15th Workshop on Structure and Constituency in the Languages of the Americas

February 5-7, 2010

The following people have graciously offered to host the upcoming meetings of WSCLA

WSCLA 16 - Peggy Speas at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
WSCLA 17 - Alan Yu at the University of Chicago

Confirmed: There will be a special pre-workshop meeting on February 4 entitled "Comparative Algonquian Syntax Workshop". Schedule to be announced soon.






The Workshop on Structure and Constituency in the Languages of the Americas (WSCLA) is an annual linguistics conference, which started in 1995. The central objective of WSCLA is to bring together linguists who are engaged in research on the formal study of aboriginal languages of the Americas in order to exchange ideas across theories, language families, generations of scholars, and across the academic and non-academic communities who are involved in language maintenance and revitalization.

Special Sessions:

Issues in Phonology in Languages of the Americas
A special session is planned for papers devoted to issues in phonology and its interfaces with other modules of grammar. Given the historically low participation of phonology in WSCLA, we are particularly interested in submissions in this special session. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
  • theoretical questions raised by languages of the Americas that would perhaps otherwise be overlooked
  • the description and analysis of prosody
  • phonetic documentation on endangered languages
  • empirical evidence relevant to universal versus emergent feature theories
  • tone and pitch accent

New Issues in Noun Incorporation
Noun incorporation was first identified over 150 years ago, quickly giving rise to discussions on its analysis. Sapir's and Kroeber's debate on the analysis of noun incorporation is now over 100 years old, and Mithun's and Sadock's more recent debate is nearly 25 years old. This special session solicits papers dealing with new issues in the study and analysis of noun incorporation and similar constructions in Languages of the Americas. Possible topics include but are not limited to:
  • head-movement versus XP-movement
  • semantic restriction versus semantic saturation
  • the relationship between noun incorporation versus denominal verb formation
  • the kinds of things can incorporate other than nouns or lexical roots
  • the size of the incorporated element
  • typological universals of noun incorporation

Building Partnerships between Communities and Universities
There will be a special round table discussion, with invited speakers, on how to forge better relationships between communities and universities. Often researchers in universities and community members have different goals. We believe these goals are not mutually exclusive; however, open lines of communication are required so that university researchers understand better what community members expect of them and community members understand better what university researchers expect of them. The goal of this round table, then, is to explore ways in which mutually beneficial relationships can be developed in an effort for university researchers to make their work more meaningful for society.

Henning Garvin

Helena Joanne Keeshig

Bethany Lochbihler

Leslie Saxon

Martina Wiltschko

Alan Yu