Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop 28 Opacity 3 - 5 October 2013, University of Leipzig

Workshop on "Opacity in Grammar" (WOPiG)

The aim of WOPiG is to bring together researchers from phonology, morphology, and syntax in order to address the puzzles posed by opaque interactions of grammatical operations.

Some linguistic expressions are opaque in the sense that the reason why a certain grammatical process has applied (or why it has not applied) cannot be read off of their surfaces. Traditionally, this kind of opacity was captured by concepts such as overapplication or underapplication; counter-bleeding or counter-feeding; or blocking.

Opaque interaction arises in all linguistic frameworks where the analysis of linguistic expressions is the result of the interaction of elementary operations and/or constraints. While opaque interactions would seem to be easily resolvable in derivational or stratal frameworks, opacity presents a challenge for representational frameworks. Indeed, recent developments in all grammatical components tend to make use of timing: in phonology, Harmonic Serialism (McCarthy (2010)) or Candidate Chains (McCarthy (2007)) are used; in morphology, the Distributed Morphology approach of, e.g., Arregi & Nevins (2012) allows ordering of postsyntactic morphological rules; in syntax, the timing of elementary operations like Merge, Move, and Agree becomes more and more important (e.g., Řezáč (2004)). In light of these trends, the aim of WOPiG is to bring together proponents of derivational and representational frameworks in order to discuss how opaque interactions can be resolved with derivational and representational means.

Arregi, Karlos and Andrew Nevins (2012), Morphotactics: Basque Auxiliaries and the Structure of Spellout, Dordrecht: Springer.
McCarthy, John (2007), Hidden Generalizations. Phonological Opacity in Optimality Theory, London: Equinox.
McCarthy, John (2010), 'An Introduction to Harmonic Serialism', Language and Linguistics Compass 4(10), 10011018.
Pullum, Geoffrey K. (1979), Rule Interaction and the Organization of a Grammar, Garland, New York.
Řezáč, Milan (2004), Elements of Cyclic Syntax: Agree and Merge, PhD thesis, University of Toronto.


Pennsylvania Deitsch






Important Dates

First Call for Papers

January 18/25, 2013

Final Call for Papers

May 02, 2013

Extended deadline for abstracts

May 19, 2013

Notification of acceptance

July 15, 2013

Final program

Aug 20, 2013


Oct 3, 2013


Oct 4-5, 2013

Supported by

Institut für Linguistik

Universitä Leipzig


Last modified: February 27, 2014 contact: cgsw28[at]