Conference: Workshop on Multiple Agreement across Domains 2018

The aim of the workshop Multiple Agreement across Domains (MAD 2018) is to provide a platform for the discussion of empirical and theoretical challenges raised by phenomena of two broad types:

(i) agreement of a single target with multiple controllers, and
(ii) agreement of multiple targets with a single controller.

The workshop will be hosted by the Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft in Berlin.


Invited Speakers:

  • András Barany (School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) London)
  • Laura Kalin (Princeton University)
  • Jenneke van der Wal (Leiden University Centre for Linguistics)

Important dates:

  • Abstract submission deadline: August 5, 2018 August 15, 2018
  • Notification of acceptance: September 1, 2018
  • Workshop: November 8-9, 2018


  • Zorica Puškar
  • Thomas McFadden
  • Tonjes Veenstra

Call for papers

This workshop aims at a discussion of two aspects of multiple agreement: (i) agreement of a single target with multiple controllers (one Probe — multiple Goals, adopting the terminology of Chomsky 2001), and (ii) agreement of multiple targets with a single controller (multiple Probes — one Goal).

Under the umbrella of one Probe — multiple Goals configurations we can find such diverse phenomena as verbal agreement with both an indirect and a direct object, subject + object agreement on finite verbs, complementizer agreement with two different elements in the clause, or agreement with multiple conjoined noun phrases. Such phenomena have been associated with concomitant surface morphological effects (such as the Person-Case Constraint (Bonet, 1991), Differential Object Marking (Barany, 2015; Kalin, to appear), hierarchy effects in inflectional morphology (Deal, 2015), or closest-conjunct agreement (Corbett, 2006), respectively). This has both advanced our understanding of their underlying connection and led to controversy regarding the division of labour between syntactic and post-syntactic modules. Moreover, if a single Probe has multiple potential Goals to agree with, the question arises as to how this single Probe interacts with the Goals in terms of the domains in which they are located, the timing of the multiple agreement operations, and their relation to other syntactic processes such as movement and case assignment. Various proposals have been advanced on the mechanism of multiple agreement including, but not restricted to: (i) parallel simultaneous agreement with both Goals (known as Multiple Agree in the narrow sense; Hiraiwa 2001; Anagnostopoulou 2005; Nevins 2007, 2011); (ii) some version of Cyclic Agree, i.e. sequential agreement with the multiple goals (Béjar, 2003; Béjar and Rezac, 2003, 2009; Rezac, 2003, 2011; Anagnostopoulou, 2005; Walkow, 2012; Georgi, 2013a,b; Preminger, 2011; Deal, 2015); (iii) distributing agreement onto two Probes, followed by their unification (Rezac, 2004; Barany, 2015); (iv) alternative morphological explanations for the above phenomena (Bonet, 1994; Arregi and Nevins, 2012; Marušič, Nevins and Badecker, 2015).

It thus still seems to be unclear whether multiple agreements occur simultaneously or sequentially and in what way exactly they are performed. In addition to this, the challenges of targeting goals in different syntactic domains as well as those of the morphological phenomena that accompany multiple agreement still call for closer scrutiny.

In contrast, in the Multiple Probes — one Goal configurations, a single syntactic element can serve as a source of features for multiple agreement targets. This phenomenon is, for instance, embodied in agreement of two verbal elements with a single noun (e.g. a participle and a finite verb, c.f. Baker 2008), adjectival and verbal agreement with a single controller (leading to the Agreement Hierarchy effects; c.f. Corbett 1983; Pesetsky 2013; Smith 2015; Landau 2016), or complementizer and verbal agreement with a single noun phrase (van Koppen, 2005). Patterns of this type challenge theories that subscribe to some notion of the Activity Condition (Chomsky, 2001) and deactivation of an NP after agreement/case assignment (Georgi, 2013b; Kalin and van Urk, 2015), and tie into the debate on what is necessary to syntactically license an NP and whether agreement, instead of case, should be responsible for this (Kalin, to appear; Sheehan and van der Wal, to appear).

We therefore welcome theoretical, experimental, computational and typological work pertaining (but not restricted) to the issues regarding multiple agreement raised above.

Abstract submission guidelines:

  • .pdf format
  • 2 pages + any additional space required for the bibliography
  • A4 format, 1-inch/2.45-cm margins
  • Times, 12pt
  • Examples interspersed throughout the text

Please submit your abstract using the following link: