Call for Papers

The English Noun Phrase:

synchronic and diachronic perspectives


Workshop: Vienna, 11-13 July 2019


Dates of workshopThu 11 July - Sat 13 July 2019
LocationDepartment of English, University of Vienna, Austria
OrganisersLotte Sommerer, Evelien Keizer

General topic

The last decade has seen an increased interest in various aspects of the English Noun Phrase (e.g. Alexiadou et al. 2007, Keizer 2007, García Velasco & Rijkhoff 2008, Adamson & González-Díaz 2009, Van de Velde 2009, Brems 2011, Davidse, Breban & van Linden 2008, González-Álvarez et al. 2011, Schmid 2012, Berlage 2014, Payne & Berlage 2014, Ghesquière 2014, Lohmann 2014, Günther 2015, Leung & van der Wurff 2018, Sommerer 2018, Davidse & Breban forth. 2018). The aim of the present workshop is to continue this tradition by bringing together linguists currently working on the English noun phrase. The focus of the workshop will be broad: we invite contributions from both a synchronic and a diachronic perspective, working on all varieties of English.  However, although we welcome papers from all theoretical perspectives, we are particularly interested in contributions taking a functional-cognitive approach, offering qualitative as well as quantitative analyses of naturally occurring language data. All papers should deal first and foremost with aspects of the English noun phrase, but contributions comparing English with other languages are also welcome.

Confirmed invited speakers

Kristin Davidse (University of Leuven)
Marianne Hundt (University of Zurich)


Specific topics

Papers can be on any aspect of the English noun phrase; what follows is merely a non-exhaustive (and partly overlapping) list of possible topics:

  • The distribution, use and/or development of different types of determiners
  • The distribution, use and/or development of different types of (pre- and post‑)modifiers
  • Complexity (synchronically, e.g. in relation to genre, information status, etc.) or diachronically (increase in complexity)
  • Discontinuous noun phrases
  • Headedness and ellipsis
  • (In-)definiteness, (non-)referentiality, (non-)specificity, genericness
  • Complementation
  • Coordination
  • Compounding and other morphological processes
  • Modality and subjectivity within the noun phrase
  • Nominalization and pronominalization
  • Variation and change within the noun phrase
  • Word order within the noun phrase

Any of the preceding topics in relation to specific constructions (e.g. partitives, pseudo-partitives, appositions, the ‘the thing is’ construction, the evaluative binominal construction, the big-mess construction, SKT-constructions).


Presentation format           

20 minute papers + 10 minutes for discussion


Submission of abstracts

From 1 October 2018 to 1 January 2019.

  • Abstracts should not exceed 400 words (exclusive of references) and should clearly state research questions, approach, method, data and (expected) results.

Please submit as a .doc or .docx to

Notification of acceptance of all abstracts will be sent out by 15 February 2019.


    • Adamson, Sylvia & Victorina González-Díaz. (2009). History and structure of the English noun phrase: Introduction. Transactions of the Philological Society 107(3), 255-61.
    • Alexiadou, Artemis, Liliane Haegeman & Melita Stavrou. (2007). Noun phrase in the generative perspective. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
    • Berlage, Eva. (2014). Noun Phrase Complexity in English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • Brems, Liselotte. (2011). Layering of Size and Type Noun Constructions in English. Berlin: Mouton de Gryuter.
    • Davidse, Kristin & Tine Breban. (forth, 2018). A cognitive-functional approach to the order of adjectives in the English noun phrase. Linguistics.
    • García Velasco, Daniel & Jan Rijkhoff (eds.). (2008). The Noun Phrase in Functional Discourse Grammar. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
    • Ghesquière, Lobke. (2014). The Directionality of (Inter)subjectification in the English Noun Phrase: Pathways of Change. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
    • González-Álvarez, Dolores, Ana Elina Martínez-Insua, Javier Perez Guerra & Esperanza Rama-Martínez (eds.). (2011). The structure of the noun phrase in English: Synchronic and diachronic explorations. Special issue of English Language and Linguistics 15.2, 201-415.
    • Günther, Christine. (2015). The Elliptical Noun Phrase in English: Structure and Use. New York: Routledge.
    • Leung, Alex Ho-Cheong & Wim van der Wurff (eds.). (2018).The Noun Phrase in English. Past and present. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
    • Keizer, Evelien. (2007). The English Noun Phrase: the Nature of Linguistic Categorization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • Lohmann, Arne. (2014). English Co-ordinate Constructions – A processing perspective on constituent order. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • Payne, John & Eva Berlage (eds.). (2014). Special Issue on the Genitive Variation in English. English Language and Linguistics 18.2.
    • Sommerer, Lotte. (2018). Article Emergence in Old English. A Constructionalist Perspective. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
    • Schmid, Hans-Jörg. (2012). English Abstract Nouns as Conceptual Shells: From Corpus to Cognition. Berlin. De Gryuter.
    • Van de Velde, Freek. (2009). De nominale constituent: structuur en geschiedenis. Leuven: Universitaire Pers Leuven.