Program day 1 - Program day 2Registration - Payment - Location - Accomodation - Call for papers

Program day 1

Monday 19-12-2005, Location: PC Hoofthuis, room 1.05

8.15 – 9.15


9.15 – 9.30


Aafke Hulk, Dean of the Humanities Faculty

Morning session I

9.30 – 10.30

Tom Roeper

Multiple Grammar Theory: How to represent Stable Variation in Inflection -- with examples from Child Grammar and African American English

10.30 – 10.45


Morning sessions II

10.45 – 11.30


Jan Don

How real are Rules of Impoverishment ?

11.30 – 12.15

Khawla Aljenaie

Verb inflections in Kuwaiti Arabic-speaking children

12.15 – 13.30


Afternoon sessions I

13.30 – 14.15


Chloe Marshall & Heather van der Lely

What factors cause children with Specific Language Impairment to variably omit inflection in English?

14.15 – 15.30

Noureddine Elouazizi & Martina Wiltschko

The categorical determination of agreement, anti-agreement, and anti-anti-agreement

15.30 – 15.45


Afternoon sessions II

15.45 – 16.30

Alies MacLean & Hans Bennis

Variation in Inflection: Dutch dialects

16.30 – 17.30

Cecilia Poletto & Paola Benincŕ

The third dimension of person features

17.30 ...



Program day 2

Tuesday 20-12-2005, Location: PC Hoofthuis, room: 1.05

Morning session I

9.30 – 10.30 

Bonnie Schwartz

To be acquired

10.30 – 10.45


Morning sessions II  

10.45 – 11.30

Jacqueline van Kampen

Morpho-syntactic hierarchies

11.30 – 12.30

Elma Blom, Daniela Polisenska & Fred Weerman

Variation in Inflection: a comparison of agreement inflection in child L1, child L2 and adult L2 Dutch

12.30 – 14.00


Afternoon sessions I


14.00 – 15.00


David Adger

Combinatorial Variation in Inflection

15.00 – 15.45

Suzanne Aalberse

The power of universal organizing principles

15.45 – 16.00


Afternoon sessions II

16.00 – 16.45


Ben Hermans, Marc van Oostendorp & Gertjan Postma

Deflection without reference to Paradigms

16.45 – 17.45

Tony Kroch

Syntactic change and the loss of inflection



The fee for the 2-day workshop is 50 Euro, which includes:

§         Access to all presentations

§         All coffee breaks

§         A conference map

§         Confirmation of attendance/payment  

You can either pre-register or register on site. There is a limited number of places!

Pre-registration: The deadline for pre-registration is December 1st 2005. You can pre-register by sending an e-mail to Please enter as the subject of your mail ‘workshop Variation in Inflection' and include in the body-text your name and affiliation.

On site registration Starts at 8.15 a.m. at the morning of the first day (December 19th) in front of room 1.05 of the P.C. Hoofthuis (Spuistraat 134).



You can either pay in advance or on site. Please note that on site we can only accept cash payment! Payment in advance can be made by bank transfer:

Bank account:

IBAN code: NL17 ABNA 0446 6074 60

to: UvA, faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Spuistraat 210, 1012 VT Amsterdam (SAP number 1035040)



The workshop takes place at the University of Amsterdam, Spuistraat 134 (this building is called the ‘P.C. Hoofthuis’), room 105. For more information, see:

At the top of the page on the right there is a small picture of a building (with underneath the text ‘Plattegrond gebouwen FGw’). This picture is an icon that leads you to a detailed map of Amsterdam. Number 7 on this map indicates the P.C. Hoofthuis. It is a 10-minute-walk from Amsterdam Central Station. Public transport: trams 1, 2, 5, 13 of 17. You need to get off at ‘Dam’. Walk through the Raadhuisstraat, and take the first street to the right.




Here you find a list with hostels in Amsterdam:




Call for papers

Call for papers Workshop Variation in Inflection

December 19-20, 2005

University of Amsterdam

Invited speakers:

David Adger (Queen Mary University of London)

Anthony Kroch (University of Pennsylvania)

Cecilia Poletto (University of Padua)

Tom Roeper (University of Massachusetts/Amherst)

Bonnie Schwartz (University of Hawai’i at Manoa)

What are the factors that cause deflection? In order to answer this question, the Meertens Institute (KNAW) and the Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (UvA) have started a research-program called Variation in Inflection, or simply Variflex. Two types of factors may be relevant: internal factors related to the linguistic system and external, sociolinguistic factors. Typological variation (including dialect differences) and variation observed in the development of monolingual children are telling with regard to the boundaries set by our linguistic system. Typological variation and variation in L2 acquisition provide information with regard to external factors.

Thus, a second question addressed in the Variflex program is: What are the boundaries of variation in inflection? Empirical data suggest that the variation space of inflectional morphology is huge. Even within one language system there are various paradigms, dialects differ in inflectional contrasts and variation surfaces in various stages in the process of the acquisition of inflection. The amount of observed variation in inflectional morphology (at the interface of morphology and syntax) contrasts strikingly with other observed variation such as word order phenomena (syntax proper). Typological comparisons suggest that there are natural classes of inflectional features that are hierarchically organized, patterns of syncretism within a language suggest metaparadigmatic structure, the “errors” that children make seem pre-determined and, diachronically, not every possible change to inflectional paradigms has actually taken place.

To determine the variation space of agreement inflection in Dutch Variflex takes a multidisciplinary approach that focuses on dialect variation, L1 acquisition, L2 acquisition and language change. The overall research question of the program is: Is deflection the effect of language contact, or to be more specific, the effect of imperfect second language acquisition that characterizes language contact situations, given that the output of this group of learners forms the input of a new group of first language acquirers? In this workshop the first results of Variflex will be discussed to a wider public. The above panel of specialists is invited to give presentations on related matters, on the basis of their own research, and to discuss all angles of the multidisciplinary approach. The rest of the program consists of selected papers on the issue of variation in inflection. Selected papers should address one or more of the specific questions below:

Delimiting the variation space

Determining other influences on variation

Variation and theoretical models:

How do different models treat inflectional contrasts? Which model is most successful? Below, we give three examples of apparently promising theories. Each model raises new questions, though:


The workshop is meant for linguists with an interest in one or more of these areas: theoretical linguistics, morphosyntax, typology, dialect variation, L1 and L2 acquisition and/or language change. The program partly consists of presentations and partly of (panel-)discussions with the audience (including organizers). The first results of Variflex will be presented, and the five invited speakers will present their own, related, work. In addition to these presentations, we will select no more than eight speakers, who are each given 30 minutes for their presentation followed by 15 minutes for questions and discussion. The workshop will take place on 19-20 December 2005 at the University of Amsterdam.


We hope to be able to partially reimburse travel costs and costs for overnight stay for selected speakers.

Guidelines for submission

Abstracts (in Times New Roman 12 point font with 1” margins) should be no more than 2 pages including figures, examples and references. Please send your abstract anonymously by e-mail as an attachment to Acceptable formats are attachments as MS Word or PDF documents. Please include the following information in the body of the message: Name, Affiliation, Title of the paper, Postal address, E-mail address and (if different) Summer address.

Deadline for submission: June 15, 2005 

Notice of acceptance: September 15, 2005 

Organizing committee: Elma Blom, Jan de Jong, Alies MacLean, Fred Weerman 

Variflex-members: Hans Bennis (Meertens Institute/KNAW, UvA), Fred Weerman (UvA/ACLC), Elma Blom (child and adult L2 acquisition, IP-DP inflection, UvA/ACLC), Jan de Jong (impaired bilingual acquisition, IP-DP inflection, UvA/ACLC), Daniela Polišenská (monolingual L1 acquisition, IP-DP inflection, UvA/ACLC), Alies MacLean (dialect variation, IP-DP inflection, Meertens Institute/KNAW), Suzanne Aalberse (diachrony, loss of 2nd person, UvA/ACLC), Maren Pannemann (bilingual acquisition, DP, UvA/ACLC), Antje Orgassa (impaired bilingual acquisition, IP-DP inflection, UvA/ACLC).