University of Pittsburgh
March 5, 2007

Pitt to Host 37th Annual Linguistics Symposium on Romance Languages

Nearly 50 papers will be presented at this international conference on the structure of Romance languages
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Renowned specialists from around the world will gather to present the state-of-the-art in Romance linguistics at the 37th Annual Linguistics Symposium on Romance Languages from March 15 through 18, hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Department of Linguistics in the School of Arts and Sciences. The symposium will be held in the Cathedral of Learning and Holiday Inn University Center in Oakland; registration is 4:30-6 p.m. March 15 and 8-9 a.m. March 16 and 17 at the Holiday Inn, Lytton Avenue.

"We're very happy to be organizing this prestigious international conference on cutting-edge research into the structure of Romance languages," said Pascual José Masullo, Pitt associate professor of linguistics and symposium coordinator. "On a personal level, I'm very proud of the fact that the Romance linguistics community has entrusted us with the organization of the 37th meeting of this symposium."

According to Masullo, the conference will contribute to strengthening Pitt's linguistics department, especially its growing graduate program in Hispanic Linguistics, and also will have an impact on such academic areas as Spanish and Portuguese, French and Italian, psychology, and education.

Heles Contreras, professor of linguistics at the University of Washington, will open the symposium at 6 p.m. March 15 in the Holiday Inn with the Outreach Lecture titled "Work Order and Minimalism," which highlights the differences among the Romance languages concerning word order and makes accessible to a general audience the technical aspects of the field.

From 9 to 11:45 a.m. March 16 in the Holiday Inn, experts will present papers in their areas of specialty. At noon, Scott Kiesling, associate professor and chair of the linguistics department, and Masullo will deliver opening remarks in Room 324 of the Cathedral of Learning.

There will be four plenary lectures, all presented in Room 324 of the Cathedral of Learning, delivered throughout the symposium. Speakers and their topics are:

o Eulalia Bonet, Facultat de Lletres at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, "DP-internal Phonological Asymmetries and the Structure of Grammar"(aspects of the phonology of the Romance languages)

12:15-1:15 p.m. March 16;

Javier Gutiérrez-Rexach, professor of Spanish linguistics at The Ohio State University, "Relativization Structures and Degree Quantification in Spanish" (aspects of the meaning of the Romance languages)

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. March 17;

o Luigi Rizzi, professor of linguistics at the Università di Siena, "Criterial Freezing, EPP, and ECP Effects" (aspects of the structure of the Romance languages)

3:45-4:45 p.m. March 17; and

Julia Herschensohn, professor of linguistics at the University of Washington,"Developing I-language in L1 and L2" (how we learn our first language and a second or foreign language)

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. March 18.

Closing remarks will be from 12:15 to 12:30 p.m. March 18 in Room 324, Cathedral of Learning.

The symposium is sponsored by Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences, English Language Institute, Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures, Center for Latin American Studies, European Studies Center, and European Union Center of Excellence, and Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Modern Languages. For more information, contact or visit