“Affectedness” is concerned with the way and the degree in which an object changes as a result of the action described by the verb. Sensitivity to affectedness is detected in many typologically distinct languages (e.g. Sino-Tibetan, Austronesian, Japanese, Papuan, and Indo-European, etc.) and manifested in different ways including but not limited to lexical differentiation, case marking, verbal inflection, voice system as well as various grammatical constructions. The Affectedness Workshop is supported by the Singapore Ministry of Education Tier2 Grant "Grammar Matrix Reloaded: Syntax and Semantics of Affectedness" (MOE2013-T2-2-016; PI: Frantisek Kratochvil) and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University.
By sampling a set of typologically diverse languages with the help of computational tools, we hope to build a theory of affectedness that (i) is typologically informed; and (ii) can account for its varied manifestation in different grammatical domains. Information on Affectedness Workshop 2014 (AW2014) can be found here.
AW 2015 invites abstracts on the following themes: (i) The manifestation of affectedness in natural languages (ii) The nature of the scale in the measurement of affectedness (a universal scale? Multiple scales?) (iii) Classification of verbs with respect to affectedness effects, rigidity of such classification and the possibility of shifting between classes (e.g., by morpho-syntactic marking).
AW 2015 is part of the program of the 22nd International Conference on HPSG. The HPSG conference is the major conference for research on unification-based grammars, and brings in a wide range of linguistics working on not just syntax, but also semantics, pragmatics and typology. This collaboration aims to bring a wider audience to the issue of affectedness and gain insight of the phenomenon across various sub-fields.