Thematic Workshop

Workshop I: Typological generalizations and semantic theory

The study of the role syntactic and phonological theory play in the explanation of typological generalizations has a long and venerable history. The role that semantic theory might play in such explanations is less well studied but efforts to address the gap are becoming more numerous, a recent, relevant example of which being GLOW’s own workshop on semantic universals in the modal and attitudinal domain in 2020. In addition to further exploring specific empirical domains, there is a need to evaluate the shape that these explanations are taking, their success in explaining both what is and what isn’t possible in human languages, and the tools and ingredients that are being used.

This workshop aims to bring together researchers working on explaining typological generalizations with the tools of formal semantics. We welcome submissions about specific empirical domains as well as those that compare approaches in different domains, borrow insights from explanations in other domains, explore the limits of what semantic theory can offer, and more. The focus may be on universals that are amenable to a semantic explanation or on cross-linguistic variation that is best explained making use of semantic tools. Both lexical semantics and rules of semantic composition may be considered.