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Beitragsaufruf: Constructional & Lexical Semantic Approaches to Russian

18. Oktober 2010

Auch in der Slawistik gibt es Bewegung hin zu konstruktionsbasierten bzw. funktionalen Beschreibungen syntaktischer Strukturen. Folgender Beitragsaufruf  für die Konferenz „Constructional and Lexical Semantic Approaches to Russian“, die vom 24. bis 26. März in St. Petersburg stattfindet, ist auf LINGUISTLIST gepostet worden:

„Like the first conference in the series, this second meeting focuses on the problems of Russian syntax. Its central issue is the relation between formal properties of various syntactic constructions in Russian and their semantic, pragmatic and discourse properties. Participants are encouraged to discuss
not only regular syntactic patterns, but also ‚marginal‘ types of constructions that are often at (or beyond) the fringes of syntactic description and offer a challenge to theoretical understanding.

Call For Papers

Inquiry into the syntax of Russian has long been associated with the study of semantic and pragmatic properties of syntactic units. Simplifying somewhat, two types of approach have emerged in the study of complex syntactic units: ‚bottom-up‘ (‚lexical semantic approach‘) and ‚top-down‘ (‚constructional approach‘). The lexical semantic approach takes as its starting point combinatorial potential of individual lexemes; in particular, the distribution of syntactic patterns is often claimed to reflect subtleties of
lexical semantics (cf. the work by Yurij D. Apresjan and Moscow semantic school in general). According to this approach, semantic and syntactic properties of complex constructions are derivable from semantic and combinatory properties of their component parts. The central unit in the constructional approach is a construction – a complex form-meaning pairing for which semantic and syntactic features are not predictable from the properties of the component parts. The primary task in the investigation of a
construction is to establish its syntactic, semantic and pragmatic properties as those of an independent discourse unit, while its component parts are generally analyzed on the basis of the contribution they make to the whole. Within ‚Western‘ linguistic tradition, this type of approach is typical of various kinds of Construction grammars (Ch. Fillmore, A. Goldberg, etc.); however, many studies within Russian traditional syntax are often based on similar (though sometimes implicit) theoretical assumptions. The conference is not directly associated with any particular theoretical platform. However, we hope that the multifaceted discussion of various empirical data will bring us to a better understanding of theoretical issues related to the syntax of Russian (and beyond); in particular, we encourage discussion of the highs
and lows of bottom-up and top-down approaches to syntactic phenomena.

The aim of the conference is to gather researchers who are interested in the topic irrespective of their official status; we encourage the participation of young researchers, including students. Abstracts presenting work in progress are also welcome, provided there are already some empirical
findings to be presented at the conference. This year we are going to arrange a special session on diachronic studies based on corpus data. Abstracts should not be longer than two pages (3600 characters, including examples and references) and should be sent as .pdf or .doc attachments to the following address: The deadline for submission is December 15, 2010. Please indicate the information about the author(s) (name,affiliation, e-mail / tel.) in the body of the letter. The working
languages of the conference are English and Russian, abstracts can be written in either language. Participants will be allocated 20 minutes for presentation, plus 10 minutes for discussion. We will notify of the acceptance / rejection before January 5, 2011. After the conference we hope to prepare a volume of selected full-length articles based on the papers from the conference.

Invited Speakers
Mirjam Fried (Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague);
Tatjana Evgenjevna Janko (Russian State University for the Humanties, Moscow)
Jurij Pavlovich Knjazev (St. Petersburg State University);
Johanna Nichols (University of California, Berkeley) – to be confirmed;
Barbara Partee (University of Massachusetts Amherst);
Daniel Weiss (Universität Zürich)

Organizing Committee
Sofja Oskolskaja
Maria Ovsjannikova
Sergey Say“

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