29 July 2022
CreteLing 2022: The 4th Crete Summer School of Linguistics
CreteLing 2022 is the international summer school of linguistics hosted by the University of Crete. No less than 33 university professors from all over the world will come to Crete in July 2022 to teach various topics in Linguistics. You can attend as many or as few classes as you want. Two workshops and a poster conference included.
Description of classes:
Adam Albright - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
This course compares various models of phonological computation, focusing especially on constraint-based models of phonology that employ grammars of ranked (Optimality Theory) or weighted (Harmonic Grammar, Maximum Entropy models) constraints. We first compare how these models select surface forms (i.e., assign probability distributions over potential outputs), and assess the implications for phonological typology. We then turn to the problem of learning constraint rankings and weightings, comparing different approaches to learnability challenges. No prior knowledge of computational modeling or programming is assumed; some prior experience with Optimality Theory would be helpful, but not necessary.
Intermediate Syntax IIB: Case (Week II)
Elena Anagnostopoulou - University of Crete
This intermediate class will provide an outline of Case Theory and how proposals have developed over time to deal with several empirical and conceptual questions. Topics include Abstract Case and the Extended Projection Principle, the relationship between syntactic licensing of NPs and the distribution of overt case morphology, configurational/dependent case vs. Case assigned under Agree, structural vs. inherent Case. Participants are expected to be familiar with basic syntactic theory of the sort used in introductory syntactic classes or textbooks (such as the CreteLing Introduction to Syntax class).
Morphemes and Morphotactics
Karlos Arregi & Paul Kiparsky - University of Chicago & Stanford University
Distributed Morphology and Minimalist Morphology are broadly compatible with the Minimalist Program, but differ conceptually and empirically in ways that this course will explore. The first part of the course deals with morphemes and their organization into paradigms, including allomorphy and allosemy, locality, blocking effects, multiple exponence, and prosodic morphology. The second part of the course is devoted to morphotactics and takes up issues of affix ordering and constituency, level ordering, and cyclicity. The interface of morphology with phonology, syntax, and semantics will be in focus throughout. This is an intermediate-level course which presupposes introductory-level knowledge of syntax and phonology.
Phonological alternations: stratification, storage, history
Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero - University of Manchester
Contextual variation in the form of linguistic exponents, i.e. ‘alternation’ in the broadest sense of the term, comprises an extremely wide variety of phenomena: from probabilistic variation operating over—and affected by—continuous phonetic parameters, to strong suppletion conditioned by syntactic features. This course presents an attempt to derive a fine-grained taxonomy of alternation types in a theoretically principled manner from the interaction of three key elements:
* a constraint-based stratal-cyclic theory of phonological computation (Bermúdez-Otero 2018);
* an approach to lexical storage under which entries may be either nonanalytic or analytic, and may be linked by nonproductive schemata (Bermúdez-Otero 2012: §2.3);
* an account of the diachronic life cycle of phonological patterns (Bermúdez-Otero 2015).
This effort leads to the conclusion that, whilst the synchronic implementation of particular alternations often involves highly complex and redundant interactions between several lexical and grammatical components, the overall typology and diachronic dynamics of alternation presents a remarkably orderly picture at the global level. This course is advanced and requires previous acquaintance with phonological theory, especially OT.
Rajesh Bhatt & Winfried Lechner - University of Massachusetts & National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
This intermediate course in semantics will cover phenomena such as plurals, events, and the mass/count distinction. It will introduce formal techniques and concepts (e.g. assignment functions, Link's star operator, covers, and type shifting) that have been useful in the analysis of these phenomena. Prerequisities: Participants are expected to be familiar with basic set theory, boolean logic and compositional interpretation of syntactic trees of the sort used in introductory semantics classes or textbooks (such Heim & Kratzer or the CreteLing Introduction to Semantics class).
Introduction to Semantics
Cleo Condoravdi - Stanford University
This course will cover the main analytical concepts and technical tools used in the study of linguistic meaning and use. We will focus on varieties of implications, such as entailments, presuppositions, conversational implicatures, on the basics of semantic composition and on modeling inherent properties of language, such as ambiguity, vagueness and context-dependence. No background is required in Semantics.
