The Acquisition and Processing of Reference and Anaphora Resolution

May 19th and 20th 2021

Universidad de Granada & Vrije Universiteit Brussel (online format)

Due to the coronavirus crisis and the travelling restrictions imposed between countries, the conference will be held online.


Referring to entities is a fundamental aspect of languages; it allows to refer to things and people in the world. This is often known as anaphora resolution. The theme of the conference is to address the acquisition and the processing of reference and 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. So, the aim of the conference is to gain insight into the different mechanisms that shape anaphora resolution in across languages.

The international conference on “The Acquisition and Processing of Reference and Anaphora Resolution” (APRAR 2021) is a joint initiative of the Department of English and German Philology at the Universidad de Granada (Spain) and the Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies (Centre for Linguistics (CLIN)) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium). 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), an international research project based at the Universidad de Granada.

Scientific relevance

The aim of the conference is to foster the international exchange of research activities and results on the acquisition of referential mechanisms and the acquisition and processing of anaphora resolution. This conference intends to give the opportunity to international researchers to meet each other, to discuss theoretical issues and to comment their empirical findings. Additionally, two practical workshops for PhD-students will be organised: one on corpus annotation and the analysis of referential expressions with a corpus tool and another one on the design of psycholinguistic experiments on anaphora resolution [Update: Workshops have been cancelled due the new online format of the conference caused by Covid-19]. We plan on publishing a selection of the contributions in a special issue in an international peer-reviewed journal.