Referential Structure in Communication (RED 2024)

International Conference on Language and Communication
as part of the Research Network on Referential Expressions in Discourse (RED)
and the Mutual Understanding Project of the University of Tokyo


Referential expressions introduce, activate, and maintain the objects of our communicative actions. Referential structure itself is formed by the intricate interaction of referential information and conceptual information (Gernsbacher 1991; Brocher & von Heusinger 2018). Research has focused on the felicitous conditions of referential expressions (Ariel 1988) and the interaction of speaker-oriented planning and hearer expectation (Kehler et al. 2008, Bott & Solstad 2021), as well as on their interaction with prominence (von Heusinger and Schumacher 2019). Recent approaches also include the forward-looking function (or discourse structuring potential) of referential expressions (Chiriacescu & von Heusinger 2010), the role of quantifiers in the licensing of anaphoric expressions (Schmitt et al. 2017) and the role of questions of specification in the marking and interpretation of referential expressions (Onea 2021). Important advances have been also achieved in stochastic modeling of reference including redundancy effects (Degen et al. 2021) and extending current theories to Sign Languages (Schlenker 2018). While significant progress has been made in recent years, an overall integrative theory of reference in discourse and the dynamics of referential expressions in communication is still missing.

We invite researchers in semantics, pragmatics, philosophy, and communication science to submit their original research, focusing on the contribution of referential expressions and discourse structure to establishing particular communicative effects and goals in discourse.

(See the references)

Keynote Speakers

  • Chiara Gianollo, Bologna
  • Jesse Harris, Los Angeles
  • Jet Hoek, Nijmegen
  • Sofiana Lindemann, BraΘ™ov
  • Edgar Onea, Graz

Important Dates

  • Deadline for submissions: December 11, 2023
  • Notification of authors: December 20, 2024
  • Workshop: 18–19 March 2024


Collaboration Room 3, Bldg. 18, the University of Tokyo, Komaba


Registration is required for all participants. Because of space limitations, those who would like to participate are kindly asked to contact the organization team.

Internal Circular

See this page. Participants who registered will receive the password from us.


RED24-group SpamProtection


Monday, March 18, 2024

Time Title
9:00 – 9:30 Opening
9:30 – 10:30 Invited Lecture
Jesse Harris (Los Angeles)
Something else on something else
10:30 – 11:00 β˜• Coffee break
11:00 – 11:45 Hanjung Lee (Seoul)
Communicative Efficiency, Grounding and Crosslinguistic Patterns of Differential Subject Marking
11:45 – 12:30 Ivona Kucerova & Aya Zarka (Hamilton)
On the Interaction of Differential Object Marking and non-default Discourse Commitments
12:30 – 14:30 🍴 Lunch break
14:30 – 15:30 Invited Lecture
Chiara Gianollo (Bologna)
Cross-linguistic variation in the anaphoric functions of β€˜other’
15:30 – 16:15 Katsumasa Ito (Osaka)
On topic drop in German: A dual ellipsis approach
16:15 – 17:00 Yoshiki Mori (Tokyo) & Yuto Yamazaki (Mie)
QuD effects of word order variations in German cleft sentences
17:00 – 17:30 🍡 Short break
17:30 – 18:30 (pending)
Invited Lecture (online)
Jet Hoek (Nijmegen)
The effect of meaning-related cues on the interpretation of Dutch pronominal forms

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Time Title
9:00 – 9:30 Opening
9:30 – 10:30 Invited Lecture
Sofiana Lindemann (Brasov)
Implicit causality biases of Romanian psychological state verbs
10:30 – 11:00 β˜• Coffee break
11:00 – 11:45 Kristina Liefke & Markus Werning (Bochum)
Towards a Theory of Reference in Parasitic Attitudes
11:45 – 12:30 Peter Hofmann (Kassel)
I is another? On marking the boundaries of free indirect discourse
12:30 – 14:30 🍴 Lunch break
14:30 – 15:15 Nori Hayashi (Tokyo)
What the additive construction suggests about indefinites and information structure
15:15 – 16:15 Invited Lecture
Edgar Onea (Graz)
A new perspective on topical indefinites

Satellite workshop

On Wednesday, March 20, GAKT 8 will be held as a satellite workshop.




The workshop is organized by Klaus von Heusinger (University of Cologne) and Yoshiki Mori (University of Tokyo).

The workshop is supported by:


We invite submissions for 30 min presentations (plus 15 min for discussion) in English. Abstracts should be anonymous and not longer than two pages (Times New Roman 12 pt., single space, 2.4 cm margins). They should be submitted in pdf format to RED24-group SpamProtection

Topics of interest

include but are not limited to:

  • Referential expressions and discourse structure
  • Pragmatic aspects of reference in conversation
  • Cross-linguistic variations in referential communication
  • Referential ambiguity and resolution
  • Cognitive processes involved in reference comprehension
  • Linguistic markers of reference in written and spoken discourse
  • Referential structure in signed or non-verbal communication