PLM2010 thematic discussion session: Lexical and functional decomposition in syntax

Organizers: Jacek Witkoś and Bartosz Wiland

The work on cartography has advanced the thesis that the ordering of words and phrases must strictly reflect the hierarchy of functional projections in syntax (e.g. Cinque 1999, Rizzi 2004, Cinque and Rizzi 2008, among others). In turn, recent work on lexical decomposition has often been aimed at demonstrating that there exists a certain degree of correlation between the internal structure of lexical items, their function and the syntactic environment in which they appear (e.g. Hale and Keyser 2002, Starke 2006, Ramchand 2008, Svenonius 2008, among others).

The discussion workshop is going to address the issue of how strict and how predictable is the relation between the structure of lexical items and their syntactic function as well as their position in the clause structure. On top of that, of particular interest to the discussion workshop are the following issues:

  • In what way the fine-grained sequence of functional projections in syntax determins the position, structure, and function of lexical items in the clause?
  • To what extent can the Lexicon and the syntax-semantics interface be reduced to the functional sequence in syntax?
  • What are the challenges and viable alternatives to the decomposition program?
  • If the functional sequence is a part of Universal Grammar, what are the sources of cross-linguistic variations?

We invite abstracts dealing with these as well as other issues dealing with the lexical and functional decomposition in syntax.

The extended deadline for abstracts is 20 April 2010. For abstract guideliness, see the general abstract submission guidelines.


Cinque, Guglielmo. 1999. Adverbs and functional heads: A cross-linguistic perspective. New York: Oxford University Press.

Cinque, Guglielmo, and Luigi Rizzi. 2008. The cartography of syntactic structures. STiL Studies in Linguistics. CISCL Working Papers on Language and Cognition, Vol. 2: 43-59.

Hale, Kenneth, and S. Jay Keyser 2002. Prolegomena to a theory of argument structure. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Ramchand, Gillian. 2008. Verb meaning and the lexicon: A first phase syntax. Cambridge, UK: CUP.

Rizzi, Luigi. (Ed.). 2004. The structure of CP and IP. The cartography of syntactic structures (Vol. 2), New York: Oxford University Press.

Starke, Michal. 2006. The nanosyntax of participles. Classes taught at the 13th EGG Summer School, Olomouc.

Svenonius, Peter. 2008. Projections of P. In Syntax and Semantics of Spatial P, ed. by Anna Asbury, et al., 63-84. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.