CfP: LinG3 workshop on (A)symmetries in spoken and sign languages, 5-6 February, 2020, Göttingen



LinG3 workshop on (A)symmetries in spoken and sign languages

Date: 05-Feb-2020 – 06-Feb-2020
Location: Göttingen, Germany
Contact Person: Seid Tvica
Meeting Email:
Web Site:

Call Deadline: 01-Dec-2019

Call for Papers

(A)symmetries in spoken and sign languages workshop concentrates on the yet unanswered fundamental question on whether or not grammar is intrinsically asymmetric yielding a variety of surface asymmetries such as the preponderance of subject-verb orders over verb-subject orders and (nearly) uniform movement to the left periphery of the clause. These observations led to the development of theories which inherently exclude base-generation of rightward specifiers and rightward movement of syntactic objects, most notably by Kayne (1994).

Contra Kayne (1994), it has been argued that surface asymmetries do not follow from grammar-internal principles but are rather constrained by the limits on sentence processing (cf. Neeleman and Ackema 2002; Abels and Neeleman 2012). Importantly, languages also exhibit surface symmetries such as the roughly equal split between verb-object and object-verb orders (cf. Dryer 2005). In addition, it has been argued that there are also instances of rightward wh-movement in sign-languages (Aarons, Bahan, Kegl, & Neidle 1992; Cecchetto, Geraci, and Zucchi 2009). This suggests that there may be relevant properties of modality that allow for more surface symmetries, such as the use of non-manual markers in sign language, which have been claimed to mark grammatical dependencies between the trace and surface positions of moved elements (cf. Cecchetto, Geraci, and Zucchi 2009).

Given these challenges, we welcome all submissions contributing novel data and innovative approaches in both spoken and sign languages that shed light on the understanding of surface (a)symmetries, and the extent to which they might follow from grammar-internal principles or grammar-external factors such as the use of modality and parsing.

Invited Speakers
Klaus Abels
Theresa Biberauer
Carlo Cecchetto
Ad Neeleman
Roland Pfau
Michelle Sheehan

Conference languages
English and International Sign

Submission Guidelines
We invite submissions for presentations of 35 minutes (plus 10 minutes of discussion).
We may add a poster session in the program depending on the number of submissions.
Please indicate whether you would be willing to present your work as a poster.
Each author may submit no more than one single-authored and one co-authored abstract.
Abstracts should not exceed two A4 pages (including examples and references).

Please submit your abstracts via the following EasyChair link:

Important Dates

Deadline for submission of abstracts: December 1, 2019
Notification of acceptance: December 31, 2019
Date of the workshop: February 5-6, 2020

Conference website:

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Written by Johanna