Discourse Constraints on Anaphora
An interdisciplinary seminar and conference
Sponsored by the Marshall M. Weinberg Fund for Graduate Seminars in Cognitive Science
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Organized by Ezra Keshet and Eric Swanson.

Much recent work in linguistics, philosophy of language, cognitive psychology and computer science focuses on questions about anaphora and discourse. However, some major questions about the structure of discourse and its interaction with anaphors remain unanswered. To this end, the majority of the Discourse Constraints on Anaphora Conference will consist of roundtable discussions of the following four questions: The resulting conversations, between scholars with a diverse range of approaches, will serve as a snapshots of current thought on anaphora and discourse. We hope that they will also mark the next step towards answering these questions. Roundtable participants include Barbara Abbott, Alan Garnham, Hans Kamp, Craige Roberts, Hannah Rohde, Jason Stanley, and Matthew Stone.

Conference schedule:

Monday, April 6 3:00-3:30Coffee, tea, conversation
3:30-5:00Alan Garnham (keynote speaker)
5:15-6:45Roundtable 1 (Garnham, Kamp, Stone):
What is the structure of discourse?
How should it be represented?
7:00Dinner and drinks at Eric and Sarah’s
Tuesday, April 7 9:00-9:30Light breakfast
9:30-11:00Roundtable 2 (Abbott, Rohde, Kamp, Stanley):
How does the structure of discourse
constrain the referents of pronouns?
11:15-12:45Craige Roberts (keynote speaker)
2:15-3:45Roundtable 3 (Abbott, Roberts, Stanley, Stone):
What do discourse constraints on anaphora
teach us about reference?
4:00-5:30Roundtable 4 (Garnham, Roberts, Rohde):
What do discourse constraints on anaphora
teach us about the structure of the mind?

Email Eric Swanson (at ericsw@umich.edu) for access to readings and video from seminars.

The conference itself will be held in the Michigan Union, in the Anderson D room. An annotated local map is available here. The major airport nearest Ann Arbor is Detroit Metro (DTW). Hotels within walking distance of the conference site include the Bell Tower, the Campus Inn, and the Ann Arbor Bed and Breakfast. Several other hotels are easily accessible by bus. Registration is free, but participants are asked to email Eric Swanson (at ericsw@umich.edu) in advance for planning purposes.