Summer School 2014

  • What?
    As part of its program, ACTL is hosting a summerschool in linguistics from June 23-27, 2014.
    Classes will take place Mo-Fri according to the followin schedule.Pick up a badge, register, and grab a cup of tea or coffee on Monday, June 23 from 8 o’clock in Chandler House.
    There will be a brief opening of the school at 9:00 am on June 23.

    Time Teacher Title
    9:30-11:00 L. Hyman Universals in phonology
    11:15-12:45 M. Abrusan Representations of Context
    Lunch Lunch
    2:15-3:45 G. Cinque Universals in the nominal phrase
    4:00-5:30 D. Harbour Universals in person and number
  • Where?
    All classes will take place in the UCL linguistics department, Chandler House, 2 Wakefield Street, WC1N 1PF, London, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in room 118. Tuesday in room G10.
  • How much does it cost?
    Nothing, if you are a registered linguistics student (BA, MA, MPhil, MRes, etc. or Ph.D. level) at one of the institutions participating in ACTL, i.e., Cambridge, Essex, Kent, Oxford, Queen Mary, SOAS, or UCL.
    Nothing if you have ever taught at the ACTL.
    If you are not in one of the above groups, we ask you to contribue £100 towards the cost of running the school.
  • How do I register?
    We ask all interested students, whether you come from an ACTL university or not, to register for the school. Registration is easy: Just send an email to register.
  • How do I pay?
    Once you have registered and if you need to pay, we will get in touch to arrange payment by check or credit card.
  • Where can I stay?
    We suggest booking accommodation at the reasonably priced Generator Hostel, which is two minutes away from the linguistics department.
  • Any other questions?
    Please get in touch by email:

The courses

  • Universals in Phonology
    In this course we will focus on the quest for universals in phonology. We will be interested in questions such as: What are the different approaches that have been taken and the role of theory in the pursuit of phonological universals? How do these approaches (and their respective findings) contribute to our understanding sound systems, grammar, and Language in general? What have been the results of such studies? Drawing on a wide range of languages and linguistic phenomena, we will begin with a general discussion, then evaluate proposed universal aspects of consonant and vowel systems, syllable structure, and word accent. We will consider absolute, conditional (“implicational”), and statistical universals to determine the limits of linguistic variation, but also the important role of theory. In the course of these lectures we will take a “property-driven” approach to linguistic typology (Hyman 2009), which respects diversity, but attempts to establish what is common in linguistic systems. There also will be a small number of data analyses to do in preparation for discussion in class the next day.
    Suggested readings:*


      1. Consonant and vowel systemsHyman, Larry M. 2008. Universals in phonology. The Linguistic Review 25.83-137. Maddieson, Ian. 2011. Typology of phonological systems. In Jae Jung Song (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Typology, 534-548. Oxford University Press.
      1. The SyllableBlevins, Juliette 1995. The syllable in phonological theory. In John A. Goldsmith (ed.), The handbook of phonological theory, 206-244. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
        Hyman, Larry M. 2011. Are there really no syllables in Gokana? Or: What’s so great about being universal? Phonology 21.55-85.
      1. Word AccentHulst, Harry van der. 2010. Word accent: Terms, typologies and theories. In Harry van der Hulst, Rob Goedemans & Ellen van Zanten (eds), A survey of word accentual patterns in the languages of the world, 3-53. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter Mouton.
        Hyman, Larry M. 2009. How (not) to do phonological typology: the case of pitch-accent. Language Sciences 31.213-238.
      1. Phonological typology in optimality theoryGordon, Matthew. 2007. Typology in optimality theory. Language and Linguistics Compass 1.750-769.

    *The course handouts will include additional references to the specific issues covered.


  • Representations of Context
    The interpretation of many expressions depends heavily on their interaction with the context. This course will present different models for representing the linguistic context. Throughout the discussion, we will examine the analysis of presupposition and anaphora in the various theoretical models presented as an empirical case study.

