CfP Convegno “The many facets of agreement” (Zürich, 3-5 ottobre 2019) – scadenza per l’invio delle proposte: 26 aprile 2019

Conference Description

The Department of Romance Studies organises a 2.5-day conference entitled “The many facets of agreement”, which will take place at the University of Zurich 3-5 October 2019.

The conference is organized on the occasion of the release of The Zurich database of agreement in Italo-Romance (DAI), the output of an SNF-funded research project, which is meant to ease access to typologically interesting data from Italo-Romance dialects to language typologists not specializing in Romance dialectology.

It will host presentations by the project’s international consultants, Prof. Greville Corbett and Prof. Jürg Fleischer, intertwined with talks by further invited speakers, by project members and by other colleagues working on agreement.

Convenors: Michele Loporcaro, Alice Idone, Tania Paciaroni, Serena Romagnoli, Chiara Zanini

Keynote Speakers

Prof. Balthasar Bickel (Zurich)
Prof. Greville G. Corbett (Surrey)
Prof. Sebastian Fedden (Paris)
Prof. Jürg Fleischer (Marburg)
Prof. Elvira Glaser (Zurich)
Prof. Elisabeth Stark (Zurich)
Prof. Paul Widmer (Zurich)

Call for Papers

The theme of this conference is “The many facets of agreement”.

Agreement is a pervasive phenomenon in many languages of the world (Corbett 2006:1), the object of unrelenting typological work (e.g. Matasović 2018), and a constant preoccupation of linguists of all persuasions both in the functional-typological approach (e.g. Nichols 2018, Forker 2018, Haig and Forker 2018) and in the formalist camp (e.g. Baker 2008, Preminger 2014).

Yet, studies in the field still appear to be seeking a balance between large-scale generalizations and the detailed investigation of typological rara (i.e. traits that are “so uncommon across languages as not even to occur in all members of a single […] family or diffusion area”, Plank 2000, cited by Cysouw and Wohlgemuth 2010:1). Notably, closer consideration of the latter may lead one to challenge the former: see e.g. Loporcaro (2015:105-8) for discussion of this issue, partly drawing on Italo-Romance rara now widely accessible through the DAI and analyzed in depth in Paciaroni and Loporcaro (2018).

With a view on furthering discussion in this area, the conference invites abstracts for 20-minute presentations with a typologically-oriented focus on agreement. We are particularly interested in papers dealing with the analysis, both synchronic and diachronic, of (fragments of) the agreement system of un(der)studied languages/language varieties. We also encourage contributions concerned with theoretical issues (e.g. on the insights competing theories may offer in relation to specific agreement phenomena) and with methods for the study of agreement.


Baker, Mark C. 2008. The syntax of agreement and concord. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Corbett, Greville G. 2006. Agreement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cysouw, Michael and Jan Wohlgemuth. 2010. The other end of universals: theory and typology of rara. In Jan Wohlgemuth and Michael Cysouw (eds). Rethinking  universals. How rarities affect linguistic theory. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 1–10.

Forker, Diana. 2018. Gender agreement is different. Linguistics 56(4): 865–894.

Haig, Geoffrey and Diana Forker. 2018. Agreement in grammar and discourse: A research overview. Linguistics 56(4): 715–734.

Loporcaro, Michele. 2015. The impact of morphology on change in agreement systems. In Jürg Fleischer, Elisabeth Rieken and Paul Widmer (eds). Agreement from a diachronic perspective. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 104–126.

Matasović, Ranko. 2018. An areal typology of agreement systems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nichols, Johanna. 2018. Agreement with overt and null arguments in Ingush. Linguistics 56(4): 845–863.

Paciaroni, Tania and Michele Loporcaro. 2018. Overt gender marking depending on syntactic context in Ripano. In Sebastian Fedden, Jenny Audring and Greville G. Corbett (eds). Non-canonical gender systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 147–175.

Plank, Frans 2000. Das grammatische Raritätenkabinett. A leisurely collection to entertain and instruct. Manuscript. Universität Konstanz. Sprachbau/rara.html.

Preminger, Omer. 2014. Agreement and its failures. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

Abstract Submission

Anonymous abstracts should not exceed 500 words (12-point Times New Roman font, single spacing) including examples, excluding references.

They should be submitted in electronic form (PDF or Word document) as attachment to
The email should specify author(s)’ name(s) and affiliation.

Important Dates

April 26, 2019                       Abstract submission deadline

May 31, 2019                        Notification of acceptance

October 3-5, 2019                Conference Dates


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