Call for papers for “Move and Agree” workshop, cohosted by McGill and UBC

The call for papers is now out for the workshop Move and Agree: Forum on the Formal Typology of A’-Agreement, cohosted by McGill and UBC and co-organized by Hermann Keupdjio, James Crippen, and Rose-Marie Decháine (UBC). The workshop will take place virtually May 31st–June 24th, with abstracts due March 5th.

The invited speaker line-up includes current and former McGill affiliates: Nico Baier (postdoc ’18–’19), Michael Hamilton (PhD ’15), Carol-Rose Little, and Martina Martinović. The workshop description is below:

The minimalist research program (Chomsky 1995 et seq.) creates a paradox for movement operations: Merge is conceptually necessary, but Move – and its accompanying Agree relation – is not. Yet there are many natural language phenomena which are insightfully analyzed using the metaphors of movement and agreement. We wish to theorize the paradox of Move/Agree (Keupdjio 2020), namely why does Move/Agree exist at all, if it is conceptually unnecessary? This forum focuses on the syntactic contexts that can be analyzed as instances of A′-movement and which are also associated with A′-agreement; e.g. content questions, relativization, information-structure operations like topicalization and focus. The agreement morphology that arises with A′-movement is known under various names:

  • A′-agreement (Keupdjio 2020);
  • wh-agreement (Chung 1994, Carstens 2005, Reintges, LeSourd & Chung 2006, Hedinger 2008, Schneider-Zioga 2009, Lochbihler & Mathieu 2010);
  • wh-copying (Fanselow & Mahajan 2000, Felser 2004);
  • extraction morphology (Zentz 2016);
  • complementizer agreement (McCloskey 2001, Carstens 2003);
  • reflex of successive cyclic movement (van Urk 2015, Georgi 2017).

Grouping these various morphological reflexes of A′-movement together as instances of A′-agreement, this forum explores the connection between A′-movement and A′-agreement with two goals in mind:

  1. to gain a broader and deeper empirical coverage of A′-agreement via case studies of typologically distinct languages from a variety of language families;

  2. to move forward the theory of A′-agreement defined as a non-local morphosyntactic feature-sharing mechanism that correlates with A′-movement (Baier 2018).

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