    1. Context and presuppositions (Lewis 1979, Stalnaker 1974, 1978)
    2. Enriched representation of contexts 1: DRT (Kamp and Reyle 1993)
    3. Enriched representation of contexts 2: SDRT (Asher and Lascarides 2003)
    4. Enriched representation of contexts 3: Dialogues and questions under discussion (Roberts 1996, Ginzburg 2012)
    5. Enriched representation of contexts 4: Perspectives, evidentials, etc. (Murray 2014)


    Asher, N. and A. Lascarides (2003). Logics of Conversation. Cambridge University Press.
    Ginzburg, J. (2012). The interactive stance. Oxford University Press.
    Kamp, H. and U. Reyle (1993). From discourse to logic: Introduction to modeltheoretic semantics of natural language, formal logic and discourse representation theory. Number 42. Springer.
    Lewis, D. (1979). Scorekeeping in a language game. Journal of Philosophical Logic 8, 339-359.
    Murray, S. E. (2014). Varieties of update. Semantics and Pragmatics 7(2), 1-53.
    Roberts, C. (1996). Information structure in discourse: Towards an integrated formal theory of pragmatics. Working Papers in Linguistics-Ohio State University Department of Linguistics, 91-136. (Reprinted in Semantics and Pragmatics 2012)
    Stalnaker, R. C. (1974). Pragmatic presuppositions. In M. Munitz and P. Unger (Eds.), Semantics and Philosophy: Essays. New York: New York University Press.
    Stalnaker, R. C. (1978). Assertion. In P. Cole (Ed.), Syntax and Semantics 9, pp. 315-332. New York: Academic Press.

  • Universals in the Nominal Phrase
    In my course I present and discuss a (partial) map of the extended projection of the NP, trying to determine the relative height of different modifiers, from universal quantifiers to demonstratives, to pre-numeral adjectives, to numerals and numeral classifiers, to number (plural, dual,..), and adjectives. I will also try to motivate the existence of four distinct functional projections, for augmentative, pejorative, diminutive and endearing morphemes, and try to locate them within the extended projection. Concerning the cross-linguistic order of some of these modifiers, I intend to discuss a refinement of my (2005) movement account of Greenberg’s Universal 20, within a derivational approach to word order in head-initial and head-final languages. Another specific topic I will focus on concerns the analysis of different types of relative clauses: non-restrictive, restrictive, reduced. These different types of relative clauses appear to be merged at different heights within the extended projection of the NP. At the same time a unified analysis will be proposed of the different types of relative constructions found across languages (pre-nominal and post-nominal Head external, Head internal, Double-Headed, Headless, and Correlative), both in the `Raising’ and the `Matching’ derivations).References

    G. Cinque. Deriving Greenberg’s universal 20 and its exceptions. Linguistic Inquiry, 36(3):315-332, 2005.

  • Universals in person and number
    Person and number have been major areas of activity for inestigators of universals throughout the development of modern typology (from Greenberg to Corbett, Cysouw, Siewierska and beyond). As distinctions between robust universals and mere tendencies begin to solidify, we will use this course to examine how feature inventories in generative grammar have developed in the light of these typological studies, how such developments should shape our understanding of what an adequate feature-based explanation looks like, and how our feature inventories must interact with syntax, semantics, and morphology.Readings:

        • Corbett G. 2000. Number. Cambridge University Press.
        • Cysouw M. 2003. The paradigmatic structure of person marking. Oxford University Press.
        • Harley H and Ritter E. 2002. Person and Number in Pronouns: A Feature-Geometric Analysis. Language. Draft here

      Harbour D. 2014. Paucity, abundance, and the theory of number. Language.

    • Noyer, R. 1992. Features, Positions and Affixes in Autonomous Morphological Structure. PhD MIT. (Available from MITWPL.)

    The first two are typological / descriptive, the last three theoretical.

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