(ESSLLI 2015 workshop)
Yusuke Kubota (firstname.lastname@example.org), University of Tsukuba, Ohio State University
Robert Levine (email@example.com), Ohio State University
This workshop provides a forum for discussion of recent empirical advances in categorial grammar (CG). After the revival of interest in CG in linguistics in the 80s, various extensions to the Lambek calculus (in the Type-Logical Categorial Grammar (TLCG) tradition; Morrill 1994, Moortgat 1997) and an early version of Combinatory Categorial Grammar (CCG; Ades and Steedman 1982, Steedman 2000, Baldridge 2003) have been proposed. But the fundamental question of whether CG constitutes an adequate linguistic theory still seems to be wide open. Moreover, there are now numerous variants of CG, both in the TLCG tradition and in CCG (Oehrle 1994, Jacobson 1999, Moortgat 2007, Pollard and Mihalicek 2010, Morrill et al. 2011, Barker and Shan 2015, to name just a few). Which of these theories constitutes the most adequate version of an empirical theory of natural language?
Logical, mathematical, and computational analyses have tended to take precedence over empirical ones in the past 30 years in CG research. These are all important and very illuminating, but at the same time we may now want to pause and reflect on the question of just where we are in terms of empirical adequacy. In this connection, it is, we believe, instructive to remind ourselves that the most profound areas of mathematics, such as analysis, are those which first emerged in the course of investigations into the properties of the natural universe by physicists (Boyer 1949). There probably is a similar relation between formal and empirical investigations in our field as well, and we think that the time is ripe to critically scrutinize the empirical consequences of the various formal techniques/frameworks proposed in the literature in the past 30 years, as well as ones that are being developed at this very moment.
The following is a list of topics which naturally fit the theme of the workshop, but this is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list; we welcome any submission whose topic pertains to the empirical adequacy of CG.
What are the empirical advantages of CG as compared to other grammatical theories? A classical case is coordination (Steedman 1985, Dowty 1988), but is coordination the only empirical domain in which CG can claim advantage over other theories?
Are there any major relative advantages/disadvantages among different variants of CG? For example, Kubota and Levine (2014) and Moot (2014) have recently argued that Abstract Categorial Grammar (ACG; de Groote 2001) and related approaches cannot deal with coordination; is such a claim justified, or can one extend ACG to respond to this criticism?
Almost all variants of CG countenance much more flexible notions of constituency than other theories, and this has been seen as a (potential) weakness of CG by researchers outside of the CG community. How can one respond to this concern?
There is much rethinking on the nature of so-called 'syntactic islands' in the recent linguistic literature (Kluender 1992, 1998, Hofmeister and Sag 2010). The processing-based alternatives of these phenomena are however typically stated in terms of configurational properties. Is there a natural translation of such conditions to CG-based grammars?
Can progress be made in relatively underdeveloped areas of CG? For example, there were some early explorations of 'categorial morphology' back in the 80s (Moortgat 1984, Hoeksema 1984, Hoeksema and Janda 1988), but this line of work did not develop into a major research program. Can we gain new insights on questions in such areas by building on the advances in CG research since then?
Can CG incorporate recent results in other grammatical theories, such as the notion of 'constructions' in construction grammar (Goldberg 1995)?
Any improvements on the syntax-semantics interface? CG is known for its transparent syntax-semantics interface. But incorporating recent advances in formal semantics, especially, the tradition of dynamic semantics in a fully compositional manner, still seems to be an ongoing effort. Has any progress been made in this domain?
February 15, 2015: Submission deadline
April 15, 2015: Notification of acceptance
June 15, 2015: Proceedings paper due
August 10-14, 2015: Workshop (at ESSLLI 2015 in Barcelona, Spain)
Chris Barker (New York University)
Daisuke Bekki (Ochanomizu University)
Pauline Jacobson (Brown University)
Yusuke Kubota (University of Tsukuba, co-chair)
Robert Levine (Ohio State University, co-chair)
Michael Moortgat (Utrecht University)
Glyn Morrill (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya)
Richard Oehrle (OS Foundation)
Carl Pollard (Ohio State University)
Mark Steedman (University of Edinburgh)
Yoad Winter (Utrecht University)
We'd like to thank the Institute for Comparative Research at the University of Tsukuba and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (KAKENHI; Grant number 15K16732) for their financial support for this workshop.
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