Archive for November, 2011

Conference on Morphosyntactic Parameters: Update

November 25, 2011

The conference ‘Typology of Morphosyntactic Parameters’ organized by my colleagues Sergey Traytak , Peter Arkadiev  and me will take place at my university, Sholokhov Moscow state university for the humanities (MSUH) on December 5, 2011, in our main building, located at Verhnyaya Radisjevskaya str. 16-18, Moscow, 250 meters from the metro station ‘Taganskaya’ (circle line).

The conference program (in English) is below. The updated Russian text of the program is here: programma_30_ru

MSUH, 5 December 2011 Verhnyaya Radisjevskaya street 16-18



Room 200 (first floor = Rus. vtoroj etazh)

10.30-11.00 Opening of the conference.

Address of MSUH vice-cancellor, professor Sergey Traytak

 Workshop I: Russian and general grammar. Chair: Anton Zimmerling

 11.00 – 11.35 Yakov Testelets  (Russian university for the humanities/Institute of linguistics)

Ellipsis in Russian: theory versus description Testelets_TypMophParam_handout_2011

 11.35-12.10 Ekaterina Lyutikova (Moscow State University)

On two types of inversion in Russian noun phrases  Lyutikova_Inversion

  12.10-12.45 Alexander Letuchiy (Institute of Russian language/High School of Economy)

Systems of actant derivation: towards a typology

 12.45 -12.50 Coffee-break

Workshop II: Polypredicativity and raising constructions. Chair: Yakov Testelets.

12.50-13.25 Peter Arkadiev (Institute of Slavic studies/Russian university for the humanities)

Non-canonical argument marking in Lithuanian participle clauses: typology and diachrony h_case_lith_mggu2011_2p

13.25 -14.00

Natalia Serdobolskaya (Russian state university for the humanities)

Raising vs clause union: syntactic criteria for diagnosing two types of constructions Krugl stol clause union hd

14.00-15.00 Dinner

Workshop III: Typology of relative clauses. Chair: Leonid Iomdin (Institute for Information Transmission Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences)

 15.00-15.35. Yuri Lander (Institute of oriental studies)

On the degree of integration of the semantic head in relatives: a syntactic parameter h_11relheads-mggu

15.35-16.05 Natalia Pimenova (Moscow state pedagogical university/MSUH)

Two evolution lines in relativization: Old High German vs Old Saxon

16.05-16.10 Coffee-break

Workshop IV: Problems of clitic typology in synchrony and diachrony. Chair: Peter Arkadiev.

16.10-16.35 Anton Zimmerling (MSUH/Russian university for the humanities)

Typology of languages with clitic clusters AZ_TC_handout

16.35-17.10 Andrei Sidelcev (Institute of linguistics)

Towards the diachronic typology of clitic doubling: Hittite data Sideltsev_handout

17.10-17.45 Oleg Belyaev (Institute of linguistics)

Clitic climbing from subordinate clauses in Ossetic handout_Belyaev

17.45-17.50 Coffee-break

Workshop V: Miscellanious problems of linguistic typology. Chair: Natalya Serdobolskaya.

17.50-18.25. Elena Rudnitskaya (Institute of oriental studies)

Morphosyntax of the numeral expression with a classifier in Korean Rudnitskaya_Classifier_handout1

18.25-19.00 Dmitry Gerasimov (Institute for linguistic research, Saint-Petersburg)

Argument encoding in Paraguayan Guarani ditransitives: A typological perspective mggu_gerasimov_2011

19.00 End of the conference

Parameters and variation

November 13, 2011

The word ‘Parameter’ is used so frequently in linguistics and elsewhere that we often forget that if comes from mathematical sciences and is associated by non-linguists with Gauß and Poisson but not with Noam Chomsky’s followers or Joseph Greenberg. Anyway, parameters most linguists need, are more alike a Boolean ‘switch’ which can be set on ‘ON’ and ‘OFF’ positions  than gradual scales. This inclination is sometimes masqued by more florid terms referring to FEATURE STRENGH, see for instance ‘Weak Agreement’ versus ‘Strong Agreement’ or even ‘Strong Second-position Clitics’ versus ‘Weak Second-position Clitics’. Is this linguistic ideal appropriate? Are mechanisms known as Head-Marking and Dependent-Marking, cf. Case and Agreement, really different settings of one and the same underlying value ‘.X…-marking’, or do they represent different values? Is a typology dividing world’s languages into a pro-drop class and non-pro-drop languages, where pro stands for a ‘zero pronominal thematic subject’ feasible?

My colleagues and me are organizing a conference on Morphosyntactic Parameters, which is scheduled for December 5, 2011 at the Moscow State University for the Humanities, MGGU

Center for modern linguistic research


Moscow State University for the Humanities

is organizing a conference

in theoretical and typological linguistics 


The conference will take place on December 5, 2011 at the Moscow State University for the Humanities (Sholokhov-University)

The opening is at 10.30 AM. [the conference room will be announced later].

 The conference is addressed the issues of

  • Word order typology and constraints on movement.
  • Clitic typology.
  • Argument structure.
  • Case, Agreement, Head Marking, Dependent Marking.
  • Syntax-Prosody interface.
  • Polypredicative structures.
  • Spell-out, ellipsis and zero categories.ß
  • The correlation of morphosyntactic parameters and language types.Format: 25 minutes for the presentation +10 minutes for the discussion
    Organizing committee: Anton Zimmerling, Peter Arkadiev 

The conference participants are leading Russian linguists representing research institutions and universities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg and specializing in the field of typological syntax and grammar theory.

Parametric approach to grammar is a rapidly growing branch in linguistic studies lying at the joint of Universal Grammar and linguistic typology. World’s languages can be described in terms of general parameters capable of taking different values. There exist ca. 7000 languages described to an uneven degree.  Linguistic typology deals with open classes of world’s languages sharing the same parametric combinations and aims at establishing types conforming to stable parametric combinations which predict the distribution of grammar features. Our conference is devoted to the interaction of morphological (Case, Agreement) and syntactic (sentence structure, constraints of wоrd order and external merger) аs well as to interlevel interfaces, specifically, to the syntax-prosody interface responsible for the correlation of the phonetic form and the syntactic output as well as for the segmentation of well-formed texts.

 The conference programme can be viewed here: CONFERENCE PROGRAM_23_Eng