Aronoff at ILLS

Posted on November 21, 2012 by

Revered morphologist Mark Aronoff (Stony Brook University) will be giving a talk at ILLS next week: Tuesday 27th Nov, 16:15, Sam Alex A113. His talk is called Partial organization in languages: La langue est un système où la plupart se tien(nen)t. Here’s the abstract:

Grammarians and linguists for the last several millennia have assumed that languages are fully organized discrete systems, where all the pieces fit together. Certain aspects of at least some languages are not discrete and may be undetermined. Real and convincing cases of such subsystems in languages support the claim that at least some aspect of the structure of languages results from undirected cultural evolution and that languages are not entirely the product of either the language organ or socially driven communicative needs. This talk will center on analyses of morphological roots systems in a selection of languages and on the English comparative construction.

It promises to be an intriguing big-picture discussion! (Also don’t miss Caitlin Light’s talk on the syntax and pragmatics of fronting in Germanic, earlier on the same day at the Langwidge Sandwidge.)