The DP-Border: Syntax and Semantics

Date: 11 January 2019
Time: 9:30-18:00
Room: 403

Invited speakers

  • Carmen Dobrovie-Sorin (Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7)
  • Berit Gehrke (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
  • Sebastian Löbner (Universität Düsseldorf)


While most research at the syntax-semantics interface has focused on clause-level phenomena, the DFG-funded project DP-Border (PIs: Artemis Alexiadou and Uli Sauerland) focuses instead on the DP level, and more specifically on “DP border” phenomena in which elements appear to be extracted from inside a DP. Examples of DP border phenomena include:

  • Krifka (1990) observes that in certain contexts, measurement phrases allow for event-related readings, as in the sentence “Sixty tons of radioactive waste were transported through the lock last year.” Krifka offers an account in which the measurement nominal (“sixty tons”) is extracted and takes clausal scope.
  • Certain adjectives that appear inside the DP can take apparent clausal scope, such as “occasional” in “An occasional sailor strolled by” (cf. “Occasionally, a sailor strolled by”; Bolinger 1967). Many (though not all) analyses of this fact involve movement of “occasional” to a position outside of the DP.
  • As noted by Ahn & Sauerland (2017), proportion-denoting phrases like “75%” allow for seemingly non-conservative construals in certain configurations (in certain languages), as in “The company hired 75% women”. Ahn & Sauerland’s analysis involves extraction of the proportion-denoting constituent outside of the DP.

The Leibniz Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS) will be hosting a one-day workshop on January 11th, 2019, on syntactic and semantic analyses of such DP Border phenomena, featuring talks by the three invited speakers, as well as project members Artemis Alexiadou, Uli Sauerland, Robert Pasternak, and Giorgos Spathas.


9:30-10:00 Uli Sauerland (ZAS)

10:00-11:00 Carmen Dobrovie-Sorin (Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7)
Three types of proportional MOST

11:00-11:30 Coffee break

11:30-12:30 Robert Pasternak (ZAS)
Overt and covert proportional partitives

12:30-14:00 Lunch break 

14:00-14:30 Artemis Alexiadou and Giorgos Spathas (Humboldt/ZAS)
DP-Border phenomena: a case study of Greek

14:30-15:30 Berit Gehrke (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
Adverbial readings of (frequency) adjectives and external modification in idioms   (based on joint work with Louise McNally)

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-17:00 Giorgos Spathas (ZAS)
Proportional modification of gradable adjectives

17:00-18:00 Sebastian Löbner (Universität Düsseldorf)
The nominal onion – its functional layers