Venue: Schloss Freudental, 78476 Allensbach-Freudental (near Konstanz), Germany

Clause Typing and the Syntax-to-Discourse Relation in Head-Final Languages

Call for Papers

The submission deadline was 30 November 2017.


This workshop, hosted by the DFG-funded research project Clause Structure and Utterance Meaning: Word Order, Particles, Emphasis, aims at bringing together linguists who work on head-final languages with a focus on the upper clausal periphery and formal aspects of at-issue and non at-issue meaning.

Many details have been clarified in the recent past about clause typing and the syntax-to-discourse relation. Nevertheless, mainstream theorizing in this area continues to be dominated by views that emanate from generalizations about head-initial languages, for which the split-CP analysis has proposed a richly organized left clausal periphery.

Strictly head-final languages show clause-initial topic constructions but nothing like a more articulated left periphery. Instead they show a more or less richly organized right periphery as expected from the Mirror Principle (Baker, 1985). Nevertheless, many head-final languages have typologically “deviant” complement clauses with initial instead of final complementizers. Many show an equally mixed picture of clause-medial and clause-final discourse and focus particles. Even the strictest head-final languages have the option of displacing constituents to the post-verbal domain. Theoretical proposals are so far highly heterogeneous: rightward scrambling, rightward movement to clause-final specifiers, leftward movement followed by remnant movement, copying and eliding, prosodic restructuring. Given that displacement is usually not arbitrary, what is its motivation, and what are its semantic or pragmatic effects?

Issues of the head-final organization of syntax should be discussed with a focus on clause type and the projection of clause types into more fine-grained distinctions that give rise to varieties of illocutionary meanings. The interrogative type, to take a prominent example, appears next to its association with the standard information-seeking impact, in sub-types of “special” or “non-standard questions” (H.-G. Obenauer): rhetorical, surprise, disapproval, reproach, exclamative, “aggressively” non-D-linked, the hell, why-like what etc. Work on interrogatives would be a start, but the workshop is thematically completely open. The aim of the workshop is to bring together researchers with a particular interest in the syntax and semantics of head-final languages and the way the higher functional field is implemented in these languages. A by no means exhaustive list of potential topics would be the following:

  • Clausal subordination in head-final languages.
  • The formal side of expressive and non-at- issue meaning.
  • Information structure versus expressive/emphatic structure.
  • The syntactic status of clause typing particles and further particles such as discourse particles and focus particles or so-called “emphasizers”.
  • The root relatedness of discourse particles in dependent clauses.
  • Non-standard questions in comparison with standard information-seeking questions.
  • The nature of “wh-in- situ”. Are there different types? 
  • The post-verbal space, its derivation, and interpretive effects of postposing (“leaking”).

The theoretical focus of the workshop is rooted in research questions that are related to generative grammar, especially generative syntax. Nevertheless, the workshop is open to alternative frameworks and approaches – linguistic typology, usage-based grammar, formal semantics etc. – that may enhance our understanding of head-finality and its space of parametric variation. 

Invited Speakers

  • Diti Bhadra (Rutgers University, New Jersey)
  • Probal Dasgupta (Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata)
  • Yoshio Endo (Kanda University of International Studies, Chiba)
  • Masayuki Oishi (Tohoku Gakuin University, Sendai)
  • Andrew Simpson (University of Southern California, Los Angeles)

Date and Venue

15-17 May, 2018

Schloss Freudental
Schlossstraße 1
78476 Allensbach-Freudental (near Konstanz)

Accommodation and Registration

Owing to the somewhat isolated venue of the workshop (Schloss Freudental), a registration fee of € 400.00 per participant is charged, covering accommodation from Monday, May 14, to Thursday, May 17, including breakfasts, lunches, dinners, coffee and snacks, and transportation for those participants who will be staying at the nearby hotel (Hotel St. Elisabeth).

Payment of the fee is due until March 31. Specifying the reference "Head-Final Workshop, [participant's name]", transfers need to be made to the bank account of the University of Konstanz:

Financial institutionBW-Bank Konstanz
Account number7486501274
Routing code60050101

Travel information

You can reach the workshop venue via flights to Zurich or Stuttgart.

Trains from Zurich to Konstanz leave every half hour, see

For trains from Stuttgart to Konstanz, you need to travel from the airport to the main station. There are a few direct connections from there to Konstanz, but most of the time you will have to change trains once in the town of Singen (Hohentwiel), see

From the main station in Konstanz, there are regular trains to Allensbach, see

From Allensbach, Bahnhof, you can either take an hourly bus (SBG 7370) to get to the stop Freudental and walk about 6 min, or you can take a taxi (about € 13-15.00; +49 7533 933339).

(The price for a taxi from Konstanz to the castle is about € 45.00 if the traffic is fluent.)

At 19:00 on Monday, May 14, there will be dinner at Schloss Freudental for all participants. Please let us know if you adhere to any dietary restrictions or have a food intolerance. The workshop will conclude on Thursday, May 17, with lunch at 12:00-13:30. We will organize transportation to the main station in Konstanz by 14:30 at the latest.

If you plan on staying another night in Konstanz, you need to make your own arrangements. A list of hotels is provided below. You need to be aware that in May there is high demand of hotels, and last minute arrangements are usually expensive. Therefore, we recommend booking a hotel as early as possible. For those who are staying another night, we will try to organize a guided city tour and dinner, please let us know if you are interested.

Hotels (non-exhaustive list)

Upscale (> € 150)
Steigenberger Hotel (=Inselhotel); Riva

Mid-price (€ 90-120)
Barbarossa; Hotel am Fischmarkt; Zeppelin; Constantia; Buchner Hof; Viva Sky; Hirschen; Ibis (STYLES or BUDGET); Hotel Halm; Apart Hotel Garni Scheffelhof; City Hotel; Hotel B&B; Aqua Hotel
Option in Switzerland (Kreuzlingen): Hotel Swiss

Affordable (< € 80)
Gästehaus Centro; Boardinghouse Home

Information for Presenters

Regular talks consist of 30 min of presentation plus 10 min of discussion.



Prof. Dr. Josef Bayer (University of Konstanz)
Yvonne Viesel (University of Konstanz)