4.0059 Call for Papers: Scrambling (100)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Wed, 16 May 90 17:17:59 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0059. Wednesday, 16 May 1990.

Date: Wed, 16 May 90 15:51 N
Subject: scrambling
Forwarded by: Willard McCarty



***** *****
***** SCRAMBLING *****
***** *****

Place: Tilburg University / Bestuursacademie Noord-Brabant
Meerkoldreef 6, Tilburg (next to RR station Tilburg-

Time: October 18 through 20 1990 (Thursday through Saturday)

Keynote speakers: Hans den Besten
Ken Hale (invited - yet to be confirmed)
Katalin Kiss

Selected speakers: There are 15 slots for 40 minutes presen-
tations. Speakers whose abstracts have
been selected may expect a honorarium of
dfl. 300.-- (about US$ 150.--).

Abstracts: You are invited to submit abstracts whose
length should not exceed 2 pages.
Pertinence to the topic will be an im-
portant criterion. The original abstract
should contain your name, address and
affiliation, and preferably also your
e-mail address. In addition you should
send 6 copies of the abstract. Your sub-
mission should be addressed and mailed

e-mail: corver@kub.nl

snailmail: SCRAMBLING c/o Corver
Dept. of Language and Lit.
Tilburg University
P.O. Box 90153
5000 LE Tilburg
The Netherlands

Deadline: Deadline for the submission of abstracts
is September 1 1990. You may expect a
decision by September 15.

Participation: Participants (non-speakers) will be ex-
pected to pay a registration fee of
dfl. 50.-- (about US$ 25.--).

Topic: Scrambling:

Scrambling refers to a set of phenomena in natural languages
which have to do with (relatively) free word order. While
the delimitation of this set is not entirely obvious, we
take permutations of XPs (complements and adjuncts) in the
inner areas of the sentence to be the core case of
scrambling. This means that wh-movement and other movements
to the (roughly) first position, extrapositions (movements
to the last position) and head movements such as Verb Second
are not included. Fringe cases are clitic movement, at least
of the Germanic type, and embedded topicalization as found,
for example, in English. This delimitation is undoubtedly
arbitrary in many ways and should itself be considered part
of the problem: current theorizing simply does not tell us
much about the status of such phenomena. In fact, if we
approach the question from a theoretical perspective, we
notice that there is a considerable discrepancy between
current conceptions of Move Alpha and scrambling phenomena.
One of the central problems a theory of the Barriers type
confronts, for example, is the status of adjunction to such
nodes as the VP. In languages like German, this is often
assumed to be the cause of the relative freedom of word
order in the Mittelfeld. For languages like English, on the
other hand, the problem is that adjunction to VP may have to
be assumed for theoretical reasons but can only be an
intermediate stage in a derivation (it cannot survive at
s-structure). More generally speaking, if adjunction of XPs
to a variety of nodes is allowed, why is so little visible
use made of this possibility in many languages. Are there
any alternatives that get by with little or no adjunction?
Of course, Heavy-NP-Shift may be an instance of adjunction
to VP, but that is rightward adjunction, as opposed to the
adjunction assumed for long movement. So one empirical
generalization might be that overt adjunction to VP may
never cross the verb, i.e. it must leave the adjoined XP
on the same side of the head.
It appears, then, that, while vague in certain respects, the
problems related to scrambling phenomena are connected with
several important and difficult issues, both empirical and