The Egg @ Debrecen08

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The 08 Egg summerschool will be held in Debrecen, Hungary. This will be another experiment with thematic schools, at least in syntax: we will concentrate on remnant movement -- the movement of phrases with an unplugged gap, an unbound trace. Remnant movement, once thought to be completely impossible, has had a swift career in theoretical syntax over the past 15 to 20 years. It has been invoked in explaining complex word order patterns and diachronic change, it has been used to eliminate head movement and covert movement, ... As this list makes obvious, remnant movement is a very powerful tool that needs to be constrained if its explanatory value is not to be lost. Every application of remnant movement makes the question more urgent: where are the bounds?

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Earlier schools: 07, 06, 05, 04, 03, 02, 01, 00, 99, 98, 97, 96, 95, 94,

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05 October - Michal: It looks like the next egg will be in Sarajevo, though things are not sure, we're still in negociations. Wish us luck! (by the way -- if you know of universities that would like to host the egg in the future, let us know, we're always looking for new places!)

31 July - Klaus: Melanie has agreed to lead an informal discussion about the issues of doing linguistic work on a minority language. This will take place on Wednesday, Aug 6, 6:20pm in room 111/2. Everybody is welcome to attend and participate.

31 July - Klaus: Roland Hinterholzl will have to leave Debrecen on Wednesday, so we had to change the schedule. The new schedule for week 2 is here

29 July - Klaus: The form for the certificate is now on the web at this place. Remember, if you need a certificate, download the form, edit it to suit your needs, print it out and leave it at the beginning of week 2 in the box that we will provide in the office. If you need your certificate not only signed but also stamped, please indicate so. You must have your printed out certificate in the box in the office at the latest at 7pm on Wednesday, August 6.

29 July - Klaus: Maria Gouskova's, Ben Hermans', and some of Jochen Trommer's materials are now on the web and accessible via the pages of the classes.

16 July - Klaus: I have now produced a website for my two classes. You can access them via the teachers and classes link in the left bar.

14 July - Klaus: Unfortuately, Gereon Müller has had to cancel and will not be able to teach at the school this year. I regret this greatly, of course. However, Winfried Lechner has agreed at very short notice to come to the school for one week and teach a relevant course. Hooray for Winnie! His course will be entitled: What remnant movement can and cannot do.

04 July - Klaus: The faq pages have been substantially updated over the past few days. Many people had questions about arrival/departure outside of the normal window of dates and how much that would cost. These questions should all be answered in the faq now.

01 July - Klaus: Balazs Suranyi has had the great idea of organizing a workshop in Budapest at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences just before the egg-school. It's kind of a warm-up exercise, as the name of the workshop suggests. This event might be interesting for intermediate and advanced syntax students. The program is still in the making, but you will hear more about it on this channel. Meanwhile, check it out at

20 June - Klaus: Confirmation is over now.
Due to a high number of people with technical problems with the confirmation, we would like to ask you to follow the registered-people link on the left and check on your personal page whether your status is as you intend it to be. If it is not, i.e., if you think you confirmed but this is not reflected on the webpage, please drop me a line at k.abels at

16 June - Klaus: Anthi Revithiadou has created a web-page for her class at egg in Debrecen. The link is provided in the class list. There isn't much there, yet, but the class materials will be coming online over the next couple of days.

12 June - Klaus: The confirmation period has now started. Please confirm participation to the school according to the instructions you received in your email. We will contact people on the waiting list after the confirmation period is over, i.e., after June 19.
We have also sent out emails about grant decisions. If there are problems, please email me.
To confirm, simply send an email from the email account you used to register yourself to "egg-confirm at".

09 June - Klaus: The schedule of events for the next few days is as follows:
-- Decisions about grant applications will be sent out on Wednesday, June 11
-- People who applied but did not receive a grant will be deregistered on Wednesday, June 11
-- For everybody who is not deregistered by Wednesday night, the confirmation round starts on Thursday, June 12 and runs until Thursday, June 19.

29 May - Klaus: Yesterday the mailing list for the summerschool came live. If you received the emails, you don't need to do anything else. If you are registered for the school but did not get the emails, please contact me at summerschool at

Please note that if you didn't get the message, you haven't missed out on anything really, as you can read all the mails that have been posted to the list by clicking on the mailing list archive on the left-hand side.

02 May - Klaus: We have now crossed the 200-applicant threshold. There are six hours to go. Apply now or miss your chance!

01 May - Klaus: Only today and tomorrow to go for registration. Make up your mind now, register, be there -- or, well, be a hollow egg.

28 April - Klaus: The final course description is now up -- we are complete.
The frequently asked questions page has also been populated to a great extent. Take a look!

19 April - Michal: The egg school has its own group on fakebook. You'll find it here. (You have to be part of the cult to view that page, with the usual warnings about corporate cults.)

18 April - Klaus: I just added the titles and short descriptions for Marta Abrusan's classes to the list of teachers and classes.
I have made the faq page visible -- although, if you want to find out things about Debrecen, how to get there, visas, the dorm... you will have to please wait until next week. By then the faq should be much more complete. At the moment, there is basically only information about registering and applying for grants there.

...and of course, the registration is open.

