Workshop on Romance SE/SI
Extended Deadline: A workshop on Romance SE/SI constructions will be held on April 21st and 22nd, 2016 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The reflexive (SE/SI) clitic is one of the most widely studied topics in Romance Linguistics, both in traditional descriptions and theoretical analyses. This stems, in part, from the vast range of constructions in which the clitic may appear, including reflexives, reciprocals, impersonals, passives, middles, anti-causatives, as a marker of telicity with some verbs (aspectual SE/SI), as an inherent part of a certain class of intransitive verbs called ‘pronominal verbs’ (inherent SE/SI), and, in part, from the range of theoretical issues it bears on, including argument structure, the lexicon-syntax interface, the morphology-syntax interface, movement, agreement, Case, binding theory, and (parametric) variation.
The search for a “common core” that triggers fundamentally the same morphological reflex (= SE/SI) in all of these constructions is something that has alluded grammarians and linguists alike and continues to be a fundamental guiding question in current research (see Sánchez López 2002, Dobrovie-Sorin 2006 and Mendikoetxea 2012 for the most recent overviews). While the “common core” question is a key component of research on Romance SE/SI, detailed research on individual SE/SI constructions is just as important as it clarifies our understanding of the nuances of each environment where SE/SI appears and thus leads us toward a better understanding of precisely what they all have in common and also where they differ.
A related important question concerns variation within Romance languages. Not all Romance languages have all of the SE/SI constructions mentioned above (see Zubizarreta 1982, Cinque 1988, Mendikoetxea & Battye 1990, Dobrovie-Sorin 1998, D’Alessandro 2007), nor do all the “same” SE/SI constructions behave the same way in all languages (Cinque 1988, Dobrovie-Sorin 1998). While variation is recognized to exist, the question remains whether this variation can be given a principled explanation. This question is especially important within a Minimalist climate, where the nature and locus of variation raises deep theoretical questions about the architecture of the grammar (see Sigurdsson 2004, Baker 2008, Boeckx 2011 among others).
For more information about the call for paper, please consult the workshop webiste.