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site1PTA (Phonological Theory Agora, more on  http://pta.cnrs.fr) is a French-led network promoting exchange on phonology for phonology’s sake. It aims to be a platform for debate on theoretical issues and organizes yearly venues where phonologists can meet to discuss recent advances as well as issues in phonological theory.

In order to promote discussion, rather than professoral declamation, the conference format is standup-style: speakers make a claim and provide supporting arguments (10 min.), which are then discussed by the floor (20 min.). Before this session, the theme is introduced by a tutorial that reports relevant facs and views. Another key ingredient of PTA discussion is a workshop where analyses couched in different theories of the same data set published with the call are proposed and discussed.

PTA has been running for 4 years and the final meeting will be in Nice on March 15th-16th.

The topic of the Nice event is

« The Balance Between Universals and Variation in Grammar »

There will be two days divided into three sessions.
Day 1: The symposium will be devoted to « The Balance Between Universals and Variation in Grammar »

In the morning there will be a tutorial by Bridget Samuels (University of Southern California) and Paul de Lacy (Rutgers University) on « Emergent markedness, universal features, or the reverse? » followed by discussion and selected presentations on the same topic. Presentations will be short (5-10 minutes), and discussion after those relatively long (25-20 minutes). Potential speakers are invited to only (a) make a claim, and (b) give some key arguments for it.

Day 2: There will be a workshop whose goal is to promote discussion and theory-oriented debate in an original way: a problem set on Old French data is published with the call and people submit different solutions couched in different theories.

The organizing committee of the Nice event:
Tobias Scheer
Diana Passino
Jonathan Bucci
Alexander Chabot
Paolo Danesi