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Zurich Center for Linguistics

Workshop "What is a word?" 2017

14 - 15 December 2017, University of Zurich, Zurich


The two-day workshop deals with the issue of wordhood in linguistics (esp. morphology, syntax, and phonology) approaching this allegedly basic notion from two different angles: formal grammar and comparative linguistics. The objective is to find new criteria to understand, identify, and define what governs the formation, the interpretation and the integration of words into the study of linguistic phenomena. In particular, it reviews the motivations for the various theoretical positions on the issue of wordhood (e.g. in Nano-Syntax, Distributed Morphology, Word and Paradigm Morphology or Prosodic Phonology) but also surveys language specific word phenomena across the world, in order to highlight the advantages of each approach, but also to discuss their respective consequences for a shared definition of this notion in linguistics.

Funding by the UZH Graduate Campus via a GRC Grant is gratefully acknowledged.

Supported by the Zurich Center for Linguistics.


Dr. Lena Baunaz

Tim Felix Aufderheide

Franziska Stuntebeck

Weiterführende Informationen


The program and information about the venue is now online!

Call for papers


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