Pitt to Host 37th Annual Linguistics Symposium on Romance Languages

Issue Date: 
March 12, 2007

Nearly 50 papers will be presented during international conference here

Renowned specialists from around the world will gather March 15-18 to present state-of-the-art scholarship in Romance linguistics at the 37th Annual Linguistics Symposium on Romance Languages, hosted by the Department of Linguistics in Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences.

The symposium will be held in the Cathedral of Learning and Holiday Inn University Center in Oakland; registration will be 4:30-6 p.m. March 15 and 8-9 a.m. March 16 and 17 at the Holiday Inn, Lytton Avenue.

“We’re very happy to be organizing this prestigious international conference on cutting-edge research into the structure of Romance languages,” said Pascual José Masullo, a Pitt professor of linguistics and coordinator of the symposium. “On a personal level, I’m very proud of the fact that the Romance linguistics community has entrusted us with the organization of the 37th meeting of this symposium.”

According to Masullo, the conference will strengthen Pitt’s linguistics department, especially its growing graduate program in Hispanic Linguistics, and also will have an impact on such academic areas as Spanish and Portuguese, French and Italian, psychology, and education.

Heles Contreras, professor of linguistics at the University of Washington, will open the symposium at 6 p.m. March 15 in the Holiday Inn with the Outreach Lecture titled “Work Order and Minimalism.” The lecture will highlight the differences among Romance languages concerning word order and make accessible to a general audience the technical aspects of the field.

From 9 to 11:45 a.m. March 16 in the Holiday Inn, experts will present papers in their areas of specialization. At noon, Arts and Sciences Dean N. John Cooper; Scott Kiesling, associate professor and chair of the linguistics department; and Masullo will deliver opening remarks in 324 Cathedral of Learning.

Four plenary lectures, all in 324 Cathedral of Learning, will be delivered throughout the symposium. The speakers and the titles of their talks will be:

Eulalia Bonet, Facultat de Lletres at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, “DP-internal Phonological Asymmetries and the Structure of Grammar” (aspects of the phonology of the Romance languages), 12:15-1:15 p.m. March 16;

Javier Gutiérrez-Rexach, professor of Spanish linguistics at The Ohio State University, “Relativization Structures and Degree Quantification in Spanish” (aspects of the meaning of the Romance languages), 11:30 a.m.-
12:30 p.m. March 17;

Luigi Rizzi, professor of linguistics at the Università di Siena, “Criterial Freezing, EPP, and ECP Effects” (aspects of the structure of the Romance languages), 3:45-4:45 p.m. March 17; and

Julia Herschensohn, professor of linguistics at the University of Washington, “Developing I-language in L1 and L2” (how we learn our first language and a second or foreign language), 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. March 18.

Closing remarks will be from 12:15 to 12:30 p.m. March 18 in 324 Cathedral of Learning.

The symposium is sponsored by Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences, English Language Institute, Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures, Center for Latin American Studies, European Studies Center, and European Union Center of Excellence and Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Modern Languages. For more information, contact lsrl37@pitt.edu or visit www.linguistics.pitt.edu/lsrl37.