My reviews of Kanetani (2019) and Koch & Reimann (2019) are now online

My reviews of the following books have just been published on the LINGUIST List website:

  • Masaru Kanetani’s (2019) monograph ‘Causation and reasoning constructions’ (John Benjamins). The interested reader can either read it online or download the PDF.
  • Christian Koch and Daniel Reimann’s (2019) edited volume ‘As variedades de português no ensino de português língua não materna’ (Narr Francko Attempte). The interested reader can either read it online or download the PDF.

Presenting at ICFLL in Lisbon

I have been accepted for a presentation at the 1st International Conference on Foreign Language Learning (ICFLL), which will be held at Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal on June 1-2, 2020. My contribution will be entitled ‘Aprender Português através de uma pequena tela? Sobre o uso de tecnologias móveis no aprendizado de idiomas estangeiros.’ As usual, I will post the slides shortly after the conference. Stay tuned! 😊

‘The syntax of West Iberian languages’ workshop

‘The syntax of West Iberian languages: Philological and sociolinguistic aspects’ workshop at ICLC9

The 9th International Contrastive Linguistics Conference will be held in Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy on May 14-15, 2020. As a part of this conference, I will organize the small workshop The Syntax of West Iberian Languages: Philological and Sociolinguistic Aspects. The topic of the workshop is very broad and contributions are accepted on any aspect of the syntax of the western Iberian languages, as long as they are treated in a contrastive perspective (in order to be consistent with the orientation of the Conference); therefore, the authors will be free to choose the specific topic they prefer.

The workshop has two objectives. On the one hand, it aims to bring together academics who are interested in the study, preservation and promotion of the regional and minority languages ​​spoken in the Iberian Peninsula. On the other hand, it aims to draw attention to the rich linguistic diversity that characterizes the west Iberian space, now endangered by the diglossic, asymmetric environment, which tends to favor the use of Spanish (or Portuguese, in the case of Miranda do Douro) in every context. I also believe that it may be important that events of this type are also organized outside the Iberian Peninsula.

Paradoxically, to facilitate the attendance of all the participants of the Conference, the languages ​​of the workshop will have to be limited to English and Spanish. However, I plan to edit a volume including the contributions of the workshop, possibly as a special issue of a journal of linguistics or Romance philology. In this case, it is not excluded that articles are admitted in the languages ​​that constitute the subject of the workshop. I also plan to record some interviews to upload to my YouTube channel about languages, as I did last August in Leipzig with Professor Augusto S. Da Silva, who spoke about the situation of Portuguese as an international language.

One more year at the University of Genoa

My fellowship at the University of Genoa has been renewed for another year. As a consequence, my research project ‘English construction grammar(s): Between description and cognition’ is entering a new phase. In 2020, my research will focus on the simultaneity network in (the history of) English. Stay tuned!

New video out now!

Why it is time to accept that the English language today is a diversity policentric entity, and no variety is inherently superior to (or more real than) any other.

The new video is out now! Watch it in the language you prefer by clicking on the following links:

🇬🇧 The myth of ‘real English’:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UcB-IDEQT4

🇪🇸 El mito del ‘verdadero inglés’:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3DZjHDlfig

🇮🇹 Il mito del ‘vero inglese’:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIs_IGqT-0c

 

The links to all YouTube videos are listed in reverse chronological order here.

Reviewing a new book on grammar

Eng. vs. Jap..pngI will soon receive Masaru Kanetani’s new book ‘Causation and reasoning constructions’ (John Benjamins Publishing) and review it for the LINGUIST List. The book deals with the expression of causal relations and reasoning processes, which in some languages is realized by the same connective word (e.g., English ‘because,’ Japanese ‘kara’). I am looking forward to reading it. Stay tuned!

Time to ditch the ‘language purity’ myth and enjoy diversity

I have just published an opinion article on the Spanish website Globedia. It deals with the longstanding myth that some language varieties are inherently better than others, illustrating in particular the case of English and, to a lesser extent, Spanish. It is, for the most part, a translation of this post into Spanish. You can either read it online or download the PDF. Please comment and let me know what you think!

A joint presentation at SLE52

harry potter (2)On August 21-24, 2019, Cristiano Broccias and I will be jointly presenting a paper at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE52), which will take place at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Our contribution will be entitled ‘Extravagant Harry Potter adverbs in American English: Synchronic and diachronic considerations’ and will be part of the Extravagant Morphology workshop, organized by Dagmar Haumann and Matthias Eitelmann.

What are ‘Harry Potter adverbs’? They are subject-oriented –ingly adjuncts, typically found in fiction (as in the Harry Potter series). They are formed out of verbs that can be predicated of the matrix subject either subjectively or objectively. In the former case, the verbal base (e.g., plead) pertains to the speaker’s subjective assessment of the process profiled by the matrix verb (e.g., look) as a clue to the emotional state the clausal trajector is or, rather, seems to be (e.g., ‘Neville looked pleadingly at Harry, Ron and Hermione,’ i.e., ‘Neville {seemed to be /*was} pleading Harry, Ron and Hermione’). In the latter case, the verbal base (e.g., [(not)] move) describes a process unfolding simultaneously with that profiled by the matrix verb and predicated of the clausal trajector (e.g., ‘[H]e stared unmovingly at the sea,’ i.e., ‘He {*seemed not to be/was not} moving (as he stared at the sea).’

The abstract and the slides of our talk will be uploaded on this website shortly after the conference.