Semantics and Pragmatics of Questions
Regine Eckardt & Donka Farkas - University of Konstanz & University of California, Santa Cruz
The semantics of questions has been studied for decades and is by now fairly well understood. This course concentrates on the less well-studied area of non-canonical questions pursuing two related goals:
* understanding the semantic and pragmatic connections between canonical and non-canonical questions,
* accounting in detail for particular morpho-syntactically marked non-canonical questions across several languages.
We first introduce classical approaches to question semantics, ending with a semantic, pragmatic and morpho-syntactic characterization of canonical questions. We then turn to non-canonical questions, i.e., questions that violate one or more conditions for question acts as described by Searle (1969). We focus on questions that are morpho-syntactically marked as non-canonical, including markers for rhetorical questions, self- addressed questions, biased questions, conjectural questions, and theme-setting questions. The analyses of non-canonical questions we work out rest on an articulated interface between morpho-syntax, semantics and pragmatics. They lead us to re-think the role of context and the relation between speaker, addressee and common ground. The course assumes that you are familiar with basic semantics as introduced in Heim & Kratzer (1998), Portner (2005) or Beck & Gergel (2014).
Varieties of X-marking
Kai von Fintel - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
X-marking is a term proposed by von Fintel & Iatridou 2020 for morphological markers that have a characteristic set of uses crosslinguistically, at least the following three: (i) they are used to mark conditionals that are often called "counterfactual" or "subjunctive" from those that are not called that (but crucially, the marking does not actually always signal counterfactuality, nor is it consistently "subjunctive"), (ii) they are used in the expression of unattainable desires, and (iii) they are used in the construction of weak necessity modality. Some exponents of X-marking across languages include "fake past tense", "fake imperfective aspect", subjunctive/irrealis mood, and dedicated markers (Hungarian -nA, Russian by). In this course, we will explore the semantic side of X-marking and assess the prospects for a unified compositional analysis.
Introduction to Neurolinguistics
Yosef Grodzinsky - Hebrew University of Jerusalem
This course will discuss the brain bases for linguistic and communicative ability. It will attempt to address two questions:
(a) In what ways is linguistic theory relevant to the scientific study of the human brain?
(b) How are data produced by neuroscience-based methods, and brain-related constraints, relevant to linguistic theory?
To provide answers to these questions, concrete neurolinguistic arguments need to be given, for which background is necessary. The course will therefore begin with a quick but fairly thorough review of current methods in neuroanatomy, as well as of central experimental and analytic methods for the study of the neural basis of linguistic ability. This review will lead to a third question:
(c) How to design the right experiment and interpret its results.
En route to an answer, I will present some prominent results regarding the brain bases for linguistic knowledge, with an emphasis on knowledge that pertains to meaning. Concretely, I will begin with results that seem to identify the neural bases for the computation of downward entailingness at a surprising degree of precision, and then move on to other aspects of meaning. The course will conclude with some puzzles and open problems, as well as demonstrations of clinical applications of the methods in the field - I will show how fine semantics questions can be tested in clinical settings, and in fact in the operating room, with awake patients that undergo neurosurgical procedures. Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of syntax and propositional logic, some knowledge of semantics.
What children get, what they don't and why
Maria Teresa Guasti & Arhonto Terzi & Spyridoula Varlokosta & Kazuko Yatsushiro - University of Milano-Bicocca & University of Patras & National and Kapodistrian University of Athens & ZAS Berlin
The course is drawing on language acquisition data in order to put together the ingredients of what a theory of some aspects of language should look like. It will adopt a strong crosslinguistic approach and will avail itself of data from typical and atypical development. Three topics will be discussed:
Voice alternation: This section will deal with the various expressions of voice across languages and their acquisition. One expression that will figure prominently is the so-called passive. After a brief introduction of background literature, we will discuss the pragmatics underlying the use of passive, the fact that “passive meaning” is often conveyed through causatives, and other expressions with a passive flavour (e.g. middles, impersonals, reflexives, unaccusatives). In this connection, the acquisition of voice of some Austronesian languages will be discussed, as well as of Greek, where passives are synthetic and share the morphology of reflexives, unaccusatives and middles.
