syntax workshop

Predication in relation to propositions and properties

organized by Maria Polinsky and Marcel den Dikken

invited speakers: Caroline Heycock, Idan Landau, and Gillian Ramchand

time: Tuesday, 10 April 2018
place: Rákóczi út 5, 1088 Budapest, R414

programme [abstracts]

Gillian Ramchand (University of Tromsø), Predication as a Primitive of Syn/Sem Combination [abstract]
Isabelle Roy (Université Paris 8) and Ur Shlonsky (University of Geneva), Syntax of CE in French copular sentences [abstract] [handout]
Pilar Barbosa (University of Minho) “Free inversion” as predication [abstract]
lunch break
presentations of posters (each poster presenter will have two minutes
to introduce their poster)

  • Michael Mourounas (University College London), Control as predication: Insights from controlled nominal complements [abstract] [poster]
  • Nagarajan Selvanathan (National University of Singapore), Predication in tough constructions [abstract] (cancelled)
  • David Gil (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History), Predication, thematic roles, and Tense-Aspect-Mood [abstract]
  • Monica Irimia (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia) and Tova Rapoport (Ben-Gurion University), Staging secondary predication [abstract]
  • Irine Burukina (Eötvös Loránd University), Deriving desiderative object control verbs: hidden modal predicativesand raising [abstract]
  • Jutta Hartmann (IDS Mannheim), The interaction of focus and predication in specificational copular clauses and clefts [abstract]
  • Marcel Pitteroff (University of Stuttgart) and Florian Schäfer (Humboldt University of Berlin / University of Stuttgart), (Im-)personal passives and implicit control into propositional and property-denoting CPs [abstract] (cancelled)
  • Kristin Melum Eide and Tor Anders Åfarli (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), From properties to predicates; from projections to propositions [abstract]
  • Vesela Simeonova (University of Ottawa), The syntax of content [abstract]
Idan Landau (Ben-Gurion University), From predication to control and back again: Lessons and puzzles [abstract]
Julianne Doner (University of Toronto), Predicate raising languages [abstract] [handout]
Henry Davis (University of British Columbia), “Nominalization” as
Predicativization in Lillooet and the Nominal Mapping Parameter [abstract]
Caroline Heycock (University of Edinburgh), Invited discussion


The relation of predication is fundamental to natural language semantics and syntax. No meaningful utterance can do without it: fragments which only feature an argument on the surface have an underlying structure in which a predicate for it is structurally represented and interpreted semantically, though not phonologically. But despite its omnipresence, both in language and in the linguistics literature, predication continues to give rise to heated debates on many central questions in semantics and syntax. This workshop addresses the relationship between syntax and semantics in predication, to determine whether all instances of predication can be captured under a uniform syntactic or semantic mechanism, and to explore new instantiations of and restrictions on predication. To this end, the workshop welcomes novel contributions that relate to any of the following questions:

  • What is the role of predication in the computation of human language?
  • Is predication a semantic relation that has syntactic consequences, or is it primarily a syntactic relation that is semantically-driven?
  • Is there a single semantic or syntactic representation for predication, or are there multiple such representations?
  • Is the predication relation modeled in the underlying syntactic representation as a symmetrical or asymmetrical structure? Is the evidence that has been adduced for (a)symmetry sound?
  • Are predication relations always and necessarily one-to-one relations between a predicate and an argument?
  • Are the semantic relations of specification and identification instances of predication? Do they avail themselves of the same syntactic structure(s) that predication employs?
  • Are the elements which mediate predication relations (such as copulas) semantically meaningful or consistently meaningless?
  • What are the restrictions on the semantic operations involved in predication and the formation of predicates?
  • What are the restrictions on the syntactic operations which predication structures can be subjected to?
  • What are the restrictions on predicate ellipsis and pro-form replacement?
  • What do the restrictions on predication follow from? Are they specific to predication, or derivable from more general principles of linguistic theory or the human language faculty?
  • Are there natural-language data that suggest that predication can be morpho-syntactically instantiated in ways not hitherto attested or imagined?

abstract submission

The same abstract may not be submitted to both the main colloquium and a workshop.

No abstract may be longer than 2 pages (A4 or letter size) with 1in margins, set single spaced in an 11pt font. Abstracts must be anonymous, self references should be avoided. Please make sure that there is no indication of the authors’ identity in the file submitted. (Files uploaded to Easychair are renamed by the system, but a PDF file may contain hidden information about its author or creator.)

You can submit your abstract to the workshop via Easychair:

The deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 November.