which plurality constitutes an inherent lexical specification (cf. Booij 1994, 1996 : ”inherent inflection”; Acquaviva 2008). As such, they cannot be accounted for by means of a grammatical rule (or generalization) yielding nouns that mean ‘many x’ as opposed to the meaning of the corresponding singular form ‘one x’. Therefore they have to be learned as part of ”what it is to know a word”.
This wide-ranging definition aims at covering a very large spectrum of phenomena that have been dealt with from quite a number of different points of view, which are reflected in the abundant terminology found in this domain (pluralia tantum, plural mass, greater plural, pluriel interne, …). None of these approaches fully cover the whole issue of ”lexical plurals”.
Most of these phenomena have too often been relegated to the heading of (archaic) ”language curiosities”. However, since a couple of years, especially since Paolo Acquaviva’s 2008 monograph (Lexical plurals, Oxford Univ. Press), they have been put to the fore. Moreover, it appeared that, cross-linguistically, these lexical plurals constitute a quite stable language phenomenon (Corbett 2000 8-10 ; Acquaviva 2008: 109), although within each language they appear as idiosyncrasies, whose numeric importance should not, however, be underestimated.
This two-day workshop aims at bringing together linguists (and psycholinguists), coming from diverse theoretical and methodological horizons, covering the whole linguistic spectrum, from formally oriented work to work inspired by cognitive or functional approaches, presenting both descriptive and theoretical work (generalizations/proposals of modeling), synchronic and diachronic, dealing with one particular language system or implying several languages.
The following colleagues have already accepted our invitation to give a plenary talk (to be completed): Paolo Acquaviva (University College Dublin) Wiltrud Mihatsch (University of Bochum).
Peter Lauwers (Ghent University – Glims) Philippe Gréa (Université de Paris-Ouest La Défense – Modyco) Marie Lammert Université de Strasbourg, LiLPa – Scolia).
Call for Papers:
We invite abstracts (in English or French) for papers (20 min talk plus 10 min discussion), which will be reviewed anonymously by the scientific committee: Paolo Acquaviva (Dublin) Artemis Alexiadou (Stuttgart) Paulo de Carvalho (Bordeaux) Greville Corbett (Surrey) Henriëtte de Swart (Utrecht) Jenny Doetjes (Leiden) Nelly Flaux (Arras) Naoyo Furukawa (Tsukuba) Brendan Gillon (McGill, Montréal) Philippe Gréa (Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense) Emilia Hilgert (Reims) Richard Huyghe (Paris Diderot) Georges Kleiber (Strasbourg) Marie Lammert (Strasbourg) Peter Lauwers (Ghent) Danielle Leeman (Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense & UMR 5191 ICAR [CNRS & ENS/Lyon 2]) Wiltrud Mihatsch (Bochum) David Nicolas (Institut Jean Nicod, Paris) Danièle Van de Velde (Lille III) Marleen Van Peteghem (Ghent) Marc Wilmet (Brussels, ULB).
Abstracts (.doc or .pdf) should not exceed 400 words (with a minimum of 200 words), references not included, and should mention main research question(s), methodology, dataset and (expected) results. Please do not reveal the identity of the author(s) in the text itself. Include author names and affiliations in the body of your email. Submissions can be sent to email@example.com no later than March 22, and are limited to two per individual, at least one of which must be co-authored. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by May 1st. In the meantime, please direct any inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
The languages of the workshop are English and French; speakers are kindly requested to explain their conceptual and terminological apparatus in order to make their talk accessible to colleagues working in other frameworks.
By way of example, the following issues may be discussed :
– Lexicological aspects: inventory, classification, cross-linguistic comparison of inventories and formal strategies, the issue of productivity, ”microscopic” discussion of analyses of (groups of) lexemes, e.g. doublets, cognates, near-synonyms across the grammatical vs. lexical plural divide
– The formal/distributional ”reactances” of lexical plurality: idiosyncrasies related to gender, archaic morphology, transgression of number agreement, distributional facts that suggest incipient lexicalization of the plural …
– Semantic/conceptual aspects: the disconnection with a singular counterpart triggers all kinds of semantic effects. How do these meaning effects connect with the idea of plurality? Can they be considered extensions from a prototype? To what extent do they already resemble – or at least some of them – the conceptualization of mass? And which, then, are the relevant dimensions of mass concerned in this respect? How do they relate to collective nouns? More generally, what is the status of lexical plurals within the language system?
– The language/discourse interface : can an ”internal plural” reading occur in the discourse with nouns that are not intrinsically associated with it?
– Diachronic aspects: the emergence of internal or mass meaning effects (or countability deficiency) is not yet well-documented.
– Typological aspects: typological generalizations applying to the number marking languages /(unknown) strategies for lexical plurality within the ”non-number marking” languages?
Please note that the conference does NOT deal with irregular inflectional morphology (e.g. man/men) through which a language expresses completely regular grammatical oppositions in number.