Conference: SICOGG 20

20th Seoul International Conference on Generative Grammar (SICOGG 20)

Date: 08-Aug-2018 – 10-Aug-2018
Location: Seoul, Korea, South
Contact Person: Michael Barrie
Meeting Email:

Conference website:

Call Deadline: 29-Apr-2018

The 20th Seoul International Conference on Generative Grammar (SICOGG 20) will take place at Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea, from August 8 through August 10, 2018. The conference will be co-hosted by the Korean Generative Grammar Circle, Konkuk University, Korea University, and the National Research Foundation of Korea. SICOGG 20 will consist of a general session, one workshop, and a series of lectures by the keynote speaker. The main theme of the general session is ‘The Syntax-Phonology Interface in Generative Grammar’.

The confirmed invited speakers are as follows:

Keynote speaker: Norvin Richards (MIT)
Workshop speaker: Michael Barrie (Sogang University)

General Session:

Equal consideration will be given to papers from all areas of generative grammar, which may include syntactic theory, the syntax-semantics interface, the syntax-morphology interface, the syntax-phonology interface, syntactic acquisition, and any other syntax-related interests. Applicants for oral/poster presentations in the general session must submit their abstracts by April 23, 2018.

The general session of SICOGG 20 features a series of invited lectures by Norvin Richards, where various issues concerning cross-linguistic variation with respect to wh-movement will be re-examined from the perspective of the interface between syntax and phonology. Below is a summary of the invited lecture, and we especially encourage submissions touching on any issues
related to this.

Syntactic work in the GB and Minimalist traditions commonly claims that languages can vary in the distribution of their overt movements. There are wh in situ languages and wh-movement languages; languages with obligatory subjects and languages without; languages in which verbs raise to T and languages in which they do not.

What is still fairly poorly understood is why languages should vary in this way. The classic Minimalist way of annotating cross-linguistic differences amounts to a diacritic feature, or a diacritic property of features, such as EPP or feature strength. Such approaches are essentially a claim that no further explanation is possible.

This series of lectures focuses on Richards’ (2016) proposal, ‘Contiguity Theory’ to derive the overt/covert distinction from conditions on the relation between syntax and phonology. The claim will be that languages do not vary syntactically, at least in this domain; the parameters of difference will be phonological and morphological, having to do with prosody, stress, and the distribution of different kinds of affixes. It will be important to assume a different kind of architecture for the language faculty than we are familiar with; the construction of prosodic and metrical representations begins during the narrow syntactic derivation, and syntactic operations can be motivated by the need to improve these phonological representations.


The workshop will deal with the syntax of nominals and reduced nominal expressions. The first goal is to investigate the extended nominal projection and what sort of universal properties, if any, it has. The second goal is to investigate how the extended nominal projection can be restructured or reduced. This question is based on the numerous studies of restructuring in the verbal domain, where infinitival clauses are typically argued to have a reduced structure, such as a TP. Open questions include the following. What functional projections are found in the nominal? Is the functional hierarchy universal, language specific, or is language variation constrained in some way? What kinds of reduced nominal expressions are found in natural language? Bare NPs, bare NumPs? Cl+N expressions without numerals? Caseless nouns? How does this relate to noun incorporation and pseudo noun incorporation?

Call for Papers

Abstracts should be submitted using the EasyAbs service of the LINGUIST List. Abstracts must be submitted online at the following address: by clicking on Abstract Submission. Then, follow the online guidelines to upload your abstract in either .pdf or .doc format. Note, however, that the .doc format is acceptable only if the abstract contains no special fonts or diagrams. Only electronic submissions through the aforementioned link will be considered. Abstracts should be anonymous and may not exceed two pages (A4/US letter), including examples and references (embed examples within the text), with 2.54 cm (1 inch) margin on all four sides and should employ the font Times New Roman 12 pts. Submissions are limited to a maximum of one individual and one joint abstract per author. Abstracts should be submitted no later than Monday, April 29, 2018. Authors will be notified of acceptance or rejection on or after Sunday, May 27, 2018. Oral presentations will be allotted 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes for discussion.