Princeton Symposium on Syntactic Theory 2019

The 2nd Princeton Symposium on Syntactic Theory (PSST 2019) will be held on April 5th and 6th, 2019.
PSST 2019 will run parallel with the inaugural meeting of the Princeton Phonology Forum (PΦF).

Click here for the location and a map.

The theme for this meeting of PSST is “counterexamples”. This workshop will feature talks about approaching and analyzing syntactic data (or data at the interfaces with syntax) that appear to be counterexamples in some way, i.e., the data is exceptional within the context of (i) otherwise robust patterns in a particular language or language family, (ii) proposed crosslinguistic generalizations, and/or (iii) the predictions of a certain theory. The following general questions will guide our workshop:

  1. How do we, as linguists doing empirical work, identify counterexamples as such? How should we analytically approach (apparent) counterexamples?
  2. What is the status of the notion of a “counterexample” in theories of grammar? How (if at all) does the grammar identify an exception as such?
  3. What sorts of grammatical and/or theoretical machinery can/should we use to analyze counterexamples?
  4. How do we decide when a counterexample should be treated as an exception as opposed to an indication that a theory or generalization is wrong or requires revision?
  5. What can counterexamples (both from specific case studies and more broadly speaking) teach us about syntax and its interfaces?


On Friday April 5, the workshop ran from 1:30pm to 6pm, and on Saturday April 7, 9:30am (following breakfast) to 5pm.

Saturday evening, all attendees were invited to join us for drinks and hors d’oeuvres, following the workshop.

Click here for a detailed schedule, with talk titles and abstracts.


PSST 2019 Speakers

(listed alphabetically)

Byron Ahn (Princeton University)
Vrinda Chidambaram (UC Riverside)
Sandy Chung (UC Santa Cruz)
Lauren Clemens (SUNY Albany)
David Embick (University of Pennsylvania)
Jane Grimshaw (Rutgers University)
Laura Kalin (Princeton University)
Norvin Richards (MIT)
Sandhya Sundaresan (Universität Leipzig)
Gary Thoms (NYU)
Jim Wood (Yale University)
Michelle Yuan (University of Chicago)



Registration is free! We ask those planning to attend to register by March 20, 2019 at the link below.

Registration Form


Contact Information

PSST email address: [our 4-letter acronym]

Organizers: Byron Ahn and Laura Kalin

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