Mismatched pronouns: specification discrepancies between pronominals and their morphosyntactic or semantic context

11th April 2023 – University of Graz

Invited speaker: Elena Anagnostopoulou (University of Crete)

Pronouns and their morphosyntactic or semantic contexts (antecedents, referents, controllers of agreement etc.) are typically linked in such a way that the pronouns’ properties match the context (e.g., pronouns marked for plural are linked to plural antecedents or referents). Nevertheless, mismatches between pronouns and their context are surprisingly frequent (e.g., German neuter das Mädchen ‘the girl’ as an antecedent for feminine sie ‘she/her’), and they come in many different shapes (see below). The workshop brings together researchers working on mismatches in the pronominal domain. The aim is to gain a better understanding of the empirical range of these mismatches in light of redundancy and deficiency (both across mismatch types and cross-linguistically) and of their representation in a formal linguistic theory. What categories (gender, number, person etc.) are involved in the mismatch? What pronoun types are involved in mismatches? Are the (properties of) mismatches dependent on the position of the mismatched pronouns in the Agreement Hierarchy, on pronoun types (e.g., personal pronouns vs. relative pronouns), or the type of controller? Does a given mismatch extend to other targets which are linked to the pronoun’s controller? What semantic mismatches do pronouns enter, why and how are they resolved (e.g., neuter personal and demonstrative pronouns may be degraded when used for animates, masculine and feminine for inanimates)?

We invite submissions from all subfields of generative linguistics. The topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • mismatches between formal and semantic gender, number, person
  • mismatches in feature structure of participants in agreement
  • comitative coordination, fake indexicals, imposters, monsters, mismatched reciprocals and reflexives
  • hybrid pronouns as in polite uses
  • pronouns vs. ellipsis
  • mismatches at LF vs. mismatches at PF
  • allomorphy, suppletion


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