Morphology of the World's Languages

Universität Leipzig

About MOWL
Conference fee
Abstract submission

Languages that will be discussed in the talks

Date and Venue: June 11-13 2009, University of Leipzig

The last years have seen substantial advances in the typological study and the formal modelling of natural language morphology. However, progress in the theoretical analysis of morphological systems highlights a basic empirical problem: We know too little about the morphology of too few languages and language families.

This conference in the tradition of Syntax of the World's Languages seeks to bring together researchers working on the documentation or analysis of morphological data from less widely studied languages to broaden the empirical scope of morphological theory. Contributions are expected to be based either on new data, new generalizations, or new approaches to analysis. All major theoretical frameworks are equally welcome, as is work done in analytical frameworks developed in typology or field linguistics.

Relevant topics include, but are not restricted to:

  • The Structure of Syncretism
  • Productivity in Derivation and Compounding
  • Nonconcatenative and Prosodic Morphology
  • Systematic and Idiosyncratic Aspects of Allomorphy
  • Affix Order
  • Boundaries of Morphology to Phonology and Syntax

Papers that adopt a diachronic/historical-comparative perspective or that discuss language-contact effects are also welcome, as are papers which study the morphology of understudied languages from the psycholinguistic or neurolinguistic side.

The conference will be sponsored by the Research Group on Grammar and Processing of Verbal Arguments and the Network Core Mechanisms of Exponence. The fifth meeting of the network which takes place immediately after the conference (June 14) is also open to the public.


Wednesday, June 10

19:00Get together at Bayrischer Bahnhof

Thursday, June 11

09:00 - 09:15
Introduction (*HS 8)
Balthasar Bickel, Gereon Müller, Jochen Trommer
09:15 - 10:15
Larry Hyman (University of Berkeley): Tonal morphology - Is it different? Handout (HS 8)
10:15 - 11:15
Andrew Nevins (Harvard University): Two Types of Morphological Displacement Slides (HS 8)
11:15 - 12:00
*Coffee break*
Session 1: Nonconcatenative Morphology (HS 8)Session 2: Clitics and Clitic-like Elements (S 426)Session 3: Allomorphy (S 414)
12:00 - 12:45Mark Van de Velde
(Center for Grammar, Cognition and Typology, Antwerpen):
Tonal affixes, clitics and pseudowords in Eton: the preservation of morphological structure after segmental attrition
Karsten Koch
(Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin):
Speech errors in nominalized clauses: A clitic to affix shift in Thompson River Salish morphology
Eugen Hill
(Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München):
The Plural formation of nouns in Yukaghir in search of a historical explanation for a synchronic irregularity
12:45 - 14:15
*Lunch break*
14:15 - 15:00Bert Remijsen, Cynthia L. Miller, Leoma G. Gilley, Otto Gwado Ayoker
(University of Edinburgh):
Stem-internal morphology in Shilluk transitive verbs
Enrique L. Palancar
(Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, Mexico):
The TAM morphology in Tilapa Otomi verb conjugations
Diana Forker
(Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropolgy, Leipzig):
Variation in stem formation in Tsezic languages
Article in Suvremena lingvistika
15:00 - 15:45Sabrina Bendjaballah
(Centre national de la recherche scientifique / Université Paris 7) & Philippe Ségéral (Université Paris 7) :
Mehri verbal system: an inventive Semitic morphology
Elena Rudnitskaya
(Institute of Oriental Studies, Moscow):
Postposition constructions in Korean: morphology and syntax
Sofia Oskolskaya
(State Saint-Petersburg University):
The markers of the verbal plurality in Kalmyk
15:45 - 16:15
*Coffee break*
16:15 - 17:00Bill Palmer
(University of Newcastle):
Non-morphological reduplication in Torau
Milan Řezáč
(Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris):
The scope and limits of realizational morphology: Evidence from uninterpretable phi
17:00 - 18:00
Greville Corbett (University of Surrey): Morphosyntactic gambits Handout (HS 8)

Friday, June 12

09:00 - 10:00
Andrew Spencer (University of Essex): Case marking on Hungarian pronouns - the need for morph-based referrals (HS 8)
Session 1: At the Boundaries of Morphology and Syntax (S 426)Session 2: Category Boundaries and Transitions (S 414)Session 3: Syncretism and Macrofunctionality (HS 8)
10:15 - 11:00Sebastian Bank & Jochen Trommer
(University of Leipzig):
The morphosyntax of inverse marking in Karok
Claire Meul
(Katholieke Universiteit Leuven):
Verbal morphology from Latin to Ladin: the functional recycling of an infixation mechanism
Paulo Chagas de Souza
(Universidade de Sao Paulo):
Athematic participles in Brasilian Portuguese: evidence for syncretism as a paradigm-driven process
11:00 - 11:30
*Coffee break*
11:30 - 12:15Thomas Goldammer
(Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropolgy, Leipzig):
Marking of peripheral arguments in the verb forms of Sumerian and Abaza
Alex Popiel
(Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main):
Grammaticalization paths of ko 'yes' in Megrelian
Johannes Hein & Gereon Müller
(University of Leipzig):
Iconicity and Paradigm Economy
12:15 - 13:45
*Lunch break*
13:45 - 14:30Yury A. Lander
(Institute of Oriental Studies, Moscow):
Unexpected applicatives and morphological compositionality in Adyghe
Michael Cysouw
(Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropolgy, Leipzig):
On an inverse-type origin of Iroquoian person prefixes
Balthasar Bickel
(University of Leipzig):
Affixes and clitics: towards a multivariate typology
14:30 - 15:15Timur Maisak
(Russian Academy of sciences, Moscow):
Morphologization of matrix verbs: the case of "Verificative" in Agul
Giorgio Francesco Arcodia
(University of Milano-Bicocca):
Headedness and lexical categories: the case of Sino-Vietnamese compounds
Rita Manzini (University of Florence)
& Anna Roussou (University of Patras):
Syncretism of non-finite (participle, infinitive) and finite forms of the verb
15:15 - 15:45
*Coffee break*
15:45 - 16:30Yulia Adaskina (Moscow State University) & Pavel Grashchenkov
(Institute for Oriental Studies, Moscow):
Verb Morphology and Clause Structure in Basque: Allocutive
Katja Hannß
(University of Konstanz):
The development of an inclusive/exclusive split and its reflex in the verbal system: Evidence from Uchumataqu
Suzanne Aalberse
(University of Amsterdam):
Number as a neutralizing context for person in Dutch dialects: the odd one out or only part of the story?
16:30 - 17:15Eva van Lier & Jan Don
(University of Amsterdam):
Semantic (non-)compositionality and (re-)categorization in flexible languages
Stavros Skopeteas
(University of Potsdam):
Morphological encoding of prosodic phrasing and the placement of clitics in Yucatec Maya
Matthew Baerman
(University of Surrey):
Paradigmatic opacity in Nuer
17:15 - 18:15
Alice Harris (Stony Brook University): Implications of Multiple Exponence Slides (HS 8)

20:00Conference dinner at Barthels Hof

Saturday, June 13

09:00 - 10:00
Martin Haspelmath (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropolgy, Leipzig):
The indeterminacy of word segmentation and the nature of morphology and syntax (HS 8)
Session 1: Competing Morphological Structures (HS 13)Session 2: Agreement in Unusual Places (HS 14)Session 3: The Complexities of Polysynthesis (HS 8)
10:15 - 11:00Lior Laks
(Tel-Aviv University):
One Verb, Two Forms: On Morphological Variation in the Verbal System of Hebrew
Antje Lahne
(University of Konstanz):
On the Morphology of Movement
James Kari & Siri Tuttle
(University of Alaska Fairbanks):
U'el Tay'tesdedzi: The character of multi-dimensional templatic morphology in Athabaskan languages
11:00 - 11:30
*Coffee break*
11:30 - 12:15Ana Paula Huback
(University of Oklahoma):
Brazilian Portuguese plurals: How language usage reshapes grammar
Dmitry Idiatov
(University of Antwerpen):
Person-number agreement with complementizers in Mande
Swintha Danielsen
(University of Leipzig):
The lexicalization of verbal morpheme order in Baure (Arawakan)
12:30 - 13:30
Jonathan Bobaljik (University of Connecticut): Conspiracies in Chukotko-Kamchatkan Agreement Slides (HS 8)

HS = rooms in the Hörsaalgebäude
S = rooms in the Seminargebäude

Conference fee

The conference fee is
  • 15,00€ for undergraduates and PhD students,
  • 25,00€ for others.


at the registration desk in front of HS 8 in the Hörsaalgebäude in which the plenary talks are given (follow the link Location - Conference sites)

  • during all coffee and lunch breaks
  • on Thursday, June 11, 8.30 - 9.00

Abstract Submission

We invite abstracts for 40 minutes presentations (including discussion). Abstracts should be anonymous, at most one page long (with an optional second page for data and references), and should be sent as a pdf attachment to:


Deadline for Abstracts: February 8 2008

Notification of Acceptance: February 28 2008

Invited Speakers:

  • Jonathan Bobaljik (University of Connecticut)
  • Greville Corbett (University of Surrey)
  • Alice Harris (Stony Brook University)
  • Larry Hyman (University of Berkeley)
  • Martin Haspelmath (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
  • Andrew Nevins (Harvard University)
  • Andrew Spencer (University of Essex)


  • Balthasar Bickel
  • Doreen Georgi
  • Gereon Müller
  • Jochen Trommer

Invited Speakers

-Jonathan Bobaljik
-Greville Corbett
-Alice Harris
-Larry Hyman
-Martin Haspelmath
-Andrew Nevins
-Andrew Spencer


-Balthasar Bickel
-Doreen Georgi
-Gereon Müller
-Jochen Trommer

Practical information

-Handouts/technical support


- Conference: June 11-13 2009
- Deadline: February 8 2009
- Notification: February 28 2009


-University of Leipzig
-Department of Linguistics
-Exponence Network
-RG Verbal Arguments
-Syntax of the World's Languages