The Acquisition and Processing of Reference and Anaphora Resolution (APRAR)

05-06 May 2020 
Palace of the Academies (Brussels), Belgium 

The international conference on “The Acquisition and Processing of Reference and Anaphora Resolution” (APRAR) is a joint initiative of the Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies (Centre for Linguistics CLIN) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium) and the Department of English and German Philology at the Universidad de Granada (Spain). The theme of the conference ties in with the research topic of the ANACOR project (ANACOR: A corpus-based approach to anaphora resolution in second language acquisition: beyond the interfaces), a research project based at the Universidad de Granada. 

The conference will take place at the Palace of the Academies (Brussels, Belgium) on 5-6 May 2020. 

Conference website:

Plenary Speakers: 
– Antonella Sorace (University of Edinburgh) 
– Ianthi Maria Tsimpli (University of Cambridge) 
– Jacopo Torregrossa (Goethe Universität Frankfurt-am-Main) 

Theme of the Conference: 
Referring to entities is a fundamental aspect of languages. It allows to refer to things and people in the world. Speakers can opt for different referential expressions (e.g. overt and null pronouns, noun phrases, proper names, etc.) to indicate a particular entity in discourse and listeners have to be able to select the correct referent according to the speaker’s intention. This is often known as anaphora resolution. When acquiring, processing and resolving reference, several factors are involved, such as information status (topic/focus), the syntactic position of the antecedent, the accessibility of the referent, the number of potential or competing antecedents, the distance between the referential expression and its antecedent, etc. 

The aim of this conference is to address reference and anaphora resolution. The following topics will be discussed: 
– The processing and acquisition of reference/anaphora resolution in different populations (native speakers, L2 learners, bilinguals, children, heritage speakers, attriters, etc.). 
– The multiple factors that constrain reference/anaphora resolution (morphosyntactic, semantic, discursive and cognitive factors). 
– Reference/anaphora resolution across typologically similar/different languages. 
– Methodological approaches to reference/anaphora resolution (corpus, experimental, etc). 
– Theoretical models that account for reference/anaphora resolution. 
– Any combination of the above topics. 

PhD Workshops: 
The conference will also host two hands-on workshops on methodological approaches to reference/anaphora resolution: 

– Workshop 1 (corpus methods): Annotating and analysing anaphora resolution with UAM Corpus Tool software (Nobuo Ignacio López-Sako & Ana Díaz-Negrillo, Universidad de Granada). 
– Workshop 2 (experimental methods): Designing a psycholinguistic experiment on anaphora resolution in the Open Sesame software (Cristóbal Lozano, Universidad de Granada). 

These workshops are intended for PhD students but are also open to all types of researchers. 

Scientific Committee: 
An Vande Casteele – Vrije Universiteit Brussel 
Cristóbal Lozano – Universidad de Granada 
Renata Enghels – Universiteit Gent 
Stefanie Keulen – Vrije Universiteit Brussel 
Marcus Callies – Universität Bremen 
Alex Housen – Vrije Universiteit Brussel 
Ana Díaz-Negrillo – Universidad de Granada 
Pedro Guijarro Fuentes – Universitat de les Illes Balears 
Nobuo Ignacio López-Sako – Universidad de Granada 
Amaya Mendikoetxea – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid 
Despina Papadopoulou – University of Thessaloniki 
Jacopo Torregrossa – Goethe Universität Frankfurt-am-Main

Call for Papers: 

We invite the submission of abstracts for full papers. Abstracts for an oral presentation (20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion time) must not exceed 500 words, including references, and should mention the main research question(s), methodology, data and (expected) results. Abstracts will be reviewed anonymously. Please submit your abstract via EasyChair:

Important Dates: 
– 15/02/2020: Abstract submission deadline 
– 15/03/2020: Notification to authors 
– 15/03/2020: Registration opens 
– 30/03/2020: Early bird registration closes 
– 01/04/2020: Final program publication 
– 15/04/2020: Late bird registration closes 
– 05-06/05/2020: Conference