Recent Approaches to (Non-)Agentivity in Natural Language

The Department of Chinese Studies at the National University of Singapore will host a Workshop on Recent Approaches to (Non-)Agentivity in Natural Language, May 3-4, 2019. All are welcome to attend.

The notion of agentivity in linguistic research straddles the intersection between syntax, semantics, and conceptual structure.  This workshop hopes to open a new window to the topic, bringing together scholars who have recently investigated (non-)agentivity phenomena in different languages from a variety of methodological and theoretical perspectives.   Apart from new takes on traditional semantic considerations relating to agentivity such as causation, force initiation, instrument status, etc., finer-grained analysis of events and their participants, as well as the effects of cultural and cognitive factors, are also among the areas that will be explored.

Invited speakers:

(in alphabetical order)

  • Juergen Bohnemeyer (University at Buffalo)
  • Beth Levin (Stanford University)
  • Fabienne Martin (Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin)
  • Elisabeth Verhoeven (Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin)
  • Phillip Wolff (Emory University)


Tham Shiao Wei


Support by the National University of Singapore, the Wan Boo Sow Centre for Research on Chinese Culture, and the NUS Department of Chinese Studies is gratefully acknowledged.