The Zurich
atabase of
Agreement in
University of Zurich


The many facets of Agreement

→    Conference Description
→    Keynote Speakers
→    Call for Papers
→    Abstract Submission
→    Important Dates
→    Programme
→    Venue and Travel
→    Contacts
→    Sponsors

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.


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 10, 2019                        Abstract submission deadline extended

June 10, 2019                      Notification of acceptance      

October 3-5, 2019               Conference Dates


Thursday, October 3
Welcome coffee
Welcome address — Klaus Jonas, Dean, Philosophische Fakultät, Tatiana Crivelli, Head, Romanisches Seminar
Greville Corbett The Agreement Hierarchy revisited
Oliver Bond, Marina Chumakina & Steven Kaye — A typology of locality
Coffee Break
Marina Chumakina —The abundance of rarity in one linguistic family: agreement targets in Nakh-Daghestanian
Ekaterina Lyutikova — Agreeing inflected quantifiers in Tatar
Philip Shushurin — Agreement with Ergative in Chechen
Lunch break
Michele Loporcaro & Chiara Zanini — Changing agreement systems in the dialects of Italy
Tania Paciaroni — Unusual agreement in Ripano: the DAI data
Alice Idone & Mario WildOn the agreement of quantifiers in Sardinian and Sicilian
Serena RomagnoliAdjective inflection and agreement in Cavallinese
Coffee Break
Alberto GiudiciVerbal agreement in Istria: a long-ignored topic
Diego Pescarini — Agreement and microvariation in Italo-Romance: some quantitative remarks

Friday, October 4
Balthasar BickelOn the placement of agreement markers
Serge Sagna, Dunstan Brown & Virve Vihman — Acquisition of demonstrative agreement in a complex system
Coffee break
Paul Widmer & Barbara Sonnenhauser — Clauses as objects. Manipulativity-driven agreement in Albanian
Ilja A. Seržant — Generalized partitives in the A/S slot
Sebastian FeddenSporadic agreement in discourse: evidence from the Papuan language Mian
Lunch break
Paul Widmer — Argument coindexing in Indo-European
Elia Ackermann(Missing) Adjective Agreement in Various Indo-European Languages
Olivier Winistörfer — Feminine nouns designating animals of both natural genders in Romance and South-West Slavonic
Paolo LorussoDifferent patterns of agreement with complex NPs
Coffee break
Denis Creissels & Patricia Cabredo Hoffer — Morphology-syntax mismatches in agreement systems: the case of Jóola Fóoñi
Serge Sagna — Non-canonical agreement in an Atlantic language: from lexical hybrids to contextual mismatches in Eegimaa

Saturday, October 5
Jürg Fleischer — The neuter as a gender resolution form in Germanic
Olivier Winistörfer & Carlota De Benito Moreno — When masses become countable. Gender agreement patterns in Swiss German
Coffee break
Cherry Meyer — Explaining ‘Exceptional’ Animates in Ojibwe: The Link Between Gender and Classifiers
Elvira Glaser Types and problems of (co)predicate agreement in High(est) Alemannic dialects
Closing remarks

Venue and Travel

The conference will take place in room RAA-G-01, Rämistrasse 59, 8001, Zürich

The venue is located in the center of Zurich, in the City Campus area of the University of Zurich. It is easily reachable on foot from the main station (about 20 minutes walking distance) or by public transportation. The closest tram stops are Kantonschule (Line 9), Kunsthaus and Neumarkt (Line 3).



Queries about the conference can be sent to this email:


We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the sponsors that made this conference possible:

Swiss National Science Foundation

Hochschulstiftung der Universität Zürich

URPP Language and Space

UZH Alumni

Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Zurigo

Società Dante Alighieri di Zurigo