Parallels Between Phonology and Syntax

Amsterdam, Meertens Instituut, July 9, 2018

Date: July 9, 2018
Venue: Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185, Amsterdam. Aula 2.18

Although syntax and phonology at first sight seem to study very similar objects – modules of human cognition involved with the form of language – the two disciplines seem to have grown apart, employing formal tools that differ radically.

According to some scholars, this is a logical and even desirable development, and a consequence of the methodological assumption that the mind is modular. There is then no need to believe that different 'modules' of grammar have a similar architecture or refer to similar objects. Others point out however, that it seems unlikely that modules that have such similar tasks and furthermore clearly have to interface would be so different.

What are the differences between syntax and phonology in terms of derivational mechanisms and representational devices? Are syntactic findings on the working of grammar still relevant to phonologists and vice versa? Do notions like constituency, features refer to ontologically similar objects or are they radically different?

On July 9, 2018, the Meertens Instituut will host a 1-day workshop on parallels between phonology and syntax. This workshop is organized in collaboration with the Leiden University Center for Linguistics and the Center for Language Studies of Radboud University. The workshop will take place right in the historical center of Amsterdam.

Participation is free, but please communicate your intention to come to


10.00 Janet Grijzenhout, Harry van der Hulst and Marc van Oostendorp
Parallels between Phonology and Syntax. General Introduction.

10.30 Thomas Graf, Alena Aksenova, Hyunah Baek, Aniello De Santo, Hossep Dolatian, Sedigheh Moradi, Jon Rawski, Suji Yang and Jeffrey Heinz
Tiers and Relativized Locality Across Language Modules

11.00 Laura Bafile and Rita Manzini
Binary features or elements/categories: phonology and morphosyntax

11.30 Coffee Break

12.00 Gerrit Kentner
Vowel : Consonant :: Functional head : Lexical argument

12.30 Sašo Živanović
Towards a phonological functional sequence

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Markus Pöchtrager
Recursion and GP 2.0

14.30 Jan Odijk
Structure building in syntax and phonology

15.00 Cora Pots and Edoard Cavirani
On spines and skeletons

5.30 Coffee break

16.00 Marc van Oostendorp and Roberta D’Alessandro
Notes on Magnetism

16.30 Harry van der Hulst and Marcel den Dikken
On Some Deep Structural Analogies Between Phonology and Syntax

17.00 General discussion

17.30 End of programme

Organizers: Marc van Oostendorp (Radboud University) and Janet Grijzenhout (Leiden University).