Differential Object Marking
Location: E0101, Faculty of Humanities, University of Tromsø, Norway
Dates: May 23-24, 2013
Invited speaker: Mark C. Baker, Rutgers University
Theme and purpose of the conference:
In Differential Object Marking (DOM), animacy or definiteness (or some related aspect of the interpretation of the direct object) affects the formal marking of objecthood—e.g., definite objects are overtly case marked in Hebrew (Givón), and optionally case marked in Hindi/Urdu (Mohanan, Butt), but not indefinite objects; as another example, specific objects are overtly case marked in Turkish, but not nonspecific objects (Enç); definite animate objects are overtly case marked in Spanish, but generally not inanimate or indefinite ones (Bossong, Torrego, López). The overt marking in such cases is sometimes identified as accusative, sometimes as dative. Such phenomena have been discussed together at least since the early 1980’s (cf. the background discussion in Aissen, or the overview in Malchukov & de Swart, and references there).
Depending on the analysis, the phenomenon of DOM may be extended beyond case-marking alternations of the Turkish type to include object agreement (e.g. on Baker’s analysis of object agreement in Amharic, or Woolford’s for Palauan; cf. Dalrymple and Nikolaeva). Theories of DOM sometimes also extend to verb splits (in which different verb classes take differently marked objects, a significant factor in Spanish; cf. also Blume’s analysis of dative-taking verbs). Bossong finds that over 300 languages exhibit some kind of DOM, broadly construed. Another potentially related set of issues involves arguments other than the object: Do the factors that cause differential marking of the object cause parallel differential marking of other arguments as well, and why or why not?
The papers selected for presentation will suggest theoretical analyses of DOM (either in a narrower or a broader sense), taking into consideration detailed empirical data and/or larger typological patterns and stressing their theoretical interpretations and importance.
Thursday, May 23rd
On Types of Differential Object Marking in Interaction with Alignment Type - Invited speaker: Mark BAKER (Rutgers)
Friday, May 24th