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Utrecht Theoretical Linguistics


Workshop on Cross-Linguistic Semantics of Reciprocals

On 7-8 October 2019 the ROCKY ERC-AdG Project will host the Workshop on Cross-Linguistic Semantics of Reciprocals.

Program (note: All slots for presentation contain 10 minutes for remarks by a discussant (tba) + 10/15 minutes for general discussion)

7th October
10.00 – 10.15 = welcome
10.15 – 10.20 = opening remarks
10.20 – 11.30 = (keynote talk) Mary Dalrymple: ‘Reciprocal scope ambiguity and scope marking’
11.30 – 11.50 = coffee break
11.50 – 12.40 = John Beavers: ‘Middle Voice as Generalized Argument Suppression: The Case from Indonesian’
12.40 – 14.00 = lunch
14.00 – 14.50 = Isabelle Bril: ‘Reciprocal morphemes & reciprocal constructions in some Austronesian languages: the syntax-semantics-lexicon interfaces’
15.00 – 15.50 = Naonori Nagaya: ‘Reciprocity in Tagalog dyad constructions’
15.50 – 16.10 = coffee break
16.10 – 17.00 = Kilu von Prince: ‘Reciprocals in Daakaka’
17.10 – 18.00 = -Filipe Hisao Kobayashi: ‘A Compositional Analysis of Scattered Reciprocals in Brazilian Portuguese’
19.00 = dinner

8th October
10.00 – 10.50 = Yuan Shen: ‘A unified analysis of the semantic licensing conditions for huxiang (“mutually”) in Chinese’
11.00 – 11.50 = Giada Palmieri: ‘Vagueness or ambiguity? On the interpretation of reflexive and reciprocal si-constructions in Italian’
11.50 – 12.10 = coffee break
12.10 – 13.00 = Koen Bostoen: ‘Historical Cycles of Reciprocal Marking in Bantu and the Polysemy of Proto-Bantu *-an’
13.00 – 14.20 = lunch
14.20 – 15.40 = POSTER SESSION (see titles below)
15.40 – 16.30 = Ed Keenan & Baholy Ralalaoherivony: ‘Morphological Reciprocals: The Case of Malagasy’
16.40 – 17.50 = (keynote talk) Martin Haspelmath: ‘Reflexive and reciprocal constructions: Comparisons and explanations without true analyses’
17.50 – 18.00 = Ending notes

Poster presentations:
-Brian Buccola, Jeremy Kuhn & David Nicolas: ‘The unexplained symmetric reading of reciprocal sentences’
-Dag Haug: ‘Reciprocals with quantified antecedents’
-Filipe Hisao Kobayashi: ‘Two Types of Reciprocals in Mandarin Chinese’
-Imke Kruitwagen: ‘Can we fight with trees? Exploring the territory of reciprocal verbs’
-György Rákosi: ‘Reciprocal anaphors in singular constructions in Hungarian’
-Maud Devos & Rozenn Guérois: ‘Reciprocity in the North-Mozambican Bantu language Shangaji (P312)’

Workshop description
The last two decades have seen extensive research on the syntax and distribution of reciprocal morphemes across languages. Typological linguists and theoretical syntacticians have revealed fascinating phenomena of reciprocity, which have substantially increased our knowledge of the ways languages encode reciprocal concepts. Quite independently, there have been some important advances in the formal semantic analysis of reciprocals in English. Yet, at present there is no clear understanding of the cross-linguistic semantics of reciprocals, or even the extent to which such a general semantics is motivated.

This workshop will focus on the phenomenon of reciprocity across languages. By bringing together formal semanticists who focus on cross-linguistic research and experts of reciprocity phenomena, we hope to be able to address some of the major questions in this area. Relevant questions are:
– Are there concepts of reciprocity that are potential candidates as language universals in formal semantics in the sense of von Fintel & Matthewson (2008)?
– How can the universal principles as proposed in Haspelmath (2007) and formal principles as suggested in Dalrymple et al. (1998) be used to promote such efforts?
– How do different languages encode reciprocal concepts in the syntax-semantics-lexicon interfaces?
– Should the formal semantic analysis of reciprocity be extended to reflexives?
– Is there motivation for a unified analysis of reciprocals and “dyad” constructions? (Evans 2006)
– Are there special properties of the discontinuous reciprocal construction that bear on the general semantics of reciprocity?
– How should reciprocity be connected to other collective concepts, and what is the semantic contribution of collective markers to reciprocity?
Additional general subjects:
– Theoretical work on reciprocity in specific languages
– Typological work on reciprocity in under-studied languages
– Experimental work on reciprocal expressions

Yoad Winter, Joost Zwarts, Giada Palmieri (Utrecht)

Date & Location
7th and 8th October 2019 – Drift 21, 3512 BR Utrecht, Sweelinckzaal

Original Call for Papers

For practical questions, please contact Giada Palmieri (g.palmieri [AT] uu.nl)


This workshop is part of the ROCKY ERC-AdG project (https://rocky.sites.uu.nl) at the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics.