Relatives, Interrogatives, and Alternatives


The workshop aims to bring together senior and junior researchers dealing with at least one of the following research areas: the morphosyntax or semantics of relative clauses, wh-questions, information structure.

The central question of the workshop is why relative clauses are often identical to or derived from wh-questions (cf. Who came? and the man who came). Recent research has uncovered generalisations that suggest that the derivational relation from interrogatives to relatives is reflected in all areas of grammar and language development. No existing theory offers a satisfactory explanation of this problem.

The planned workshop is therefore devoted to further empirical investigations of the pertinent area as well as to the development of a new theory that would predict the observed recurrent linguistic pattern. The workshop will host experts and young scholars from Praha, Berlin, Vienna, and an invited speaker from Edinburgh. Building on a recently initiated collaboration, our aim is to strengthen the academic exchange between the universities involved and start developing a new international project that could support related work of young scholars.

  • Partners: Charles University (Prague), Humboldt University Berlin, University of Vienna
  • Project Lead: Dr. Radek Simik, Humboldt University Berlin
  • Year: 2019