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Research Day (ATALA - Labex EFL)

Quantitative approaches in corpus linguistics and psycholinguistics: 
Word order and constituent order

In partnership with ATALA, Labex EFL and INALCO, we are organizing a scientific research day on the topic of word order and constituent order alternations from quantitative and psycholinguistic perspectives.

The workshop will be held on 
October 18, 2013 
at INALCO (Auditorium), Paris.

Invited speaker: Joan Bresnan (Stanford University)

2. Call for paper

The goal of this research day is to bring together computational linguists, corpus linguists and psycholinguists who work on word order alternation phenomena in various languages. The development and increased availability of statistical tools for sophisticated data analysis in the past decade has changed the face of quantitative linguistic analysis. In particular, alternation phenomena (in which a speaker may choose one out of several possible linguistic forms) have seen a renewed interest due to advances in statistical modeling (Gries, 2003; Benor and Levy, 2006; Bresnan et al., 2007). The recent studies have mostly modeled English corpus data, presumably in part because of the development of large tagged corpora of written and spoken English. However, there are now many research programs developing high quality, large-scale corpus resources for languages other than English.

In parallel to corpus-based studies, psycholinguistic work has also examined the factors that con-tribute to speakers’ choices with respect to word or constituent order in production (e.g., Tanaka et al., 2011) and influence processing complexity in comprehension (e.g., Brown et al., 2012).

By integrating findings from both corpus studies and experimental research, this workshop has as its goal to make progress on understanding the underlying processes governing alternation phenomena. We also believe that developing corpus models on a diverse set of languages and alternations will give rise to interesting observations regarding the processes underlying alternation phenomena. Therefore, submissions of corpus and/or psycholinguistic work handling alternation phenomena in a variety of languages are of particular interest.

A non-exhaustive list of possible topics includes:
- Corpus studies on alternation phenomena in a variety of languages, including constituent or word order alternations and syntactic construction alternations.
- Experimental studies of alternation phenomena and the psycholinguistic factors that influence their comprehension or production. 
- Theoretical issues on corpus probabilities: What do corpus probabilities represent? How do observed patterns reflect or differ from results of psycholinguistic experiments?

We invite submissions of one-page, .pdf-format abstracts in 12-point font, with an additional page for data, references and figures, for 25-minute presentations with 10 minutes for questions. The deadline for submission is August 25, 2013, and notifications of acceptance will be made by September 16. Please submit abstracts by e-mail to journee.labex.atala@gmail.com.


Benor, Sarah Bunin, and Roger Levy. 2006. The chicken or the egg? a probabilistic analysis of English binomials. Language 82:233–278.

Bresnan, Joan, Anna Cueni, Tatiana Nikitina, and R. Harald Baayen. 2007. Predicting the dative alternation. In Cognitive foundations of interpretation. Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Brown, Meredith, Virginia Savova, and Edward Gibson. 2012. Syntax encodes information structure: Evidence from on-line reading comprehension. Jounal of Memory and Language 66:194–209.

Gries, Stefan Th. 2003. Towards a corpus-based identification of prototypical instances of constructions. Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics 1:1–27. 

Tanaka, Mikihiro N., Holly P. Branigan, Janet F. McLean, and Martin J. Pickering. 2011. Conceptual influences on word order and voice in sentence production: Evidence from Japanese. Jounal of Memory and Language 65:318-330.

3. Abstract submission

We invite abstract submissions for twenty-five minute presentations (with ten minutes for discussion). Abstracts should be anonymous and should be no longer than one A4 page with an additional page for examples, figures and references (12-pt font with single spacing). 

