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Understanding pro-drop. A synchronic and diachronic perspective

The conference aims at advancing our understanding of null-subject languages, in particular of partial pro-drop languages, by bringing together researchers working on empirical (synchronic, diachronic and acquisitional) and theoretical aspects of pro-drop. >> download the call for papers.

Invited Speakers


Department of Humanities
Via Tommaso Gar, 14
Trento, Italy


We encourage submissions for 30-minute talks (followed by 10 minutes for discussion) on empirical and theoretical aspects of pro-drop.

Abstracts should be anonymous and not exceed two pages (12-point Times New Roman font, with single spacing and margins of at least 2.54cm/1 inch), including examples and references. They should be sent as PDF attachment to Submissions are limited to a maximum of one individual and one joint abstract per author, or two joint abstracts per author.
Please contact Federica Cognola for further information.

There will be no conference fee.


Thursday, 19th June 2014 - Room 001

9.00 – 9.30 Greetings: Patrizia Cordin, Professor of Linguistics at the Faculty of Humanities
9.30 – 10.30 Mara Frascarelli, University of Roma Tre
Avoid Pronoun in consistent and partial pro-drop languages: An interface analysis
10.30 – 11.10 Pilar Barbosa, University of Minho
Pro as a minimal NP
11.10 – 11.40 Break
11.40 – 12.20 Maia Duguine, University of Cambridge & University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU
Pro-drop without a parameter
12.20 – 13.00 Verner Egerland, Lund University
On non-obligatory control and the grammar of gerunds
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.00 Manuela Ambar, University of Lisbon
On the null subject parameter: the role of tense and discourse
15.00 – 15.40 Marta Ruda, Jagiellonian University in Kraków
On definite null objects in English
15.40 – 16.20 Melani Wratil, University of Düsseldorf
Dimensional progression and the emergence of pro-drop in creole languages
16.20 – 16.40 Break
16.40 – 17.20 Pauli Brattico & Saara Huhmarniemi, University of Helsinki
Non-finite pro and its licensing conditions in a partial pro-drop language
17.20 – 18.00 Lena Dal Pozzo, University of Firenze
New Information Subjects in a partial pro-drop language: an experimental study on Finnish L1 and L2
18.00 – 18.40 Stefano Rastelli, University of Pavia & Arianna Zualazzi, University of Trento
Overt and null subjects across coordinate sentences in a text: a large-scale study on L2 learners of Italian

Friday, 20th June 2014 - Room 001

9.00 – 10.00 Anna Volodina, IDS Mannheim & Helmut Weiß, University of Frankfurt a.M.
Referential Null Subjects in German: Dialects and Diachronic Continuity
10.00 – 10.40 Ermenegildo Bidese, University of Trento & Alessandra Tomaselli, University of Verona
Developing pro-drop. The case of Cimbrian
10.40 – 11.00 Break
11.00 – 11.40 Federica Cognola, University of Trento
On asymmetric pro-drop, V2 and the relation between CP and TP
11.40 – 12.20 Peter Herbeck, University of Salzburg
Verbal complexes and the pro-drop parameter in Spanish and German
12.20 – 13.00 Henrik Rosenkvist, University of Gothenburg
Null Subjects and Distinct Agreement in Modern Germanic
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.00 Michael Zimmermann, University of Konstanz
Null subjects, expletives and the status of Medieval French
15.00 – 15.40 Kari Kinn, University of Oslo
Conditions on null arguments in Old Norwegian
15:40 – 16.20 Nerea Madariaga, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU
Diachronic change and the nature of pro: a case-study in Russian language
16.20 – 16.50 Break
16.50 – 17.30 Kari Kinn, University of Oslo & Kristian Rusten, University of Bergen & George Walkden, University of Manchester
Null subjects in Early Icelandic
17.30 – 18.10 Rickard Ramhöj, University of Gothenburg
It-Extraposition and non-referential null subjects in the history of English
18.10 – 18.50 George Walkden, University of Manchester
Extending the typology of partial null argument languages
20:00 Social Dinner, Ristorante Orso Grigio, Via degli Orti 19


Saturday, 21st June 2014 - Room 001

8.30 – 09.30 Theresa Biberauer, University of Cambridge and University of Stellenbosch
Pro-drop and emergent parameter hierarchies
09.30 – 10.10 Trang Phan Thi Huyen, University of Ghent
Overt expletives in pro-drop languages – Evidence from Vietnamese
10.10 – 10.30 Break
10.30 – 11.10 Gréte Dalmi, Jan Kochanowski University, Kielce
Generic inclusive null arguments in Hungarian
11.10 – 11.50 Anders Holmberg, University of Newcastle & On-Usa Phimsawat, Burapha University
Generic pronouns and phi-features: evidence from Thai
11.50 – 13.30 Final round table chaired by Barbara Vance, University of Indiana
13.00 – 13.30 Lunch offered to all participants

Alternate speakers


  • Patrizia Cordin (University of Trento)
  • Manuela Moroni (University of Trento)
  • Federica Ricci Garotti (University of Trento)


Scientific Committee

  • Manuela Ambar
  • Theresa Biberaruer
  • Ermenegildo Bidese
  • Federica Cognola
  • Mara Frascarelli
  • Helmut Weiss
  • Michael Zimmermann


Organising Committee

  • Ermenegildo Bidese
  • Federica Cognola
  • Manuela Moroni

Organizing Secretariat:
Antonella Neri - Staff Department of Humanities
Via Tommaso Gar 14 - Trento
tel. 0039 0461-281777

Scientific Secretary:
Federica Cognola
tel. 0039 0461-282903