Workshop Description

Pronouns can vary along two dimensions: (i) their interpretation (e.g., free vs. syntactically bound vs. donkey pronouns) and (ii) their form (e.g., personal vs. clitic vs. null vs. demonstrative pronouns). The goal of this workshop is to bring together recent advances bearing exactly on the interplay of the two, e.g. how do choices along one dimension restrict the possible choices along the other one?

Invited Speakers:

Peter Bosch (University of Osnabrück)
Paul Elbourne (QMUL)
Uli Sauerland (ZAS Berlin)
Martina Wiltschko (UBC)

Commentators for Invited Talks:

Vera Hohaus (University of Tübingen)
Gerhard Jäger (University of Tübingen)
Jacolien van Rij (University of Tübingen)
Ede Zimmermann (University of Frankfurt)


Current Pronominal Issues at the Syntax-Semantics Interface

In the syntactic and semantic literature, it is often assumed that a unified treatment can be given for certain subsets of words that fall into the traditional category ‘pronoun’ (e.g. the subset of personal pronouns). The intended aim of the panel session is to discuss whether such a unified treatment for subsets of pronouns is possible and desirable (e.g. is there a uniform subset of personal pronouns?). The core questions that this discussion touches on, include: Is a unification possible for 1st, 2nd and 3rd person pronouns, or alternatively for personal and demonstrative pronouns? Do referential, bound, donkey, paycheck and other 3rd person pronouns have the same syntax or semantics? Are differences between null, clitic, weak and strong pronouns due to fundamental differences between the pronouns or derived by other means (such as a pragmatic preference for weaker forms)? Do distributional similarities between demonstrative pronouns and wh-pronouns (both of which double as relative pronouns) suggest a possible unification? Can we derive generic uses, indexical uses and bound uses of 1st and 2nd person pronouns in a uniform manner? In view of the different backgrounds of the participants in the panel, the discussion will combine syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, and psycholinguistic considerations.


Hans Kamp (University of Stuttgart)
Janina Rado (University of Tübingen)
Igor Yanovich (MIT/University of Tübingen)
Sarah Zobel (University of Tübingen)
Moderated by Nadine Bade (University of Tübingen)

Organisational Committee:

Katrin Axel-Tober (University of Tübingen)
Patrick Grosz (University of Tübingen)
Pritty Patel-Grosz (University of Tübingen/SFB 833)