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 CfP: Agency and Intentions in Language 2 (virtual)
Posted by: Kyle Thompson
Title/Position: Visiting Assistant Professor
School/Organization: Harvey Mudd College
Sent to listserv of: SESP
Date posted: September 18th, 2021

Agency and Intentions in Language 2 (AIL2)
Second Annual Interdisciplinary Workshop
Harvey Mudd College
January 12-14, 2022 (virtual)

The first interdisciplinary workshop on Agency and Intentions in Language was held at the start of 2021, and it was marked with great success. To continue the conversation, the second annual workshop (AIL2) will bring together scholars in linguistics, philosophy, and psychology interested in questions related to agency and intentions, broadly construed. Please consider submitting your work (details below), or attending the workshop, to advance the scholarly understanding of ideas central to multiple academic disciplines.

Our sense of agency and ability to distinguish between intentional and accidental actions are fundamental for social interaction. They allow us to plan and perform joint actions and assign responsibility for our own actions and those of others. Research on the nature of agency and intentions has been very fruitful over the last few decades in philosophy, linguistics, and psychology. However, interdisciplinary discussion has rarely taken place.

Invited speakers:
- Magdalena Kaufmann (University of Connecticut)
- David Pizarro (Cornell University)
- Hannah Tierney (UC Davis) & Andrew James Latham (University of Sydney); Joint Talk
- Thomas Grano (Indiana University Bloomington)

On the linguistic side, we welcome submissions examining any grammatical phenomena sensitive to the degree of agency or interpretation of an action as intentional versus accidental, such as controller choice, subjunctive obviation, licensing of polarity items, aspect choice in Slavic, case marking in ergative split languages and ‘out-of-control’ morphology. Submissions are welcome from all domains of grammar (morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, etc.) and irrespective of any specific theoretical framework or empirical approach. Some of the topics of interest include, but are not restricted to, the following: ways in which natural languages manifest different degrees of agency or the distinction between intentional and accidental actions (morphological marking, syntactic structures, semantic denotations of verbs and adverbials, pragmatic and contextual differences); connections between agency, intentions, and event structure; relations between agency, intentions, and causality.

On the side of philosophy, we welcome submissions addressing any aspect related to philosophy of action, philosophy of mind, the nature of agency, intentions, and acting intentionally. Both theoretical and empirical projects are welcome as they contribute to debates on various theories of action, free will, moral responsibility, nature of reasons, and practical rationality.

Lastly, we are making an effort to include research in psychology that similarly deals with agency, intentions, moral responsibility, and other related topics, broadly construed. For some examples, we welcome research on the following topics and more: issues in developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, clinical psychology (the sense of agency in individuals with schizophrenia, OCD, etc.), and adults' perception of agency and responsibility.

Anonymous abstracts, not exceeding 2 pages single-spaced (including references and examples), with font no less than 11 Times New Roman, and 2 cm margins (or .8 inch margins), should be uploaded on the AIL2 EasyChair site ( We expect to notify authors of their acceptance at the end of December 2021. Presentations will be allotted 30-minute slots with 15 minutes for Q&A. Additionally, there will be opportunities for some submitters to present their work in a poster session.

Important dates:
- Submission deadline: December 10, 2021
- Notification of acceptance: End of December
- Workshop: January 12-14, 2022 (9h–13h New York time; 15h–19h Berlin time)

Organizing committee:
- Kyle Thompson (Harvey Mudd College): email with workshop questions
- Joshua Knobe (Yale University)
- Hedde Zeijlstra (University of Göttingen)
- Julie Goncharov (University of Göttingen)

Find more details and workshop registration for AIL2 at

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