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The alphabet of universal grammar

Events • Modern languages • Conference

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Features—atomic units of contrast—are the alphabet of natural language. They predate the Cognitive Revolution and are central to Generative Linguistics, yet there is a hole in current understanding. Unlike phonology, syntax has no articulatory tract in which to ground its features. Consequently, the algorithms that build sentences are better researched than the atoms these algorithms operate over. Recently, however, morphology, semantics, typology, and psycholinguistics have sharpened syntax sufficiently for its foundational features to come into focus. Our conference aims to elucidate the featural alphabet of human syntax and to define a programme of enquiry into this underexplored domain.

Professor Daniel Harbour, Queen Mary University of London
Dr Luisa Martí
, Queen Mary University of London
Dr Hazel Pearson
, Queen Mary University of London
Dr Coppe van Urk
, Queen Mary University of London

Speakers include:
Dr Diogo Almeida, New York University Abu Dhabi
Dr Ana Arregui, University of Massachusetts
Dr Theresa Biberauer, University of Cambridge
Professor Jonathan David Bobaljik, Harvard University
Dr Patricia Cabredo-Hofherr, Université Paris Lumières
Professor Greville Corbett, George Mason University
Dr Jenny Culbertson, University of Edinburgh
Dr Amy Rose Deal, University of California Berkeley
Dr Peter Klecha, Swarthmore College
Professor Angelika Kratzer, University of Massachusetts
Dr Mora Maldonado, University of Edinburgh
Professor Lisa Matthewson, University of British Columbia
Dr Ora MatushanskyThe French National Centre for Scientific Research
Professor Peter Svenonius, The University of Tromsø 
Professor Martina Wiltschko, University of British Columbia 
Dr Sudo Yasutada, University College London
Dr Maria Luisa Zubizarreta, University of Southern California

A draft programme can be found here.

A registration fee is payable at the time of booking. For further information and details of how to book please click 'Book Event'. 

Standard Admission: £75 both days, £40 one day. Includes lunch and refreshments 
Concessions: £35 both days, £20 one day. Includes lunch and refreshments 
The concession rate applies to: unwaged / retired / early career academics (within three years of completing PhD) / students / disabled. 

Free entrance is offered to companions or carers of disabled visitors.

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