Negation: This section will deal with the interaction of negation and disjunction and with connectives in negative concord environments across early languages, and issues related to the semantic contribution of negative expressions in negative concord and double negation languages. For the former, starting from Pagliarini et al. (2018) and its replication (Pagliarini et al. 2021), we will ask what is the property responsible for an earlier acquisition of the adult target in certain languages and why the meaning of a connective in a negative concord environment is easier to grasp than the meaning of a positive connective. For the latter, we discuss the implication of child language data from German, a double negation language, which corroborate adult processing data from languages like English, and argue for an approach to treat Negative concord as a default setting of grammar.
Operator movement: This section will deal with how questions and relative clauses develop crosslinguistically, how the asymmetry between subject and object movement is accounted for either in terms of the feature-selective approach to intervention effects or by the Agree operation that takes the copy of the object as its goal. Data from various languages, including Greek, will be discussed, on the basis of the different features that the arguments involved carry. Finally, a comparison of early language with the language of individuals with acquired language disorders (post stroke aphasia, primary progressive aphasia, Alzheimer’s disease) will be made, where the picture regarding intervention effects appears to be partially different.
Intermediate Syntax I: Verbal Morphosyntax and Binding Theory
Sabine Iatridou - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In this class we will focus on a small number of topics, among which will minimally be binding theory and verbal morphosyntax. We will discuss what the empirical challenges are in each domain, and how proposals have developed over time to deal with an increasing body of knowledge about the relevant crosslinguistic patterns. Prerequisites: At least one semester of syntax. Complete familiarity with drawing and understanding syntactic trees. Basic notions like c-command and government.
Introduction to Syntax
Kyle Johnson - University of Massachusetts
This course introduces the beginning student to some of the central methodologies and results of contemporary syntactic theory. The goal will be to provide the student with a brief foundation for syntactic theorizing and a working knowledge of movement, ellipsis, agreement, and a rudimentary knowledge of argument structure. The course is structured around a set of lecture notes and problem sets. This class is introductory, so no background is required in Syntax.
Musical structure and interpretation: A linguistic approach (Week II)
Jonah Katz & Philippe Schlenker - West Virginia University & École Normale Supérieure Paris
This course is a survey of combinatoric dependencies, constituent structure, semantic interpretation, and pragmatic inferences in (mostly Western Tonal) music. Each of these domains will be compared and contrasted with their linguistic counterparts, to the extent possible. The emphasis will be on computational-level properties of musical and linguistic systems rather than processing or production algorithms. The materials will assume some familiarity with basic concepts in linguistic syntax and semantics. We will attempt to introduce and motivate all relevant music-theoretic material, though some experience with Western music performance or analysis will be useful for understanding the material thoroughly.
Intermediate Syntax IIA: Control (Week I)
Idan Landau - Ben-Gurion University
Control constructions typically involve a referential dependency between an overt argument in the main clause and a null subject (PRO) in an embedded clause (e.g., Pauli prefers [PROi to be alone]). In this course we will address key questions like: What is the nature of the control dependency? Is it reducible to other grammatical dependencies (predication, binding, or movement)? Is it specified in the syntax or in lexical semantics? Must the controller be overt? Must the controllee be null? In what ways does control depend on properties of the controlled clause (finiteness and case)? What determines whether control is obligatory or optional? Does control operate in adjuncts the same way it does in complements? We will try to answer all these questions by navigating through the rich literature on the topic. The course is intermediate level; basic syntax and basic semantics are prerequisites.
Evolution and Language (Week II)
Shigeru Miyagawa - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In this course, we will explore how modern humans developed the high cognitive capability that makes it possible for us to have language. First, we will look at ideas about how humans and language evolved. Scrutiny of the fossil and archaeological records reveals that the transition to symbolic reasoning happened very late in hominid history - indeed, within the tenure of anatomically recognizable Homo sapiens. Given the intimate interdependence of modern cognition and language, the most plausible cultural trigger for symbolic thought processes was the spontaneous invention of language in an African isolate of early Homo sapiens at (very approximately) 100,000 years ago. To try to see how language formed, we will compare language of the modern humans with systems of communication employed by other animals, particularly the systems employed by birdsong, and by the alarm calls of Old World monkeys. We will identify similarities and differences as a way to explore how human language might have emerged in evolution in the time frame given. No background linguistic knowledge is required.
