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Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg
August 4-15, 2008


Workshop: What Syntax Feeds Semantics

organised as part of ESSLLI 2008
European Summer School on Logic, Language and Information
11-15 August, 2008 in Hamburg, Germany

Worshop Program (pdf version)

Tuesday, August 11

14:15 - 14:45

Introductory remarks by Maribel Romero.

14:45 - 15:15

Maier, Emar: What syntax doesn't feed semantics: fake indexicals als indexicals. Abstract. Slides.

15:15 - 15:45

Kempson, Ruth, Andrew Gargett, Eleni Gregoromichelaki, Chris Howes and Yo Sato: Dialogue-Grammar correspondence in Dynamic Syntax. Abstract. Slides.

Tuesday, August 12

14:15 - 14:45

Uchida, Hiroyuki: Uniform structure of multiple scope readings. Talk CANCELLED.

14:45 - 15:15

Guilliot, Nicolas: To reconstruct or not to reconstruct: that is the question. Abstract. Handout.

15:15 - 15:45

Luo, Qiong-Peng: Functional quantification in distributivity and events: a view from Chinese. Abstract. Slides.

Wednesday, August 13

14:15 - 15:25

Invited Talk

Joshi, Aravind K.: How big a spoon should Syntax use to feed Semantics? Slides.

15:25 - 15:45

Workshop Discussion

Thursday, August 14

14:15 - 14:45

Pollard, Carl: A parallel derivational architecture for the syntax-semantics interface. Abstract. Slides.

14:45 - 15:15

Richter, Frank and Manfred Sailer: Abstract. Slides.

15:15 - 15:45

Egg, Markus: Which syntax is required by semantics? Abstract. Slides.

Friday, August 15

14:15 - 15:25

Invited Talk

von Stechow, Arnim: Tense and modality as verbal quantifiers. Abstract. Handout/paper.

15:25 - 15:45

Workshop Discussion

Workshop Proceedings and Carl Pollard's handout

Workshop Purpose

The purpose of this workshop is to investigate on what kind of syntactic representation semantic interpretation applies. A dominant trend defends the existence of a covert level of representation, Logical Form (LF) in Generative Grammar/Minimalism, mediating between surface syntax and the semantic component. However, many of the original empirical reasons for LF have been challenged, and, for many phenomena commonly attributed to LF, alternative accounts exist that derive the semantics from the surface syntax. Other grammar formalisms -e.g. TAG, HPSG, LFG, CCG- use different syntactic inputs to arrive at the desired semantic interpretation. The workshop aims to provide a forum for researchers (including advanced PhD students) to present and discuss their work with colleagues working on the same or on different frameworks, in connection with the broad subject areas represented at ESSLLI.

Workshop Topics

The workshop is concerned with topics where the debate on the syntax-semantics mapping has been particularly active or can potentially lead to new results. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • scope and Noun Phrases (NPS): quantificational NPs, plurals, branching quantifier readings, etc.
  • scope reconstruction
  • connectivity effects (reflected in Binding Theory, NPI-licensing, opacity, etc.)
  • scope in degree constructions (comparatives, superlatives, etc.)
  • ellipsis (VP-ellipsis, gapping, NP-ellipsis, etc.)
  • representation and binding of pronouns
  • representation and binding of world/situation variables
  • representation and binding of temporal variables

Call for Papers

Submission details: Authors are invited to submit an anonymous abstract not exceeding 2 pages (including examples and references), on an 11pt font and with 2cm per margin. The following formats are accepted: PDF, ASCII text, WSWord. Please send your submission electronically by March 8, 2008 to the email address: Please include the following information in the body of the email:

  • title of the paper
  • name of the author(s)
  • affiliation
  • contact address
  • email address

The submissions will be reviewed by the workshop's programme committee and potentially additional reviewers. The accepted papers will appear in the workshop proceedings published by ESSLLI.

Workshop format

The workshop is part of ESSLLI and is open to all ESSLLI participants. It will consist of five 90-minute sessions held over five consecutive days in the second week of ESSLLI. There will be 3 slots for paper presentation and discussion per session. On the first day the workshop organizer will give an introduction or extended lecture on the topic to familiarize the audience with the phenomena.

Invited Speakers

  • Arnim von Stechow, University of Tübingen and University of Konstanz
  • Aravind K. Joshi, University of Pennsylvania

Workshop Programme Committee

  • Chris Barker, NYU
  • Rajesh Bhatt, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • Miriam Butt, University of Konstanz
  • Daniel Hardt, Copenhagen Business School and languagelens
  • Pauline Jacobson, Brown University
  • Laura Kallmeyer, University of Tuebingen
  • Maribel Romero, University of Konstanz (Chair)
  • Manfred Sailer, University of Goettingen
  • Uli Sauerland, ZAS
  • Philippe Schlenker, Institut Jean-Nicod and NYU
  • Yael Sharvit, University of Connecticut
  • Mark Steedman, University of Edinburgh
  • Satoshi Tomioka, University of Delaware

Important dates

  • 27 March 2008: Submission deadline **EXTENDED**
  • 27 April 2008: Notification of acceptance
  • 01 May 2008: Preliminary programme
  • 17 May 2008: Final papers for proceedings
  • 21 June 2008: Final programme
  • 11-15 August 2008: Workshop

Local Arrangements:

All workshop participants including the presenters will be required to register for ESSLLI. The registration fee for authors presenting a paper will correspond to the early student/workshop speaker registration fee. There will be no reimbursement for travel costs and accommodation.

Contact e-mail: