Workshop: Experimental and corpus-based approaches to ellipsis

Event Date/Time: 
Saturday, July 29, 2017 - 9:00am to 6:00pm
Event Details: 
  • Anne Abeille
  • Philip Miller
  • Jeffrey Runner

Ellipsis is a central phenomenon at the interface between syntax, semantics, phonology and discourse. It has been, and continues to be, the focus of numerous publications. Specifically, a major handbook on the subject is currently in preparation and should be out before the beginning of the institute (Craenenbroek and Temmerman (2017)). Despite a huge amount of theoretical work (from, e.g., Hankamer and Sag (1976) to current work by Johnson, Merchant, van Craenenbroek) and a long tradition in psycholinguistic experimentation (from Murphy (1985) and Tanenhaus and Carlson (1990) to current work by Frazier, Runner, Kertz), major questions remain open, most centrally the question of whether it is necessary to hypothesize the existence of unpronounced syntactic structure at the ellipsis site. The purpose of this workshop is to bring together researchers who have been working on elliptical phenomena with special emphasis on methodologies aiming to improve the empirical foundations of the discussion, specifically psycholinguistic experimentation (acceptability and eye-tracking experiments, in particular) and corpus investigations. Contributions will be welcome concerning (i) the specific experimental methodologies being used in psycholinguistics, and how they can be improved to give more reliable and interpretable results; (ii) the way corpus data can be brought to bear on theoretical questions; and (iii) how corpus data can be used to improve the results of psycholinguistic experiments, specifically by increasing the naturalness of the materials by providing new hypotheses.