SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

The first Dynamic Syntax conference


Date: 19 April 2017Time: 10:00 AM

Finishes: 20 April 2017Time: 5:30 PM

Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: S209

Type of Event: Conference

Whilst there is broad consensus that humans process linguistic input in real time, the dynamics of this process are often not reflected in most formal accounts of linguistic knowledge. Dynamic Syntax (DS; Cann et al. 2005, Kempson et al. 2001, 2011) is a grammar formalism that aims to capture the parsing/production process in real-time. Under the Dynamic Syntax approach, linguistic knowledge is considered to be the ability to parse spoken language in context, whilst syntax is the constraint-based way in which representations of context can be built up from words encountered in a string.

We are pleased to announce that the first Dynamic Syntax conference will take place at SOAS University of London on 19-20th April 2017. The meeting will bring together those using DS in their research, as well as those who are interested in issues that lie at the heart of the theoretical approach.

We are also delighted to announce that Professor Ruth Kempson will deliver the keynote address at the conference.

The conference is free to attend. However, we ask that you email Hannah Gibson ( to register.


Day 1 – 19/4/17 Room S209, Senate House North Block

10:00-11:00 Dynamic Syntax tutorial: An introduction to the framework (Jieun Kiaer)
11:00-11:30 BREAK
Chair: Miriam Bouzouita
11:30-12:00 Stergios Chatzikyriakidis: Modification in Dynamic Syntax
12:00-12:30 Darryl Turner: Relative clauses as appositional nominals
12:30-13:00 Peter Edelsten: An incremental approach to parsing information structure
13:00-14:30 LUNCH BREAK
Chair: Chris Howes
14:30-15:00 Hannah Gibson & Lutz Marten: Underspecification and procedural meaning: Lexical NPs as anaphora
15:00-15:30 Yan Jiang: Chinese Anaphora: Lexical Encoding, Distributive Alternation and Reference Tracking
15:30-16:00 Andriana Koumbarou: Focusing in Hindi and the dynamics of left to right parsing in context
16:00-16:45 BREAK (including poster presentation by Stephen Jones)
Chair: Lutz Marten
16:45-17:45 Ronnie Cann: Dynamic Syntax – interaction and context: construing personal pronouns in English
18:30 DINNER - TAS Bloomsbury

Day 2 – 20/4/17 Room S209, Senate House North Block

Chair: Yan Jiang
10:30-11:00 James Reid: Parsing-modulated antecedent-selection in proposition-controlled free adjuncts
11:00-11:30 Miriam Bouzouita & Hannah Gibson: Constraints on Structural Underspecification: Compound tenses in Old Spanish and East African Bantu
11:30-12:00 BREAK
Chair: Hannah Gibson
12:00-12:30 Riham Abudonia: Passive strategies and argument structure in Luganda: a dynamic syntax account
12:30-13:00 Nadia Christopher: Kazakh Differential Object Marking – the Dynamic Syntax Approach
13:00-14:30 LUNCH BREAK
Chair: Stergios Chatzikyriakidis
14:30-15:00 Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh & Matt Purver: Incremental Distributional Semantics for Dynamic Syntax
15:00-15:30 Christine Howes & Arash Eshghi: Formalising backchannel relevance spaces
15:30-16:00 Jieun Kiaer and Naya Choi: Analysing two-year-old's dialogue corpus in DS
16:00-16:30 BREAK and planning


Hannah Gibson (SOAS University of London)

Jieun Kiaer (University of Oxford)

Lutz Marten (SOAS University of London)