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. Read it online or download the PDF! Please comment and let me know what you think! 🙂

A joint presentation at SLE52

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 the predicate 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). This works 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. This is 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).’

A joint presentation at BICLCE8

Cristiano Broccias and I will present a contribution at the 8th Biennial International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English (BICLCE8), which will take place at the University of Bamberg, Germany on September 26-28, 2019. Our contribution will be entitled, ‘The material VVing construction: A corpus-based investigation.’ Stay tuned!

A new research project

In December 2018, I will join the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures of the University of Genoa, Italy, as a research fellow. I will be working on a research project entitled ‘English construction grammar(s): Between description and cognition.’

The project consists of a critical appraisal of the family of theoretical approaches collectively known as ‘Construction Grammar,’ a popular but not uncontroversial framework. Indeed, it is often less than clear if the studies carried out within the Construction Grammar framework should be considered, cautiously, as structural descriptions of linguistic facts or, more ambitiously, as psycholinguistic analyses. The goal of this project is to study the notion of construction in English and evaluate the distinct constructional models proposed in the literature, based on a sample of empirical data drawn from corpora such as COCA. If necessary, the project also aims to develop an alternative model at least descriptively accurate.

Stay tuned!

News on reviews

My review of Peter Lasersohn’s book ‘Subjectivity and perspective in truth-theoretic semantics’ is now available on the LINGUIST List website. The interested reader can either read it online or get the PDF version.

Shortly, I will also receive and review the new book ‘Southern English varieties then and now,’ a collection of studies edited by Laura Wright on the varieties of English spoken in the south of England. Stay tuned!

Presenting at SHESL-HTL 2019

I have been accepted for presentation at the conference for the 40th anniversary of the Société d’Histoire et d’Epistémologie des Sciences du Langage (SHESL-HTL 2019), which will be held at Université Paris – Diderot, France on January 24-26, 2019. My contribution will be entitled ‘Sifting through the pages of WORD: The International Linguistic Association as a promoter of academic pluralism.’ As usual, I will post the slides shortly after the conference. Stay tuned!

A new joint presentation

On November 29-30, 2018, Cristiano Broccias and I will jointly present a paper at the International Workshop on the Diachrony of Ditransitives, which will take place at the University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy. Our contribution will be entitled ‘Revisiting the history of the English dative alternation: An attraction-based account.’ I will upload the slides shortly after the workshop; meanwhile, the program of the meeting is already available for download.

Reviewing a new book on historical linguistics

I will soon receive a new book to review for the LINGUIST List: ‘Multilingual practices in language history: English and beyond,’ a collection of contributions edited by Päivi Pahta, Janne Skaffari, and Laura Wright. Since I have always been interested in both language history (with particular – though not exclusive – regard to English) and language contact, I am looking forward to receiving the book. Stay tuned!

ICHLL9 program

As the 9th International Conference on Historical Lexicology and Lexicography (ICHLL9) is approaching, check the program and download the book of abstracts on the conference website.  Cristiano Broccias and I will be presenting our paper entitled ‘On the relationship between V and Ving in the English VVing pattern: A historical perspective’ on Wednesday, 20th June 2018 at 4.30pm. Stay tuned! 😉