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Highlights - Lexical Restrictions on Grammar Relations Workshop

Highlights from the first online workshop we held in 2021

Organized by Dr. Eva van Lier, Dr. Rik van Gijn, Dr. Pegah Faghiri, and Katherine Walker, the workshop took place on March 28-29th. There were fourteen presentations, among which Dr. Alena Witzlack-Makarevich (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and Dr. Gerrit Jan Kootstra (Radbout University Nijmegen) also participated as keynote speakers. The talks covered a diverse range of languages, including but not limited to German Sign Language, Kanakanavu, Laz, and Finnish.

    Dr. Witzlack-Makarevich’s opening presentation highlighted grammatical relations and how they are studied so far in the literature, as well as the framework (Argument Selectors) she has developed with her colleagues in order to study grammatical relations from a broader perspective with measurable variables. Her talk specifically focused on diathetical operations, and how lexical restrictions interact with them. Through a pilot study of passives of intransitives she showed how lexical restrictions are relevant for diathetical operations.

    Dr. Gerrit Jan Kootstra’s talk on the second day concerned structural priming within and between languages in a bilingual setting. First, he discussed how structural priming is affected by lexical factors in language comprehension and production, both in children and adults. Second, he explained lexical triggering and priming of code-switching. He presented evidence from priming experiments in favor of an interplay between lexical and syntactic processes cross-linguistically, and also in comprehension and production.

    A wide range of scopes of lexical restrictions on grammatical relations was presented by our participants. You can find more detailed information, alongside slides and abstracts on the website of the workshop. We would like to thank all the contributors, as well as our audience.