Tense and Aspect
Roumyana Pancheva & Paul Portner & Sergei Tatevosov - University of Southern California & Georgetown University & Lomonosov Moscow State University
One of the core universal properties of languages is that they situate events in time. There has been a long tradition of formal and empirical investigation into the mechanisms that languages use to accomplish this task. We will offer a fast-paced overview of how tense and aspect work, illustrating the major advances in understanding universality and variation, and identifying the still unresolved questions. Specific topics include tense vs aspect, perfect and progressive, aspect and evidentiality, (im)perfectivity, aktionsart and aspectual composition, and Slavic-type aspectual systems. Level: Intermediate-Advanced. Prerequisites: Graduate-level coursework in syntax and formal semantics.
Introduction to Super Linguistics (Week I)
Pritty Patel-Grosz & Philippe Schlenker - University of Oslo & École Normale Supérieure Paris
In this introductory level class, we will offer an introduction to Super Linguistics (using the term 'super' in its original Latinate meaning 'beyond'), which we define as the application of formal linguistic methodology (and methodology inspired by linguistics) to diverse non-standard objects (beyond standard linguistic objects of study). Out of the various topics that have already been explored under the Super Linguistics umbrella (including the syntax/semantics of gestures, music, dance, non-verbal pictorial representations, animal calls, and animal gestures), we zoom in on iconicity and sign, animal semantics and narrative dance. In doing so, we connect these newly established objects of study to more traditional objects of study, in particular, formal semantic modeling of iconicity in both spoken and signed natural languages. This class is introductory in that it does not presuppose familiarity with super linguistic topics (e.g., iconicity in sign language, animal semantics, gesture, dance). However, introductory level knowledge in syntax, semantics and pragmatics will be presupposed.
Verb-initial languages (with a special emphasis on Mayan and Austronesian)
Maria Polinsky - University of Maryland
The goal of this class is to provide an introduction to the comparative study of Austronesian languages, with an emphasis on syntactic structure. We will discuss issues in the study of Austronesian languages that pose challenges to current linguistic theory and consider further readings and topics for discussion. The overall goals of the course are threefold:
* To provide an introduction to the languages of the Austronesian (AN) family and to give students tools and background knowledge to aid in their future work on these languages
* To identify critical issues pertaining to the structure of AN and their implications for modern syntactic theory
* To introduce new topics in the study of AN
The choice of the Austronesian language family as the focus of this class is not accidental. Although it is considered the largest language family in the world (comprising roughly 1,200 genetically related languages dispersed throughout Madagascar, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific islands), AN has received relatively little attention in the academic literature. Sophisticated research into AN did not really begin until the 1930s and 1940s, fueled, in part, by military interest in the Pacific region. Austronesian languages possess a number of typologically unusual properties, making them important to the development of linguistic theory. Our basic perception of syntax might be dramatically different if these languages were as well-understood today as, say, the Romance languages. The following list illustrates a small selection of the intriguing features whose theoretical significance will surely deepen when they are investigated from a comparative perspective:
* Many Austronesian languages exhibit the uncommon word orders verb-subject-object (VSO) and verb-object-subject (VOS). These word orders pose an apparent challenge to theories that posit a universal underlying SVO word order. Some Austronesian languages exhibit both VOS and VSO, thus raising the question of which order is more basic. It is not clear what determines the choice between VSO and VOS either intra- or cross-linguistically within the Austronesian family.
* Austronesian languages also display an unusual order within the verb phrase (the “middlefield”): objects apparently shift rightward rather than leftward, and the order of adverbs is the mirror image of that found in better-studied languages.
* Many Austronesian languages, especially those spoken in the western branches of the family, have complex verbal voice systems. Voice morphology indicates the grammatical role of the ‘subject’, a syntactically and pragmatically privileged constituent which has been variously analyzed as a structural subject, an absolutive argument (in an ergative system), or a topic. The grammatical status of the ‘subject’ and the treatment of the voice system remain highly controversial and call for more investigation, especially from a comparative perspective.
* Many Austronesian languages impose unusually stringent syntactic constraints on which arguments can be questioned, focused (“emphasized”), or topicalized (presented as background information); in these languages, the only constituent eligible for these operations is the ‘subject’. The nature of this restriction is not well understood and poses significant challenges to existing theories of syntactic movement. It is also mysterious why the restriction is so resilient within this language family.
This course requires basic knowledge of syntax.
