Linguistics in Göttingen - A platform for empirical and theoretical linguistics

LinG1 (2018)

Linguistics in Göttingen (LinG) is happy to announce the first edition of its annual thematic workshop, LinG1, which will take place on 25–26 September 2018, as a satellite event of CGSW33 (27–28 September).

Agreement and Anaphoricity will be the focus of this year’s workshop. It is well known that certain elements in natural language exhibit particular dependency relations with other elements in form and/or meaning. Such dependencies can be encoded via agreement or anaphoricity. To elucidate, agreement is defined as the “systematic covariance between a semantic or formal property of one element and a formal property of another” (Steele 1978, cited in Corbett 2006). Anaphoricity, on the other hand, refers to “a relation between two linguistic elements, wherein the interpretation of one (called an anaphor) is in some way determined by the interpretation of the other (called an antecedent)” (Huang 2000). Independently, both phenomena have been central in research on the grammar of natural languages, leading to a vast array of exciting results and research issues. For agreement, these issues include topics such as the directionality and (in)fallibility of agreement, the local or long-distance nature of agreement, the determination of agreement by case, and the feature restrictions imposed on certain agreement relations. For anaphoricity, some of these challenges relate to the internal structure and featural content of anaphors (as opposed to pronouns), the full range of semantic (or semantic and pragmatic) varieties of anaphora, locality issues in binding, and the validity of Principle A to explain the distribution of anaphors.

In addition to exploring the two phenomena independently, various scholars have also attempted to explore the interaction between the two. For one, the fact that both agreement and anaphoricity encode formal or referential dependencies has raised the question of whether the syntax of binding could be reduced to Agree operations, as proposed by Reuland (2001; 2011); Heinat (2008); Rooryck & van den Wyngaerd (2011). Phenomena like the Anaphor Agreement Effect (Rizzi 1990; Woolford 1999) indicate that anaphoric dependencies might to some extent interact with and be related to Agree relations.

Given this range of challenges, we welcome submissions contributing novel data and innovative approaches to all aspects of agreement, anaphoricity, and their interaction. The aforementioned issues by no means constitute an exhaustive list of potential topics.

Invited Speakers:


  • Corbett, Greville. 2006. Agreement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Heinat, Fredrik. 2008. Probes, pronouns and binding in the Minimalist Program. Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag.
  • Huang, Yan. 2000. Anaphora. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Reuland, Eric. 2001. Primitives of binding. Linguistic Inquiry 32: 439–492.
  • Reuland, Eric. 2011. Anaphora and language design. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Rooryck, Johan & Guido van den Wyngaerd. 2011. Dissolving binding theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Steele, Susan. 1978. Word order variation: A typological study. In Joseph Greenberg, Charles Ferguson & Edith Moravcsik (eds.). Universals of human language, 585–623. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.