Confs: Historical Linguistics, Linguistic Theories, Syntax/Germany

Restrictions on Combinatorics and Their Role in Language Change

Date: 20-Mar-2014 – 21-Mar-2014
Location: Hanover, Germany
Contact: Elena Smirnova, Robert Mailhammer
Contact Email:,
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Syntax

Meeting Description:

Research on grammaticalisation and lexicalisation usually assumes a functional
or semantic change as the first step of the development. However, it is less
clear what prompts this change in the first place. The background hypothesis
to this conference is that sub-grammatical restrictions on the way items can
be combined in constructions, which then develop into lexical or grammatical
units, play a pivotal role in motivating these crucial functional and semantic
changes. That is, the synchronic combinability of words can shape paths of
grammaticalisation and lexicalisation. The conference brings together
researchers investigating this hypothesis especially in the context of
periphrastic passive constructions in the languages of Europe, but also from a
typological and theoretical viewpoint.

LINGUIST List: Vol-25-391