Case in and across languages
Helsinki (Finland), August 27.-29.2009

Call for papers

As a system that marks the relations between words in a sentence, case is essential to every language. Case has, for example, the function of distinguishing between agent and patient, and it often codes adverbial functions, such as location, instruments and manner, all of which are central concepts in every language. Yet while there is no doubt that case constitutes a core feature of grammar, linguists are not fully agreed on how to define it theoretically. What, for example, are the differences between adpositions and morphological cases? The status and definition of case also varies across different theories of grammar. In addition to the multitude of theoretical definitions, languages display significant differences, for example, in the number, characteristics and functions of cases. Furthermore, while morphological case is a significant grammatical feature in many languages, it is not obligatory in language generally: numerous languages lack (morphological) case altogether and use distinct formal means (such as serial verb constructions and applicatives) to encode relations that other languages express via case marking. Cases also differ according to whether their form and meaning is determined by the verb or other head word, or whether they are more independent in nature.

Possible topics for talks include (but are not restricted to) the following:

The deadline for submission of abstracts (in English; max 500 words, an additional page is allowed for data, tables and references) is March 1, 2009. Please submit your abstract by e-mail to the address of the organizing committee (sky-case (at) Send your abstract as attachment to an e-mail message (in both .pdf- and .doc-formats). The abstracts must be anonymous (author information must be given in the body of the message only). Please indicate clearly whether your abstract is intended as a poster or a section paper. The abstracts will be evaluated by the organizing committee and by the members of the scientific committee. Participants will be notified of acceptance by April 3, 2009. The collection of abstracts will be made available on the symposium website after the program has been finalized.


Proposals for workshops should be submitted no later than February 15, 2009. Workshop proposals will be evaluated by the organizing committee. Notification of acceptance status will be given by March 15. These one-day workshops may run in parallel sessions with the main conference program; alternatively, the first day of the symposium may be dedicated to workshops. The symposium organizers will provide the lecture rooms and other facilities, but the workshop organizers will be responsible for the organization of their workshops (choosing the speakers etc.).

The body of the message should include the following information (preferably in this order):

Last modified: Monday, 10-Nov-2008 11:00:06 EET