Eleventh Biennial Symposium:
Intertheoretical Approaches to Complex Verb Constructions


Poster Session
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Last Modified: 11-apr-06


Many many thanks to everyone who contributed to making the symposium such an enjoyable weekend!

The speaker's page has links to many of the handouts.

The original blurb:

Complex verb constructions are found in many of the world's languages. We now have the beginnings of a typology of such constructions, ranging from the different types of serial verbs (in, for example, the isolating languages of East and Southeast Asia and the languages of Oceania and West Africa) to the light verbs of the languages of Asia, as well as the bipartite verbal systems of Australia and converbal complex predication in Japanese, Korean, and Turkic. Work has been progressing on studies of complex verbs from several different perspectives but so far there has been little attempt to draw together those working on different languages and in [different] frameworks. With work in this area now beginning to flourish, it would be a good opportunity to take stock of the various phenomena which come under the label of "complex verbs".

The problems of complex predicates cross-cut subfields of linguistics. Complex predicates pose challenges for theories of word formation - how do they differ from lexcial compounds, for example? - and syntax as well as lexical semantics (since multiple lexical items appear to be doing the work of a single predicate). The interaction between predicate formation and argument structure is an important area of research in both functional and formal approaches to language description and both sides would benefit from the progress made by the other in this area. Furthermore, the cross-linguistic comparative work to date on complex predicates has been very limited, and we now have the resources to make progress in the typological comparison and historical reconstruction of the various constructions coming under this label.

The purpose of the workshop is to bring together those working on different types of complex predicates in different languages in order to discuss problematic issues, possible typologies, pathways of grammaticalization, and the merits of different approaches and analyses.

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