Workshop "Scalarity in Verb-Based Constructions"

Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, April 7-8, 2011


Workshop Description

Traditionally, the notions of scale and scalarity have been used as a key to the understanding of phenomena related to gradable adjectives. In recent years various approaches have been put forward which emphasize the role of scalarity in verb meaning and verb-based constructions: Rappaport Hovav (2008) and Rappaport Hovav & Levin (2010) analyze change of state verbs, incremental theme verbs, and verbs of directed motion as expressing scalar predications, which are related to different types of scales; Hay et al. (1999), Kennedy & McNally (1999, 2005), Filip (2007), and Kennedy & Levin (2008), among others, assume a relation between scale structure and telicity; Beavers (2008) extends the scalar approach to the analysis of durativity and punctuality of events. Moreover, scalarity is assumed to constrain different types of verb-based constructions. In particular, there are different accounts of the resultative construction that are directly based on the notion of scalarity (e.g. Vanden Wyngaerd 2001, Wechsler 2005).

This workshop is intended as a forum for discussing empirical evidence for the scalar viewpoint and its impact on formal semantic analysis. It addresses the following questions:

  • What is the significance of scalarity for the analysis of verbs?
  • Which verbal phenomena can be analyzed in terms of scalarity?
  • How is scalarity represented in verb semantics?

 Some of the more specific questions related to these general questions are the following:

  • Are there precise criteria to distinguish scalar and non-scalar verbs and verb-based constructions?
  • How can scalarity be integrated in decompositional approaches to verb meaning?
  • What is the precise relation between gradability and scalarity? Are there instances of scalarity without gradability?
  • Which elements of the analysis of gradable adjectives can be transferred to the analysis of verbs?
  • How do degree and measure phrases interact with verbal  semantics? How can the analysis of degree and measure phrases be transferred from the adjectival to the verbal domain?
  • Is the scalar approach to the above-mentioned phenomena  superior to approaches which do not make use of scalarity?

We invite the submission of extended abstracts on all kinds of empirical and theoretical approaches that address the role of scalarity in the domain of verbs.

Invited Speakers

  • Hana Filip (University of Düsseldorf)
  • Louise McNally (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona)
  • Malka Rappaport Hovav (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
  • Sebastian Löbner (University of Düsseldorf)
  • Robert D. Van Valin, Jr. (University of Düsseldorf)

Submission Guidelines

Submissions are not to exceed two A4 pages in length, including examples and references, with at least 2 cm margins on all sides and 12pt font size. The submission should not identify the author(s).

Extended abstracts must be submitted as PDF via EasyChair using the following link: Workshop submission site.

(If you do not have an EasyChair account, you must first sign up for an account. After receiving the user name and password, you can proceed with the submission.)

Important Dates

Submission deadline: 13.12.2010 (extended deadline)
Notification of acceptance: 04.02.2011
Revised versions due: 18.03.2011
Workshop date: 07/08.04.2011

Reviewer board

  • John Beavers (University of Texas at Austin)
  • Patrick Caudal (Universite Paris-Diderot)
  • Johannes Dölling (University of Leipzig)
  • Stefan Engelberg (IDS Mannheim)
  • Hana Filip (University of Düsseldorf)
  • Jens Fleischhauer (University of Düsseldorf)
  • Thomas Gamerschlag (University of Düsseldorf)
  • Wilhelm Geuder (University of Düsseldorf)
  • Ingrid Kaufmann (University of Tokyo)
  • Chris Kennedy (University of Chicago)
  • Jean-Pierre Koenig (University at Buffalo)
  • Anja Latrouite (University of Düsseldorf)
  • Sebastian Löbner (University of Düsseldorf)
  • Louise McNally (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona)
  • Ralf Naumann (University of Düsseldorf)
  • Rainer Osswald (University of Düsseldorf)
  • Chris Piñón (Université de Lille)
  • Malka Rappaport Hovav (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
  • Robert D. Van Valin, Jr. (University of Düsseldorf)


Jens Fleischhauer, Thomas Gamerschlag, Rainer Osswald

Contact Information

Email: verbscale2011phil.uni-duesseldorfde