IGG 43 - Workshop: Order and direction of grammatical operations

IUSS Pavia - February 15, 2017

< IGG 43 main conference

Preliminary Program

14:00-15:00 Bob Frank (invited speaker)
Top-down, bottom-up or inside-out? Direction and grain size in syntactic derivation
15:00-15:40 Woojin Chung
An Evaluation-Sensitive Model for Local Context Computation
15:40-16:20 Tim Hunter
The empirical significance of derivational operations
16:20-16:50 break
16:50-17:30 Jan-Wouter Zwart
Eliminating external merge
17:30-18:10 Doreen Georgi, Martin Salzmann
Local modeling of the gap/resumptive complementarity under top-down Case attraction
18:10-19:10 Colin Phillips (invited speaker)
Order and direction in grammar, speaking, and understanding
alternate Nicolas Guilliot
Reconstruction in sharing constructions: a dynamic perspective

Order and direction of grammatical operations

This workshop will tackle the issue of directionality of grammatical operations: structure building operation (e.g. merge, move and the notion of phase) and interpretive rules. The fundamental question is whether directionality yields a grammatical description that is more adequate both descriptively and explanatorily than a non-directional, constraint-based one.

Abstracts should discuss how and why directionally restricted operations (e.g. top-down vs. bottom-up, and left-right vs. right-left) may determine the nature of well-formed structures and their interpretive properties, and explain directionality asymmetries in various linguistic domains.

The literature to date offers a number of arguments that support the relevance of directionality: starting from Phillips's seminal work on asymmetries in syntactic tests application (coordination vs movement: Phillips 1996, 2003), we should mention work on the ciclicity and locality of movement (Richards 1999, Chesi 2004, Chesi 2014, den Dikken 2015, Zwart 2015) as opposed to rightward movement (Chesi 2012), work on strong islands and parasitic gaps constructions (Bianchi & Chesi 2006) and on reconstruction effects (Guilliot 2006, Barker 2007, Bianchi & Chesi 2014), on the Leftness condition on quantifier binding, the right-roof constraint on QR, inter- and cross-sentential anaphora within a left-to-right incremental interpretation process (Shan & Barker 2006, Schlenker 2005, Bianchi 2009, Bianchi & Chesi 2010); it is worth considering also the interesting computational consequences of directionally constrained grammars, which have been productively explored, for instance, within the framework of Dynamic Syntax (Kempson, Meyer-Viol, Gabbay 2001). Finally, within the Minimalist framework the linear (temporal, left-to-right) order of terminal nodes (Kayne 1994) is assumed to be part of the interface with phonology (Chomsky 1995:334), but it imposes a ban against symmetrical structures, with consequences for the theory of movement (Moro's 2000 Dynamic Antisymmetry, Moro 2011, cf. Citko 2011).

Barker, C. (2007) Reconstruction as delayed evaluation. Ms. NUY.
Bianchi V. (2009) A note on backward anaphora. Rivista di Grammatica Generativa. 34:3-34
Bianchi V., Chesi C. (2006) Phases, left branch islands, and computational nesting. Upenn Working Papers in Linguistics 12.1 : Proceedings of the 29th Penn Linguistic Colloquium, 15-28
Bianchi, V., & Chesi, C. (2010) Reversing the perspective on Quantifier Raising. Rivista di Grammatica Generativa, 35(2010), 3-38.
Bianchi V., Chesi C. (2014) Subject islands, reconstruction, and the flow of the computation. Linguistic Inquiry Vol. 45.4 , pp. 525-569
Chesi C. (2004) Phases and Cartography in Linguistic Computation: toward a Cognitively Motivated Computational Model of Linguistic Competence. Ph.D. Thesis
Chesi C. (2012) Rightward movement from a top-down perspective. In: W. Gert, M. Sailer and H. Walker (eds.) Rightward Movement in a Comparative Perspective. Amsterdam, Philadelphia:John Benjamins
Chesi C. (2014) On directionality of phrase structure building. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research. 44(1): 1-50 - DOI: 10.1007/s10936-014-9330-6
Chomsky, N. (1995) The minimalist program (Vol. 28). Cambridge, MA: MIT press.
Citko, B. (2011) Symmetry in Syntax: Merge, Move and Labels. Cambridge University Press.
Guilliot, N. (2006) A top-down analysis for reconstruction. Lingua, 116(11), 1888-1914.
Kayne, R. S. (1994) The antisymmetry of syntax (No. 25). Mit Press.
Kempson R., W. Meyer-Viol, D. Gabbay (2001) Dynamic Syntax: The Flow of Language Understanding. Blackwell.
Moro, A. (2000) Dynamic antisymmetry (No. 38). MIT press.
Moro, A. (2013) The Equilibrium of Human Syntax: Symmetries in the Brain. Routledge.
Phillips C. (1996) Order and Structure. September 1996. PhD dissertation, MIT.
Phillips C. (2003) Linear Order and Constituency. Linguistic Inquiry 34:1
Richards, N., (1999) Dependency formation and directionality of tree construction. MITWPL 34: Papers on Morphology and Syntax. Cambridge, MA
Schlenker P. (2005) Non-Redundancy: Towards A Semantic Reinterpretation of Binding Theory Natural Language Semantics 13, 1:1-92, 2005
Shan C., Barker C. (2006) Explaining crossover and superiority as left-to-right evaluation. Linguistics and Philosophy 29(1):91-134, 2006.
Zwart, J. W. (2015) Top-down derivation, recursion, and the model of grammar. Syntactic Complexity across Interfaces, 30, 25.


The workshop is open and free.
However we would ask the attendees to kindly register both to the workshop and to the social dinner:

Invited Speakers

Prof. Robert Frank
(Department of Linguistics, Yale University)
Prof. Colin Phillips
(Director, Maryland Language Science Center)

Organizing Committee

Valentina Bianchi, Cristiano Chesi, Andrea Moro

Scientific Program Committee

Valentina Bianchi (University of Siena), Ronnie Cann (University of Edinburgh), Cristiano Chesi (IUSS Pavia), Nicolas Guilliot (Bordeaux Montaigne University), Ruth Kempson (King's College London), John T. Hale (Cornell University), Lutz Marten (University of London), Andrea Moro (IUSS Pavia), Jan-Wouter Zwart (University of Groningen), Philippe Schlenker (Institut Jean-Nicod, CNRS)


Sala del Camino, IUSS
Palazzo del Broletto
P.zza Vittoria 15, Pavia

Venue and general accommodation info
Students Accommodation
Pavia turistic information


IGG 43 is organized by NETS and hosted at IUSS - Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori di Pavia