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In the 2022-2023 academic year, with the financial support of the FWF Lise Meitner M 3361-G project and the University of Graz Postdoc Office Event Schema Grant I have organized a series of invited talks and workshops, briefly featured below:


Workshop "Experimental Methods in Slavic Linguistics"

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Bojana Ristić (University of Ljubljana)

Place: Institut für Slawistik, Merangasse 70, 1. Stock

Date: March 6th-7th


Lecture: “The status of verbal theme vowels in contemporary linguistic theorizing: some recent Developments”

Invited Speaker: Dr. Predrag Kovačević (Univesity of Novi Sad)

Place: Institut für Slawistik, Merangasse 70, 1. Stock, UR 1.224

Date: January 10th , 5:00 – 6:30 pm

Abstract of the Talk: Theme vowels, as potentially purely morphological elements, figure prominently in contemporary debates on the status of Morphology in the architecture of Grammar and linguistic theory more generally. Lexicalist approaches (Aronoff 1994; Stump 2001), as well as derivational approaches such as Distributed Morphology (Halle and Marantz 1993), which treat Morphology as a module separate from Syntax often cite theme vowels as an example of pieces of structure inserted for purely morphological reasons (Oltra Massuet 1999; Embick and Halle 2003). On the other hand, frameworks such as Nanosyntax (Starke 2009), in which morphological operations are reduced to Narrow Syntax assume that theme vowels spell out syntactic functional heads and are thus associated with morphosyntactic features such as aspect and/or argument structure (Jabłońska 2004; Starke 2021; Fabregas 2022). This talk reviews the state-of-the-art in linguistic theorizing regarding theme vowels and outlines the contributions to this topic that emerged from the workshop titled Theme vowels in V(P) structure and beyond held at the University of Graz in the Spring of 2021 and the Special Collection volume at Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics titled Thematic Formatives and Linguistic Theory that resulted from the workshop. These new synchronic and diachronic, empirical and analytic insights from Indo-European as well as beyond this language family seem to converge on the conclusion that theme vowels are associated with v, and that there is a correlation, though not a one-to-one mapping, between theme vowels and argument structure properties, at least in some languages. Methodologically, the studies in question point to the need for quantitative, data-driven investigations in morphology, and raise the question of probabilistic rules/tendencies in linguistic theory.




Svitlana Antonyuk

Institut für Slawistik

Telefon:+43 316 380 - 2524

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