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Department of Comparative Language Science

Perspectives on Word Order Evolution: Reconstruction, Typology, and Processing 2018

2-day workshop, 8 and 9 November 2018
Department of Comparative Linguistics at the University of Zurich

The Department of Comparative Linguistics at the University of Zürich (IVS) is hosting a two-day workshop, “Perspectives On Word Order Evolution” from 8-9 November, organized by IVS graduate students and postdocs. This is a working meeting to present relevant work relating to word order and its development in multiple languages and families, and to build an integrated theory of word order evolution based on insights from typology and computational modeling, language processing and acquisition, and historical syntactic reconstruction. Besides presenters from the department, three invited speakers speakers will present keynotes: Ted Gibson (MIT), Julia Uddén (Stockholm), and Tatiana Nikitina (Lyon). The workshop will conclude with a roundtable discussion on the second day.

The workshop schedule (subject to finalization via the IVS website) is listed below, as is the location and time. Interested attendees are welcome.


Day 1

Time Location Talk Presenter
09.00-09.10 KOL-F-123 Welcome/Introduction  
09.10-10.10 KOL-F-123 Keynote 1
Crosslinguistic dependency length minimization
Ted Gibson
10.10-10.40 KOL-F-123 Phylogenetic perspectives on V2 and subject-drop in Indo-European Chundra Cathcart


KOL-E-12 Coffee Break  


KOL-F-123 Word order and population history Balthasar Bickel
11.30-12.00 KOL-F-123 Word order change across main and subordinate clauses in Indo-European and Tupí-Guaraní Rik van Gijn
12.10-13.40 KOL-E-12 Lunch Break  
13.40-14.40 KOL-E-13 Keynote 2
Word order consistency and word order change: Some unsolved issues
Tatiana Nikitina
14.40-15.10 KOL-E-13 Reconstructing word order in Austroasiatic: methodology and implications Wei-Wei Lee
15.10-15.40 KOL-E-13 Nicobarese word order: historical and areal perspectives Paul Sidwell
15.50-16.10 KOL-E-12 Coffee Break  
16.10-16.40 KOL-E-13 There and back again - a history of verb-initial word orders in Celtic Stefan Dedio
16.40-17.10 KOL-E-13 Evolutionary rates and directions of noun modifiers in Sino-Tibetan languages André Müller
18.30   Conference Dinner  


Day 2

Time Location Talk Presenter
09.00-09.30 KOL-E-12 Coffee  
09.30-10.30 KOL-E-13 Keynote 3
Neurobiological constraints on language processing and learning: investigating the push-down stack
Julia Uddén
10.30-11.00 KOL-E-13 Word order and sentence comprehension: An EEG study on an object-initial language (Äiwoo) Sebastian Sauppe
11.10-11.30 KOL-E-12 Coffee Break  
11.30-12.00 KOL-E-13 Harmony, locality and dependency direction in syntax Yingqi Jing
12.00-12.30 KOL-E-13 Deep history of word order biases Damián Blasi
13.00-14.30 Dozentenfoyer Lunch Break  
14.30-15.00 KOL-E-13 Does order matter for ontogeny? Sabine Stoll
15.00-15.30 KOL-E-13 Brief outlook: order effects in animal call combinations? Sabrina Engesser
15.30-17.30 KOL-E-13 Concluding remarks and round table discussion