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Organizers: Nicole Dehé (Konstanz), Ingo Feldhausen (Frankfurt), Maria del Mar Vanrell (Berlin)

The goal of this workshop is to discuss the latest theoretical and empirical advances in the domain of the syntax-prosody interface from a Romance perspective. More specifically, we will focus on the relationship between syntactic and prosodic constituent structure, as well as the factors influencing this relationship (such as information structure, syntactic branchingness, prosodic weight, multilingualism, language contact, acquisition, attrition etc.).

Work on Romance languages has made an important contribution to this field during the last decades (e.g. Nespor & Vogel 1986, Ghini 1993, Vallduví 1993, Zubizarreta 1998, Frascarelli 2000, Samek-Lodovici 2006).

In this workshop, we would like to discuss recent contributions of this language family w.r.t. topics such as

  • theoretical modelling (e.g. within Match Theory, Selkirk 2011; within phase theory/minimalism, Kratzer & Selkirk 2007; within a cartographic approach, Bocci 2013)
  • the (non-necessary) correspondence between focus and sentential stress (e.g. Féry 2013, Feldhausen & Vanrell Bosch 2015)
  • the role of elements such as vocatives (e.g. D’Alessandro & van Oostendorp, to appear), dislocations (e.g. López 2009, Feldhausen 2016, Samek-Lodovici 2015), parantheticals (e.g. Avanzi 2012; or Dehé 2014 for English), or related expressions
  • the relationship between sentence type and tonal configuration (e.g. Frota & Prieto 2015, Santiago & Delais-Roussarie 2015; Truckenbrodt 2012 for English)
    (L1 and/or L2) acquisition and/or attrition of the interface (e.g. Zubizarreta 2009, Zubizarreta & Nava 2011)
  • language contact (e.g. Muntendam 2013, Muntendam & Torreira 2016)


Avanzi, Mathieu. 2012. L’Interface Prosodie: Syntaxe en Français: Dislocations, Incises et Asyndètes. Bruxelles: Peter Lang.

Bocci, Giuliano. 2013. The Syntax–Prosody Interface: A cartographic perspective with evidence from Italian. [Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 204]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

D'Alessandro, Roberta & Marc van Oostendorp. (To appear). Prosody, Phi-Features and Deixis in Southern Italian: What Vocatives can tell us on the Architecture of Language. Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory.

Dehé, Nicole. 2014. Parentheticals in Spoken English: The Syntax-Prosody Relation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Feldhausen, Ingo. 2016. Inter-speaker Variation, Optimality Theory and the Prosody of Clitic Left-Dislocations in Spanish. Probus 28(2): 293-333.

Feldhausen, Ingo & Maria del Mar Vanrell Bosch. 2015. Oraciones hendidas y marcación del foco estrecho en español: una aproximación desde la Teoría de la Optimidad Estocástica. Revista Internacional de Lingüística Iberoamericana (RILI) 13(2): 39-60.

Féry, Caroline. 2013. Focus as Prosodic Alignment. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 31: 683–734.

Frascarelli, Mara. 2000. The Syntax-Phonology Interface in Focus and Topic Constructions in Italian. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Frota, Sonja & Prieto, Pilar (eds). 2015. Intonational variation in Romance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ghini, Mirco. 1993. φ-Formation in Italian: A New Proposal. Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics 12: 41–79.

Kratzer, Angelika & Elisabeth Selkirk. 2007. Phase theory and prosodic spellout: The case of verbs. The Linguistic Review 24: 93–135.

López, Luis. 2009. A Derivational Syntax for Information Structure. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Muntendam, Antje. 2013. On the nature of cross-linguistic transfer: A case study of Andean Spanish. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 16, 111–131.

Muntendam, Antje & Francisco Torreira. 2016. Focus and Prosody in Spanish and Quechua: insights from an interactive test. To appear in: Armstrong, Meghan; Henriksen, Nicholas & Maria del Mar Vanrell Bosch (Eds). Interdisciplinary Approaches to Intonational Grammar in Ibero-Romance. John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Nespor, Marina & Irene Vogel. 1986. Prosodic Phonology. Dordrecht: Foris.

Samek-Lodovici, Vieri. 2006. When Right Dislocation Meets the Left-Periphery. A Unified Analysis of Italian non-final Focus. Lingua 116: 836-873.

Samek-Lodovici, Vieri. 2015. The Interaction of Focus, Givenness, and Prosody. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Santiago, Fabián & Elisabeth Delais-Roussarie. 2015. The acquisition of Question Intonation by Mexican Spanish Learners of French. In E. Delais-Roussarie, M. Avanzi & S. Herment (eds), Prosody and Language in Contact: L2 Acquisition, Attrition and Languages in Multilingual Situations. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, 243–270.

Selkirk, Elisabeth. 2011. The syntax-phonology interface. In John Goldsmith, Jason Riggle & Alan Yu (eds.), The handbook of phonological theory, 2nd edn., 435–484. Oxford: Blackwell.

Truckenbrodt, Hubert. 2012. Semantics of intonation. In Claudia Maienborn, Klaus von Heusinger & Paul Portner (Eds.), Semantics. An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning. Vol. 3 (pp. 2039–2069). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Vallduví, Enric. 1993. The Informational Component: University of Pennsylvania Ph.D. dissertation.

Zubizarreta, Maria L. 1998. Prosody, Focus, and Word Order. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

Zubizarreta, Maria Luisa. 2009. The interface between syntax, prosody, and information structure: What we can learn from L2 speech. Presentation at the Third Meeting of the Arizona Linguistic Circle, October. <https://dornsife.usc.edu/assets/sites/295/docs/PP.Ariz.Oct.09.ppt>

Zubizarreta, Maria Luisa & Emily Nava. 2011. Encoding Discourse-based meaning: Prosody vs. Syntax. Implications for Second Language Acquisition. Lingua 121: 652–669.