This conference aims at gathering researchers interested in the properties of predicates, in particular in issues regarding the polysemy and the argument structure of verbs. The idea is to bring together insights on the polysemy of verbs and on argument realization from different theoretical, empirical and applied perspectives.

The conference will also host a workshop on arguments and adjuncts (see description below).

For the general session we invite contributions discussing the following topics about the properties of predicates and argument structure:

  • verbal polysemy at the interfaces: regular patterns and their exceptions
  • arguments: relations between lexicon, syntax and semantics
  • verbs and arguments over time: stability and dynamics of argument structures
  • the syntax and semantics of clausal arguments
  • structure of complex predicates (e.g. causatives, secondary predication, serial verbs etc.)
  • interaction between aspect, Aktionsart and argument structure
  • bottom-up and top-down strategies in resources for studying predicates and related phenomena (e.g. corpora, tools, experimental data etc.).

Other topics related to polysemy and argument structure of verbs are welcome as well.


Invited speakers:

General session:

    Elisabetta Ježek (Department of Humanities, University of Pavia)

    Carlo Geraci (CNRS, Institut Jean-Nicod & École Normale Supérieure, Paris)

Workshop Arguments and adjuncts:

    Boban Arsenijević (Karl-Franzens-University of Graz, Institute for Slavic Studies)

Workshop Arguments and adjuncts

Most syntactic theories differentiate between two major non-predicate sentence elements: arguments and adjuncts (Tesnière 1959, Bresnan 1982, Chomsky 1981, Dowty 2000, Van Valin 2001 et al.). The first ones are dictated and enabled mostly by predicative verb while the second ones occur ‘freely’ in the sentence. In recent times the clear cut between these two categories has been examined (Grimshaw 1990, Herbst 2007) and distinction is seen as non-binary and categorial, rather gradual in its nature (Forker 2014). Also their cross-linguistic value has been questioned (Haspelmath 2014). The topic of this workshop is the difference between arguments and adjuncts from a theoretical, comparative, and applied point of view.

We will welcome papers addressing one or more following topics:

  • different theoretical approaches to argument/adjunct distinction
  • valency: multidimensional or uniform phenomenon
  • tests for distinguishing arguments and adjuncts
  • arguments and adjuncts from a typological and comparative point of view
  • arguments and adjuncts: syntactic or semantic distinction?
  • resources for the study of arguments and adjuncts and their distinction
  • arguments and adjuncts in Croatian.

Each accepted presentation for both the general session and the workshop will have a 20 minute slot plus 10 minutes for discussion.