LINGUIST List 32.282

Thu Jan 21 2021

Confs: Language Acquisition/Online

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 19-Jan-2021
From: Pilar Barbosa <>
Subject: Null Objects from a Crosslinguistic and Development Perspective
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Null Objects from a Crosslinguistic and Development Perspective
Short Title: Null Objects

Date: 29-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2021
Location: University of Minho (Zoom), Portugal
Contact: Pilar Barbosa
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition

Subject Language(s): English

Meeting Description:

While null subjects have been reasonably well studied in Principles and Parameters theory, null objects have received considerably less attention. Different languages impose different restrictions on the use of missing objects. While unspecified object drop is a widely attested phenomenon, definite/anaphoric object drop is more restricted. Yet, it can be found in typologically different languages ranging from those that lack agreement inflection altogether, such as the Asian radical pro-drop languages (Huang, 1984), to those that have agreement inflection, but lack agreement with the object, such as Finnish, Hebrew, Portuguese, the Slavic languages, etc. At the same time, data from language acquisition have been taken to suggest that the nonrealization of an object is an option widely available in early stages of language development, even when the adult language severely restricts object drop (Pérez-Leroux, Pirvulescu, & Roberge, 2008; Pérez-Leroux, Pirvulescu, Roberge, & Castilla, 2013). Thus, investigating what features of the grammar contribute to restricting or favoring object drop in particular languages is fundamental to an adequate theory of missing arguments. This meeting aims to provide a forum for discussion of aspects pertaining to the issue of the licensing of null objects not only from a cross-linguistic perspective but also in language development.

Program Information:

The conference will be held online (Zoom) on January 29-30. If you want to attend please register for free until January 26. You will, then, receive the access information.


Friday, January 29, 2021
9.45 – 10.00 Welcome

10.00 – 10.50 Keynote 1 - Esther Rinke (Goethe Universität Frankfurt)
Does Animacy Matter for the Realization of Null Objects in European Portuguese? Evidence from Monolingual and Bilingual Language Acquisition and Use

10.50 – 11.20 Pedro Guijarro Fuentes & Ana Madeira
L2 Deficits or Delays? Acquisition of Residual Object Drop in L2 Spanish

11.20 –11.50 Have a break

11.50 – 12.20 Eva-Maria Roessler
On Null Object Licensing in Guaraní – An Account of Person-Split Pro-Drop (Tupí-Guaraní Family, *Paraguay/Brazil)

12.20 – 12.50 Alexander Letuchiy
Is it Possible to Catch the Object Argument of A-labile Verbs and in Antipassive Constructions?

12.50 – 13.20 Matthew L. Maddox
Licensing Contexts for Null Objects in Rioplatense Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese

13.20 – 14.30 Have a break

14.30 – 15.00 Scott Schwenter
Parallel Acceptability of Null Direct Objects in European and Brazilian Portuguese

15.00 – 15.30 Rosane Lira, Letícia Corrêa & Maria Lobo
The Effect of Animacy and Schooling in the Production of Co-referential Objects in the Acquisition of two Varieties of Portuguese

15.30 – 16.00 Almike Vazquez-Lozares
Case is Key: The Relevance of Case in Basque-Spanish Null Objects

16.00 – 16.30 Have a break

16.30 – 17.00 Robert Külpmann
The Role of Sentence Type in German Argument Omission

17.00 – 17.50 Keynote 2: Sonia Cyrino (Universidade de Campinas)
On the Syntax of Null Objects in Brazilian Portuguese

Saturday, January 30, 2021
10.00 – 10.50 Keynote Marta Ruda (Jagiellonian University in Krakow)
Null Arguments and Diagnostic Issues. Argument Ellipsis vs. Null Pronouns

10.50 – 11.20 Takeo Kurafuji
Some Extensions of a Choice Function Analysis of Null Arguments

11.20 – 11.50 Usama Soltan
On Null Objects in Egyptian Arabic: Evidence for Argument Ellipsis

11.50 – 12.20 Have a break

12.20 – 12.50 Jingtao Zhu
Testing the Variational Model: Null Subjects and Null Objects in L1 Chinese

12.50 - 13.20 Vasiliki Liarou
Object Drop in Greek

13.20 - 14.10 Keynote Vera Dvorak (Rutgers University, NJ & ServiceNow, CA)
Generic and Indefinite Null Objects (comparing Czech to Italian and English)

14.10 Closing words

Page Updated: 21-Jan-2021