workshop on focus and topic at glow 34 in vienna

Next year’s glow in vienna will include a workshop on the phonological marking of focus and topic, organized by Edwin Williams. Note that this workshop has a separate submission site on easy chair.

Call Deadline: 01-Nov-2010

Meeting Description:

GLOW 34 will be hosted by the department of linguistics, University of
Colloquium: April 28-30, 2011,
Workshops: April 27 2011, May 1, 2011
Colloquium Topic: How much syntax is there in grammar?
Subject areas: Phonology, Semantics, Morphology, Syntax, Pragmatics,

In addition there will be three workshops:

Intervention Effects from a Semantic Perspective
April 27, 2011

Workshop on the Phonological Marking of Focus and Topic
April 27, 2011

Identity in Grammar
May 1, 2011

call for papers for general session

Here’s the description of the workshop on focus and topic:

The workshop will take the semantic notions of topic and focus as given, and investigate the systems for phonologically marking them, especially concentrating on variation in how the marking is done across languages. For example, we have the shiftable pitch-accents of Germanic languages vs. the relatively fixed prosodic structures of Romance; on a broader scale, we have languages like Japanese that do not use pitch-accents to mark focus, but nevertheless mark focus phonologically, through phrasing and varying pitch range. The following empirical and analytic questions are put forward as central to the project of the workshop:

* Are there languages in which there is no prosodic reflex of contrastive focus or givenness?
* How do those languages which encode focus and givenness prosodically differ in the phonological and phonetic tools to mark these notions?
* Do phrasing and prominence go hand-in-hand, or are they two orthogonal dimensions that interact with focus and givenness marking independently?
* Which comes first, focus or prominence; that is, is the mapping accent-to-focus or focus-to-accent?
* Are differences in focus marking paralleled by differences in topic marking?
* How does the marking of contrastive or”corrective” focus/topic differ from neutral focus/topic across languages?
* How do phonological means of marking topic or focus interact with syntactic and morphological means?

Comparative studies are especially encouraged, as well as studies of systems different from the well-known ones.

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