Workshop 1: Anaphora at the syntax-semantics-pragmatics interface in endangered and understudied languages

May 7, 2019

  • Amy Rose Deal (UC Berkeley)
  • Patrick G. Grosz (University of Oslo)
Invited Speaker
  • Sarah Murray (Cornell University)

Workshop Description

The syntax and semantics of pronominal elements has been at the center of much theoretical research throughout the history of modern syntactic and semantic theory (e.g., Chomsky 1981). In recent years, an increasing role has been played by cross-linguistic comparison (e.g. Cardinaletti & Starke 1999, Déchaine & Wiltschko 2002, Patel-Grosz & Grosz 2017, Jenks to appear), highlighting significant yet constrained variation in the behavior of pronominal and anaphoric elements across languages. Inspired by these findings, this workshop aims to bring together current research on the syntax and semantics of pronouns and other anaphoric elements from a cross-linguistic perspective, with a focus on languages that are understudied, underrepresented and/or endangered.

The range of topics that are of interest includes (non-exhaustively):

[1.] comparisons across various binary distinctions (e.g. personal vs. demonstrative pronouns, clitic vs. non-clitic, or null vs. overt pronouns);

[2.] nominal splits in languages where, say, 3rd person pronouns are treated differently from 1st and 2nd person pronouns with regards to verbal agreement, differential object marking, and related phenomena;

[3.] reflexivity, reciprocality, logophoricity, or anti-logophoricity;

[4.] “indefinite pronouns” (e.g. wh-indefinites and indefinites formed from them; epistemic and evidential indefinites) and their relation to anaphoric pronouns within and across languages;

[5.] the role of information-structural factors (e.g. topicality, focus) in anaphora resolution;

[6.] topics related to phenomena that involve pronouns in embedded contexts, e.g. shifted indexicals, switch-reference, resumptive pronouns, de se vs. de re, and so forth;

[7.] the connection between anaphoric and non-anaphoric readings of demonstratives, indexicals, and other pronominal elements, and whether a uniform approach is possible;


Call for Papers

This workshop aims to bring together researchers working at the forefront of research on anaphora and pronominal typology with an empirical focus on languages that are understudied, underrepresented and/or endangered. We invite submissions, in particular, from the fields of syntax and semantics, but also from other subfields of generative linguistics (e.g., morphology and pragmatics) that address the nature of anaphora and pronominal typology in understudied, underrepresented and/or endangered languages.

Investigations that cut across these areas by targeting the syntax-semantics-pragmatics interface, as well as other interfaces between the different fields, will be particularly relevant.

Please submit abstracts via EasyChair (see link and guidelines in Call for Papers) no later than November 2nd, 2018.



Cardinaletti, A., and M. Starke. 1999. The typology of structural deficiency: A case study of the three classes of pronouns. In H. C. van Riemsdijk (ed.): Clitics in the languages of Europe. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 145-234.

Chomsky, N. 1981. Lectures on government and binding. Dordrecht: Foris.

Déchaine, R.-M., and M. Wiltschko. 2002. Decomposing pronouns. Linguistic Inquiry 33, 409-442.

Jenks, P. to appear. Articulated definiteness without articles. Linguistic Inquiry.

Patel-Grosz, P., and P. G. Grosz. 2017. Revisiting Pronominal Typology. Linguistic Inquiry 48, 259-297.

This workshop is organized with support from: