Subject: cognitive, typological and functional approaches

Call for papers

Subject: cognitive, typological and functional approaches

Organized by the Linguistic Association of Finland in
Helsinki, September 12–13, 2013

The registration form is now open, see Registration. The deadline for registration and payment of registration fee is 15 August 2013.

Grammatical subject is a central notion in linguistic theories. Subjects have been studied across multiple theoretical frameworks, and defined from various perspectives, including, for example, feature-based (Keenan 1976), construction-based (Goldberg 1995), and cognitive-based (Langacker 2008). While there is no doubt that in many languages subjects constitute a core element of grammar, there is no general agreement on how to define them in and across languages, what conditions the way in which subjects are expressed, and what functions they have in discourse. Furthermore, there are numerous languages that lack the idea of a grammatical subject altogether, and the assignment of semantic roles to the constituents of discourse is conditioned by pragmatics and discourse structure.

The aim of this symposium of the Linguistic Association of Finland is to bring together linguists from different fields who work on subjects within cognitive, functional, typological, and interactional approaches. Contributions are expected to be data-driven, and the discussion of theoretical issues is appreciated to the extent that it helps to elucidate the data and remains accessible to linguists working within other theoretical approaches as well.

Invited speakers:

Possible topics for talks include (but are not restricted to) the following:

Abstract submission

Anonymous abstracts, no more than 500 words, excluding data and references, should be submitted by April 15, 2013 May 5, 2013. The abstracts must be anonymous. They will be evaluated by the organizing committee and by the members of the scientific committee. Notifications of acceptance will be announced by May 20, 2013 June 1, 2013. The talks will be 30 minutes long: 20 min for presentation and 10 min for discussion. In addition, there will be a poster section.

Please submit your abstract by: EasyAbs.

Proposals for workshops should be submitted no later than April 1, 2013. Workshop proposals will be evaluated by the organizing committee. Notification of acceptance will be given by April 8, 2013. The symposium organizers will provide the lecture rooms and other facilities, but the workshop organizers will be responsible for the organization of their workshops (such as choosing the speakers).

For all correspondence concerning the symposium, please contact:


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Expression of pronominal subjects. – Matthew S. Dryer & Martin Haspelmath (eds.), The World Atlas of Language Structures Online. Munich: Max Planck Digital Library. Chapter 101. Available online at
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Cognitive Grammar: A Basic Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Last changed 9 September 2013 / Tommi Nieminen