International workshop: "Variation in space and time: clausal complementation in South Slavic"

Zurich, March 17-19 2016

Summary

The South Slavic languages – Slovene, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Bulgarian, and Macedonian – constitute a quite heterogeneous group of languages. On the one hand, they form a dialect continuum, while on the other hand, they are part of different areal convergence zones. The intersection of dialectal and areal affiliation is further complicated by the individual standardisation histories, which may have led to differentiations on the level of the standard languages that are not necessarily observed for the spoken varieties and dialects. This makes the investigation of non-standard and historical data an urgent requirement.

One case in point illustrating this complex situation is clausal complementation (CC), the topic of the proposed workshop. The linguistic complexity of South Slavic has been impeding studies covering the unity and diversity of the CC strategies encountered for these languages in their entirety. Moreover, CC itself is still an under-defined notion. Crucially, discussing CC in South Slavic from various points of view, applying different theoretical approaches and methods of investigation, as shall be done by the contributions to this workshop, necessitates a clear elaboration of the key notions used in the individual analyses.

Against this background, the intended workshop aims at gaining a detailed picture of the diverse patterns of CC in South Slavic by bringing together researchers which focus on different aspects of this topic. Striving to arrive at a clearer concept of CC, the workshop also contributes to linguistic concept formation, which will enhance further collaborative investigations. In addition, the workshop intends to explore the possibilities of creating a unified platform of corpora and similar kinds of data necessary for empirical research in this domain.