NULL in Morphology and Syntax (Panel at XXXVIII Romanistentag 2023, Leipzig)


Call for papers:

Deadline for abstract submission: 31 December, 2022

Dates of the conference: 24 - 27 September 2023 at the University of Leipzig

The goal of this panel is to bring together linguists from various theoretical approaches and methodologies that argue for or against the postulation of null elements in morphology and/or syntax. We would like to discuss and provide new insights into the empirical and theoretic necessity of the controversial concept of NULL in different theories of grammar by focusing on Romance languages and varieties.

Abstract submissions to the panel can focus on one of the following issues, among others:

  • What evidence do we find in favor or against null elements in linguistic theory?
  • What insights do Romance languages and varieties offer us into the theory of null elements?
  • What insights can offer a comparative and/or diachronic perspective on null elements?
  • How is NULL in morphology and/or syntax acquired by L1 and/or L2 speakers?
  • Are null elements in (a) morphology and syntax or (b) derivation and inflection similar or different types of null elements?
  • What are the alternative analyses to empty categories? How do different theoretical approaches deal with NULL?
  • How many types of null elements are there in morphology and/or syntax and by means of which criteria are they differentiated?

Empirical approaches to NULL from a Romance perspective that examine data of lesser studies varieties, as well as acquisition studies and corpus-based approaches are also particularly welcome.

Abstract guidelines:

Abstracts should be anonymous and no longer than 4000 characters, including spaces and references. Submissions are limited to a maximum of one individual and one joint abstract, or two joint abstracts, per author.

The language of the panel is any Romance language, German, or English.

The abstracts should be submitted as pdf and doc file in anonymized form to the two organizers of the panel:

Peter Herbeck (herbeck[at]

Natascha Pomino (pomino[at]

Deadline for abstract submission: 31st of December 2022

Notification of acceptance: no later than 17th of February 2023

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