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At the bussiness meeting following NELS38, it has been decided that Cornell University will host NELS39.




38th Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society


October 26-28, 2007 - University of Ottawa


Call for papers
Travel and accommodation
Contact us at:
University of Ottawa Organizing committee









Main session


The October 2007 meeting will include a main session, a poster session, and two special sessions, one on phonology and one on semantics. The invited speakers for the main session are Gennaro Chierchia (Harvard) and Rose-Marie Déchaine (UBC).

Organizing team: Galina Dukova-Zheleva, Fatima Hamlaoui, Keren Tonciulescu, Maria Luisa Rivero, Éric Mathieu, Marie-Hélène Côté.

Phonology Workshop: ‘Abstractness without innateness?’

Invited speaker: Bruce Hayes (UCLA)

The phonology special session is entitled ‘Abstractness without innateness?’ The invited speaker is Bruce Hayes from UCLA. Some of the founding assumptions of Generative Phonology involve abstract units such as distinctive features, timing units, syllables, and constraints. The innateness of these units has been seen as an important part of their nature. Recent work has sought to undermine the claim that innate primitives are necessary for phonological theory, often drawing more directly upon more concrete factors such phonetics and language change as sources of explanation. However, a reduction in the explanatory role of innateness does not entail a reduction in the role of abstractness in phonology. We are soliciting abstracts for talks addressing the role of abstractness in phonology at a time when innateness is under attack, e.g.: (i) Evidence for the existence of abstract units in phonology, independent of assumptions about innate abstract units, e.g. in acquisition, variation, change, production, perception, processing, etc.; (ii) Evidence for sources of abstract units other than Universal Grammar; (iii) Evidence that abstract units must be innate.


Marc Brunelle -

Marie-Hélène Côté - 

Jeff Mielke -


Semantics Workshop: Pronouns and Binding Theory

Invited speaker: Irene Heim (MIT)

This workshop aims to bring together research on pronouns and binding from a semantic perspective. We hope the workshop will result in a snapshot of current research, providing an overview of where things are, as well as indications of where they might be going.

Abstracts are invited for 20 minute talks with 10 minutes for discussion (the abstract format is the same as for the main session). We have conceived the topic rather broadly. Possibilities include the interpretation of (specialized) pronouns, features, the semantics of binding, reciprocity, cross-linguistic perspectives, etc. In terms of framework, we hope to bring together papers in the tradition of formal semantics and work in its interfaces.

Papers presented in this workshop may be included in the general NELS Proceedings to be published by the GLSA. The Journal of Semantics has agreed to publish a special issue with a selection of papers, and all papers presented at the workshop will be eligible for submission (with publication depending on the outcome of standard reviewing procedures).

We would like to dedicate this workshop to the memory of Tanya Reinhart, and add it to the series of events that honor her. She was to have been our invited speaker. Irene Heim will address aspects of her work in her presentation.

Contact: Ana Arregui -



Previous NELS



Invited speakers:

  • Gennaro Chierchia (Harvard University)
  • Rose-Marie Déchaine (University of British Columbia)
  • Bruce Hayes (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Irene Heim (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)