17 April - Klaus: Registration will begin tomorrow! Space is limited, so make sure you register early.

10 April - Klaus: Registration Information
Registration for the school will start on April 18 and we will accept registrations for the school for two weeks. The last day for registering is therefore May 2.

When you register you need to give us an email address at which we can reach you until the school takes place. This is very important, since this email address will be added to the school's mailing list. Over this list you will receive important information regarding the confirmation of your registration, travel, visas, etc.

When you register you also need to give us a brief description of your background and interests in linguistics.

If you are from a country that belongs to the former east block, you also have to decide whether you would like to apply for a grant from the school or not.
Grants are available to students from the former east block who currently live in one of those countries. If you qualify for a grant we can help you with money for travel, pay your room in the dormitory, or both. Grants are meant for people who would not be able to attend the school unless they received financial help from us. Grants are given on the basis of merit. The information you give us about yourself in the application form are the grounds for the decision. Since we usually get many more grant applications than we can afford to pay, we need a clear statement of your interests in linguistics and your background. Don't worry if you are a beginner and have limited background. We understand -- and we make sure that grants get fairly distributed to people with no, some, and a lot of background.
To make sure that only those people who actually need a grant get one, we are going to apply the following principle this year: If you apply for a grant and are not awarded one, you are automatically deregistered from the school and won't be able to attend. For those who have attended previous egg schools, this is a change from the earlier policy, where people who did not get a grant still had the option of attending on their own money. The new rule is: if you apply for a grant but do not get one, you are out.

08 April - Klaus: Three changes to the teachers and courses:
Melanie Jouitteau has joined the team for this summer, completing our teacher lineup.
Gereon Muller's course titles and abstracts are online now. In case you were wondering, Gereon intends to argue that remnant movement does not exist!
Roland Hinterholzl's course description have been changed slightly.

07 April - Michal: From Curt Rice: It looks like there's going to be an phonology workshop in Hungary shortly after the EGG that you might want to include in your summer plans. It's a little seminar on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of SPE, officially co-sponsored by CASTL. If you're in the neighborhood, you might want to participate. The keynote talks will be by John Harris and David Odden. The date isn't written in stone yet, but I think it's going to be approx. Aug. 21-23, or so.

01 April - Klaus: ...and my own course descriptions are now both posted as well.

01 April - Klaus: The program is beginning to take shape also on the syntax side of the school. I have just posted Øystein Nilsen's titles and course descriptions to the list of teachers and classes.

30 March - Klaus: The list of classes for phonology is complete at this point. I have also just posted Roland Hinterhölzl's course descriptions. More syntax descriptions to follow soon.

24 March - Marc: Jochen Trommer's course descriptions have arrived as well! Jochen will teach an introductory course on so-called 'nonconcatenative' morphology, and ways of treating them as concatenative, as well as a topical class on mutation, and ways of treating that in a phonologically sensible way.

20 March - Marc: We added the abstracts for the phonology classes by Anthi Revithiadou (an introduction to the typology of stress, and a research class on interface stress systems) and Maria Gouskova (an introduction to OT and a topical class on phonology and the lexicon). More phonology abstracts will follow soon!

19 March - Klaus: I am very happy to announce that another egg hatched. This one in a double sense. We will be joined in Debrecen by Marta Abrusan, who some of the more regulars may still remember as a student at egg a few years ago. Marta has hatched and is now back in a new role.

06 February - Marc: We have a complete line-up of phonology (and morphology) teachers: Maria Gouskova (New York), Ben Hermans (Amsterdam), Anthi Revithiadou (Rhodes, Greece), and Jochen Trommer (Leipzig). All four will teach an introductory class (Maria on OT, Ben on syllable structure) and an advanced class. More information will appear here soon.

24 January - Klaus: Another egg in the basket. Roland Hinterhölzl (Humboldt University, Berlin), who has argued staunchly that remnant movement is the only reasonable approach to verbal syntax in germanic, will be joining us in Debrecen.

23 November - Klaus: My prior posting boasting the the 08 school would be super-early has disappeared. Maybe this is a signal from the gods -- or the webmaster? -- that I should never have issued that promise of earliness since I couldn't keep it. With the posting the crucial information it contained vanished as well:

The egg school 08 will be held in Debrecen (Hungary) from July 28 2008 to August 08 2008.

23 November - Klaus: Egg 08 in Debrecen is going to be another experiment with thematic schools. Syntax will have its own theme next year: remnant movement -- the movement of constituents that contain traces which are not bound on the surface.

Remnant movement, once thought to be completely impossible, has had a swift career in theoretical syntax over the past 15 to 20 years. It has been invoked in explaining complex word order patterns and diachronic change, it has been used to eliminate head movement and covert movement, ...

As this list makes obvious, remnant movement is a very powerful tool that needs to be constrained if its explanatory value is not to be lost. Every application of remnant movement makes the question more urgent: where are the bounds?

This summerschool will bring together syntacticians who bring different perspectives to the issue of remnant movement, its promise as an explanatory device, and its limitations. The team will include Gereon Müller, whose book on Incomplete Category Fronting is a classic in the remnant movement literature, Øystein Nilsen, who showed in his thesis that remnant movement can be used to tackle and describe elegantly even the most complex word order patterns, and me -- I have been trying to act as a whistleblower and demand a more constrained theory of remnant movement than is currently available.