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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Romanistik

Whither reanalysis? A workshop at HU Berlin, 1st-2nd March 2019

Reanalysis, in its classical characterization the ''change in the structure of an expression or class of expressions that does not involve any immediate or intrinsic modification of its surface structure'' (Langacker 1977: 58), is widely accepted as the key and most basic mechanism of grammatical change. Remarkably, it is used as theoretical concept across frameworks of syntactic change. Despite its widespread use, the notion as such remains to a certain extent elusive and it has recently attracted controversy (e.g. De Smet 2009, 2013, Whitman 2012).

This two-day symposium at Humboldt University Berlin, on 1st and 2nd March 2019, brings together researchers in diachronic change with the aim of discussing and elucidating the notion of reanalysis. We would ask participants to let themselves be guided, in their contributions, by some of the following questions:

- Is reanalysis a phenomenon, i.e. in the empirical domain, or a construct on the analytical plane?
- Is it an atomic concept, or is it reducible to even more basic steps?
- Is reanalysis an identifiable type of change among others, or does it underlie all grammatical change?
- To what extent does reanalysis depend on the chosen syntactic framework?
- How does reanalysis relate to type and token frequency of the affected items?
- To what extent may discourse be an enabling or an adverse factor in reanalysis?
- Is reanalysis the same mechanism across language acquisition, adult speech, and language contact?
- How do scenarios of language acquisition, language change, and language contact differ from each other in the way they may be conducive to reanalysis?
- Does reanalysis lend itself to any typological generalizations?
- Given that reanalysis is usually conceived of as a cognitive process at heart, how does evidence from language processing for it relate to diachronic evidence?

We hope that this workshop will stimulate thinking on what we think of as some of the foundations of grammatical change, and that it will lead to greater clarity on the role and nature of reanalysis.

Invited speakers: Artemis Alexiadou (Humboldt University Berlin), Hendrik De Smet (Leuven), Ander Egurtzegi (LMU Munich), Eitan Grossman (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen (Manchester), Martin Haspelmath (MPI-SHH Jena), Elizabeth Closs Traugott (Stanford), George Walkden (Konstanz).

A few slots for 30+15 min talks are being made available via this Call for Papers. Please send a one-page abstract to Richard Waltereit (richard.waltereit@hu-berlin.de) by 31 August 2018. Notification of acceptance: 30 September 2018.


Programme: https://www.romanistik.hu-berlin.de/aktuelle-informationen/veranstaltungskalender/reanalysis-march-14-02-19-def.pdf

Organisers: Richard Waltereit (Humboldt University Berlin), Ulrich Detges (LMU Munich), Esme Winter-Froemel (Trier), Anne Wolfsgruber (Humboldt University Berlin).