skip to content

Nereus VI: Theoretical implications of the syntax/semantics interface in Romance

International workshop at the University of Cologne (Germany)
November 8-10, 2012


Sofiana Chiriacescu

Institut für deutsche Sprache und Literatur I
D-50923 Köln
E-Mail: schiriac[at]

Martin Becker

Romanisches Seminar
Albertus-Magnus-Platz 1
D-50923 Köln
E-Mail: martin.becker1[at]

Chiara Gianollo

Institut für deutsche Sprache und Literatur I
D-50923 Köln
E-Mail: chiara.gianollo[at]

Klaus von Heusinger

Institut für deutsche Sprache und Literatur I
Universität Köln
Albertus Magnus Platz
D-50923 Köln
E-Mail: Klaus.vonHeusinger[at]



Language is a system of communication in which grammatical structures function to express meaning in context. While all languages can achieve the same basic communicative ends, they each use different means to achieve them, particularly in the divergent ways that syntax, semantics and pragmatics interact across languages.

The sixth NEREUS international workshop brings together experts in the fields of syntax and semantics, who explore the interaction between form, meaning, and communicative function in Romance languages from both a diachronic and a synchronic perspective. The aim of the conference is to describe the division of labour between syntax and semantics and the nature of the interface between them. The languages discussed range from Catalan and Spanish over French and Brazilian Portuguese to a multitude of different Italo-Romance varieties.

The workshop is open to any interested public, no conference fee has to be paid.


Workshop Venue

"Neuer Senatssaal" (New Senate Hall)
University Main Building
Albertus-Magnus-Place, Cologne


Thursday, November 8
18:30 Pre-conference reception
Friday, November 9
10:00-10:15 Opening the conference
Klaus von Heusinger (University of Cologne)
10:15-11:15 The discourse function of pe-marking in Romanian.
Klaus von Heusinger & Sofiana Chiriacescu (University of Cologne)
11:15-11:30 Coffee break
11:30-12:30 Comparison between Unaccusatives and Existentials from a diachronic perspective, comparing French, Spanish and Catalan.
Susann Fischer (University of Hamburg)
12:30-14:00 Lunch
14:00-15:00 Whatever happened to the Occitan go-past? New insight from the dialects of Gascony and Guardia Piemontese.
Bart Jacobs (Universität Konstanz & Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)
15:00-16:00 Information Structure inside the NP.
Daniel Jacob (Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg))
16:00-16:15 Coffee Break
16:15-17:15 Contrast and the interpretation of noun phrases.
Manuel Leonetti (University of Alcala)
17:15-18:15 The history of „aliquis“ and the system of Latin specific indefinites.
Chiara Gianollo (University of Cologne)
Saturday, November 10
10:00-11:00 The interface between proximative and avertive in Romance.
Sarah Schwellenbach (University of Cologne)
11:00-11:15 Coffee break
11:15-12:15 Presentential bare nominals in Brazilian Portuguese.
Maria Teresa Espinal & Sonia Cyrino (University Autònoma de Barcelona, UNICAMP)
12:15-13:15 Zero article and its loss from Old to Modern French - some data.
Martin Becker (University of Cologne)
13:15-14:00 Closing remarks
Martin Becker (University of Cologne)
14:00-16:00 Coffee break & Snacks