Please submit abstracts in .pdf format to: journee.labex.atala@gmail.com
Important dates:

  • Deadline for submission: **August 25, 2013**
  • Notification of acceptance: September 16, 2013
  • Program available: September 23, 2013
  • Research day: October 18 2013

4. Program

9h-9h20 Opening

* Session 1 :  9h20 - 11h05

9h20 - 9h55 Elisabeth Verhoeven (Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin)
Argument linearization in German: Evidence from corpus data
                Presentation: slides and audio recording

9h55 - 10h30 Guillaume Desagulier (Université Paris 8 & MoDyCo)
What collostruction asymmetries reveal as to the productivity of constructions

10h30 - 11h05 Matías Guzmán Naranjo (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
Quantitative Analysis of the Unaccusative-Pronominal Alternation
                Presentation: slides and audio recording

11h05 - 11h25  Coffee Break

* Session 2 :  11h25 - 13h10

11h25 - 12h  Marta Wierzba, Gisbert Fanselow and Luis Vicente (University of Potsdam)
The interaction of factors facilitating displacement to the left periphery 
                Presentation: slides

12h - 12h35 Markus Bader (Goethe University Frankfurt)
The position of object pronouns in German
                Presentation: slides and audio recording

12h35 - 13h10 Gerard Kempen (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics) and Karin Harbusch (Universität Koblenz-Landau)
Toward a uniform psycholinguistic framework for the linearization of nominal and verbal constituents during sentence production: Evidence from Dutch and German treebanks
                Presentation: slides

13h10 - 14h30 Lunch

* Invited speaker : 14h30 - 15h30 
 Joan Bresnan (Stanford University) -    Do children acquire probabilistic syntactic variation? 
                                                            A view across the dative and genitive alternations.
                                                            Presentation: slides and audio recording


15h30 - 15h50 Coffee break

* Session 3 - Chair : Anne Abeillé

15h50-16h25 Elena Shimanskaya (the University of Iowa)
Bilingual Processing of Multiword Sequences

16h25 - 17h Maria Carmen Parafita Couto (Leiden University Center for Linguistics)
What corpus linguistics, pyscholinguistics, and cognitive neuroscience can tell us about noun-adjective order resolution in code-switching
                Presentation: slides and audio recording

17h - 17h35 Sonja Eisenbeiss (University of Essex), Sarah Schmidt (University of Konstanz), Janina Fickel (University of Konstanz), Agnes Henson (Leeds Metropolitan University) & Ingrid Sonnenstuhl (Düsseldorfer Akademie)
Acquiring German and English word order constraints in adnominal possessive constructions

5. Programme committee

  • Margaret Grant (Labex EFL, Univ. Paris Diderot, LLF & Alpage)
  • Juliette Thuilier (Univ. Rennes 2 & LLF)

6. Reviewing committee

Abstracts will be reviewed by two experts chosen from among the following committee members:
  • Anne Abeillé (Université Paris Diderot & LLF)
  • Philippe Blache (CNRS - LPL)
  • Lisa Brunetti (Université Paris Diderot & LLF)
  • Franklin Chang (University of Liverpool)
  • Hin Tat Cheung (Hong Kong Institute of Education)
  • Benoît Crabbé (Université Paris Diderot & ALPAGE)
  • Emilie Elfner (McGill University) 
  • Cécile Fabre (Université Toulouse le Mirail & CLEE-ERSS)
  • Ted Gibson (MIT)
  • Nabil Hathout (CNRS- CLLE-ERSS)
  • Barbara Hemforth (CNRS - LLF)
  • Anna Kupsc (Université Bordeaux 3 & CLLE-ERSS)
  • Pavel Logačev (Universität Potsdam) 
  • Marie-Catherine de Marneffe (The Ohio State University)
  • Philip Miller (Université Paris Diderot & CLILLAC-ARP)
  • Alexis Nasr (Aix-Marseille Université & LIF)
  • Bruno Nicenboim (Universität Potsdam)
  • Shravan Vasishth (Universität Potsdam)

7. Practical Information

The research day will be held in the Auditorium of INALCO: 65 rue des Grands Moulins, Paris.


    - Subway: Ligne 14 et RER C, Bibliothèque François Mitterrand station
    - Tram: Ligne 3a, Avenue de France stop

Photo of INALCO building:

8. Contacts 

This research day is organized by Juliette Thuilier (Université Paris-Sorbonne and ALPAGE) and Margaret Grant (Labex EFL, Université Paris Diderot, ALPAGE, LLF). For further information, please contact the organizers at the following address:

    journee.labex.atala - at - gmail.com

This research day is organized in partnership with:

  • Labex EFL