Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Slawistik und Hungarologie

Kolloquium Slawistische Linguistik: Sommersemester 2022

Mi 13.4., 12:30-14: Vesela Simeonova (Graz): A variable modal in questions

The force of epistemic futures in Slavic, Balkan, and Romance languages has been debated: some propose it is variable (Condoravdi, 2003; Rivero, 2014; Rivero and Simeonova, 2014; Rivero and Sheppard, 2016), others that it is fixed and strong (Fălăuş, 2014; Fălăuş & Laca, 2014; Giannakidou and Mari, 2018; Mihoc et al., 2019). This talk shows how interrogative environments can inform the epistemic future's force, capitalizing on the special properties of standard epistemic modals in questions giving rise to so-called 'reflective' questions (Giannakidou & Mari 2019). The empirical focus is on Bulgarian. The results reject a strong force hypothesis and provide novel support for the variable force hypothesis. The formal account is based on Yanovich (2016) on Old English *motan, from which an intriguing explanation of the relationship between futurity and epistemicity can be gleaned.


Fr 22.4., 12:15-13:45: Justyna Kosecka (Warschau): Exceptionality in Kashubian Velar Palatalization

The distribution of Kashubian velar stops is almost completely exceptionalness. They are disallowed before the front vowels /i/ and /ɛ/. Instead, in a vast majority of cases soft palato-alveolar affricates [ʧj ʤj] appear in these contexts, as in words ksążk-a ( – ksążcz-i (,, ‘book’ or dôk-a – dôcz-i ‘fog’.

The alternations are examples of the phonological process of Velar Palatalization, spreading the feature [−back] from the front vowel onto the preceding velar segment.

However, the adjectival paradigms reveal an intriguing puzzle. The assumed trigger of Velar Palatalization, front vowel /i/ is only front when preceded by underlyingly soft palato-alveolars, as in snôż-i ‘beautiful’ or palato-alveolars derived via Velar Palatalization, as in drodż-i ‘expensive’. Elsewhere, i.e. after hard coronals, labials, and the velar fricative, the suffix-initial vowel appears as the central vowel /ɨ/, as in words bògat-i ‘rich’, głëp-y ‘stupid’ or głëch-y ‘deaf’. It thus follows that the front suffix vowel /i/ stands only after a soft-palato alveolar segment that is either underlying or will have been derived due to the vowel’s quality.

The aim of this presentation is to present possible solutions to the puzzle of self-destructive feeding of Velar Palatalization by analysing the underlying representations of the adjectival suffixes, postulating exceptions to the rule of Velar Palatalization, and shortly discussing alternative approaches.


Fr 13. Mai, 12:15-13:45: Nina Adam (Potsdam): How to optimally place your clitics — Czech clitic syntax in a constraint-based model

This talk deals with a subtype of second-position phenoma: the placement of auxiliary and pronominal clitics in Czech. I propose that clitics behave unlike other auxiliaries and pronouns because they belong to a distinct class. Their surface position is conditioned by a clitic-specific requirement to appear as close to TP’s left edge as possible. I will also argue that a second constraint on clitic positioning results from a general ban on information-structurally weak elements from the left CP edge. Combined with an OT version of phase impenetrability, this captures the clitic climbing patterns found in Czech.The fact that conflicting constraints guide clitic placement makes it unnecessary to posit a specific syntactic position for clitics, and thereby accommodates deviations from the second-position pattern without any additional assumptions.


Mi 25. Mai, 12:30-14: Maria Martynova, Yulia Zuban, Luka Szucsich & Natalia Gagarina (HU Berlin/Stuttgart/ZAS): OV/VO placement in heritage Russian in Germany and the U.S.: Internal change vs. Transfer


Fr 3.6., 12:15-13:45: Marija Brašić (Nova Gorica): Distributed Agreement Account for Gender Resolution in Sandwiched Coordination: Evidence from Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian


Mi 15.6., 12:30-14: Nerea Madariaga Pisano (UPV/EHU, Vitoria-Gasteiz): Parameters and diachrony: Why pro-drop in Brazilian Portuguese and Russian became similar but not identical

In this work, I argue in favor of a parametric view on pro-drop, by showing that the differences between languages that correspond to a single parametric setting can be accounted for independently. More specifically, I explore a way to account for the differences between Partial Null Subject (PNS) languages, which do not display identical properties. I show that the contingent nature of diachronic change is one of the reasons for the slight differences between PNS languages. Modern Russian (MR) and Brazilian Portuguese (BP) are two PNS languages that developed from Consistent Null Subject antecessors (Old Russian and Early Brazilian = European Portuguese) independently from each other. I account for the change in pro-drop experienced by these two languages, analyzing the properties usually related to the null subject parameter (verbal inflection, clitics, null objects, embedded null subjects, and arbitrary null subjects), and show that the final parametric setting in both MR and BP was almost identical, with small differences that can be attributed to the different initial conditions for the change.


Fr 24.6., 12:15-13:45: Jiří Milička (Prag): Measuring lexical diversity: The influence of lemmatization

There is no clear choice how lexical diversity should be measured – there are dozens of metrics and several methods of text-length normalization. While these options are vastly discussed in literature, little is known about the influence of lemmatization. As recent studies suggest that the lexical diversity indices of lemmatized texts better represent some intuitive subjective notion of lexical diversity (Jarvis – Hazhangmoto, 2021), we aim to explore the topic in both English (representing typologically analytical languages) and Czech (representing morphologically rich Slavic languages).


Mi 6.7., 12:30-14: Irina Burukina (ELTE/ELKH, Budapest): On the syntax of the control verbs ‘help’ and ‘hinder’ in Russian: Ditransitives with a silent Theme

I discuss sentences with the verbs pomoč' ‘help’ and pomešat’ ‘hinder’ in Russian and demonstrate that, although they are usually listed among object control predicates, these verbs appear in a wide range of constructions that cannot be accounted for by a straightforward control analysis. I argue that pomoč' and pomešat’ are, in essence, ditransitive, similarly to ‘give’ or ‘send’: they require a Patient (a person or a situation that will be helped/hindered) and a Theme headed by a silent noun HELP/HINDRANCE. The Patient and the Theme are projected by the low applicative head that denotes the relation “to-the-possession”, as per Pylkkänen (2008). A saturated clausal dependent, when present, should be analysed as a Patient. A property-type clausal dependent is merged as a modifier within the Theme NP. The approach is extended to control collocations such as ‘give a chance’ and further offers an opportunity to develop a uniform structural representation for various control verbs with a dative dependent that will reduce the differences between them to particular properties of the Theme.