Introduction to Phonology
Doug Pulleyblank - University of British Columbia
This course is an introduction to phonological analysis. We'll focus on ways that sounds are represented in human language, how they are hierarchically structured, and how sound patterns are accounted for. We will consider patterns from many different languages, examining patterns of both distribution and alternation, and looking at phenomena such as assimilation, dissimilation, metathesis, stress and reduplication. We will look at what is special about these sorts of phenomena and how linguists approach their treatment. The focus will be on gaining practice in data analysis, with exposure to both rule-based and constraint-based frameworks. The course is introductory in nature.
Introduction to Sign Languages
Josep Quer - ICREA-Pompeu Fabra University
This course is an introduction into some of the core issues in Sign Language Linguistics, so that students are able to evaluate the results of this research field for the study of the human faculty of language. After a general introduction to socio-historical aspects of this type of natural languages, we will tackle several central topics in the phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics of sign languages. We will analyze not only the similarities with spoken languages but also the specific differences deriving from the visual-manual modality that can shed light on certain aspects of linguistic theorizing. No previous knowledge about sign languages is required.
Norvin Richards - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Standard Minimalist syntax posits a number of parameters controlling the distribution of various types of overt movement. Some languages have overt wh-movement, while others do not; some languages move the verb to T, and others don’t; some languages have something like the EPP, while others do not. We have technology for describing these kinds of facts (strong features, EPP features, and so forth), but no real explanations; the existence of a particular type of overt movement in a language is not connected to any other observable facts about the language.
In this class we will try to develop a more explanatory theory of these kinds of phenomena. The idea will be that there are universal conditions on the mapping between syntax and phonology, which are met in different ways in different languages because of independently observable differences in phonology and morphology. In the end, at least in this domain, there will be no truly syntactic parameters.
The class will assume some fairly basic familiarity with syntax (students will need to be reasonably comfortable with trees, for example, and with the idea of movement). No previous training in phonology or morphology will be necessary.
Language, Gender, and Sexuality (Week I)
Ivy Sichel - University of California, Santa Cruz
(How) does gender affect the way in which we speak and the ways in which we perceive other people’s speech? Do gender-related barriers to equal participation in public speech, stereotypes about vocal fry and the significance of #MeToo suggest that language is a feminist issue in our time? The course will combine work in socio-linguistics, feminist theory, queer theory, and racio-linguistics to construct a background for discussion of language, gender, and sexuality. Taking as a point of departure the recognition that gender is more than a simple dichotomy between men and women, we will consider the role of language in the construction of gender as traditionally understood, and look beyond that to the role of language in the construction of non-binary gender, trans-genders and sexual identities. No background in these topics is presupposed.
Bilingualism over the Lifespan (Week II)
Antonella Sorace - University of Edinburgh
This course will focus on bilingualism (in the broad sense of learning more than one language) over the lifespan: in childhood (including simultaneous and consecutive bilingualism), in adulthood, and at an older age. Topics covered will include:
* How languages are learned at different stages of life, and the role of predispositions, individual differences, input and experience;
* Ultimate attainment in adult second language (L2) learning and how the processes of L2 learning and first language change are selectively connected for different linguistic structures;
* How linguistic and cognitive factors interact with each other at different ages;
* What different kinds of data (naturalistic case studies, corpora, experimental findings) contribute to research questions.
The phonology of nasal-stop sequences (Week I)
Juliet Stanton - New York University
In this one-week course, we will cover several different aspects of the phonology of nasal-stop sequences. Questions to be addressed include: How do we know when a nasal-stop sequence is a segment and when it is a cluster? What might the synchronic analysis of post-nasal devoicing, an alternation generally claimed to be phonetically unnatural, look like? How is the distribution of nasal-stop sequences affected by the distribution of nasal vowels? In addition to discussing these questions and possible answers, we will explore the consequences that these questions have for our understanding of the nature of representations and our understanding of the structure of the phonological grammar.
CreteLing Directors: Sabine Iatridou, Vina Tsakali
The School offers introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses, two workshops and a poster conference.
No cretits, no assessment.
Certificate of attendance for all participants.
Participants can select which courses to attend.
EUR 300: Early registration fee: €300 for students, €400 for others, free for students of the University of Crete and for retired professors.
EUR 400: Late registration fee: €400 for students, €500 for others, free for students of the University of Crete and for retired professors.
Few grants (50% off the fee) available for students