The Diachronic Generative Syntax conference has been running since 1990: at first every two years, then annually since 2008. It's a forum for people to present work on diachronic and historical syntax that is informed by, and informs, generative syntactic theory.

Though the conference goes back to 1990, the acronym, DiGS, was not in use until the 1995 Montreal workshop. In earlier (pre-2004) conferences it was common to have discussants at least for the invited talks. That tradition has now lapsed, but since 2014 a new tradition has emerged: a one-day pre-workshop on a related topic, often with its own invited speaker(s).

Since there's no clear record of the conference's past anywhere on the interwebs, as far as I can see, I decided to create this page as a little summary for posterity. See now also the historical notes in Crisma & Longobardi (2021).

Anne Breitbarth has published a piece on gender balance and gender bias in the history of DiGS:

  • Breitbarth, Anne. 2021. '1989.' In Marianne Van Remoortel, Leah Budke, & Eloise Forestier (eds.), Dates with gender and diversity: Huldeboek voor Marysa Demoor, 188-191. Gent: Skribis.

Here is an obituary for Anthony (Tony) Kroch, 1946-2021, one of the founders of the DiGS conference series. Here's another obituary at the UPenn website.

History of DiGS

Year Location Date Programme Invited speakers Pre-workshop Volume
2023 Université Paris Diderot - - - - -
2022 New York University 8th-10th June call for papers Lieven Danckaert, Kathryn Schuler, Tamisha Tan Child learners in syntactic change: theory and methods -
2021 Universität Konstanz (online; rescheduled from 2020) 19th-22nd May programme Anne Breitbarth, Ashwini Deo, Ian Roberts, Sali Tagliamonte, David Willis Syntactic change in progress Special issue of Journal of Historical Syntax (TBA)
2019 Arizona State University 4th-7th June programme Paul Kiparsky, Pamela Munro, Will Oxford, Bridget Samuels Comparative approaches to the diachronic morphosyntax of the indigenous languages of North and Central America Wood, Johanna (ed.). 2021. Proceedings of DiGS 2019. Journal of Historical Syntax 5 (16-25).
2018 University of York 18th-21st June programme Edith Aldridge, Theresa Biberauer, Cecilia Poletto, George Walkden Syntax and reconstruction Crisma, Paola, & Giuseppe Longobardi (eds.). 2021. Proceedings of DiGS 2018. Journal of Historical Syntax 5 (1-13).
2017 Stellenbosch University 5th-8th September programme Charlotte Galves, Pieter Muysken, Jenneke van der Wal, Enoch Aboh, David Lightfoot Language variation and change in contact situations TBA
2016 Universiteit Gent 28th June-1st July programme Sheila Watts, Joel Wallenberg, Ioanna Sitaridou, Elly van Gelderen, Cecilia Poletto The determinants of diachronic stability (see 2019 book) Bouzouita, Miriam, Anne Breitbarth, Lieven Danckaert, & Elisabeth Witzenhausen (eds.). 2019. Cycles in language change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2015 Háskóli Íslands (Reykjavík) 28th-31st May programme Charles Yang, Ulrike Demske, David Willis Formal Ways of Analyzing Variation 2 (FWAV 2) Eythórsson, Thórhallur, & Jóhannes Gísli Jónsson (eds.). 2021. Syntactic features and the limits of syntactic change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2014 Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Budapest) 2nd-5th July programme David Lightfoot, Anthony Kroch & Beatrice Santorini, Roumyana Pancheva Converging corpora: how to standardize historical corpora of typologically and genetically different languages TBA
2013 University of Ottawa 1st-3rd Aug programme Edith Aldridge, John Whitman, Joel Wallenberg, Ailis Cournane, Marie Labelle & Paul Hirschbühler - Mathieu, Eric, & Robert Truswell (eds.). 2017. Micro-change and macro-change in diachronic syntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2012 Universidade de Lisboa 3rd-6th July programme Adam Ledgeway, Esther Rinke, Susan Pintzuk, Paola Crisma, Anthony Kroch - Martins, Ana Maria, & Adriana Cardoso (eds.). 2018. Word order change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2011 University of Pennsylvania 2nd-5th June programme David Lightfoot, Ana Maria Martins, Enoch Aboh, Caroline Heycock, Thomas McFadden, Ian Roberts Using annotated corpora for diachronic research -
2010 University of Cambridge 14th-16th July programme Marit Julien, Roland Hinterhölzl, Ann Taylor & Susan Pintzuk, Katalin E. Kiss, Adam Ledgeway, Paul Kiparsky - Biberauer, Theresa, & George Walkden (eds.). 2015. Syntax over time: lexical, morphological and information-structural interactions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2009 Universidade Estadual de Campinas 22nd-24th July programme Jürgen Meisel, Mary Kato, Giuseppe Longobardi, Ana Maria Martins, Michel DeGraff, Ian Roberts - Galves, Charlotte, Sonia Cyrino, Ruth Lopes, Filomena Sandalo, & Juanito Avelar (eds.). 2012. Parameter theory and linguistic change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2008 Cornell University 7th-9th Aug programme Ans van Kemenade, Katrin Axel, Ian Roberts, Anthony Kroch, Mark Hale - -
2006 Università degli Studi di Trieste 8th-10th June programme Edward Keenan, Abdelkader Fassi Fehri, Richard Kayne - Crisma, Paola, & Giuseppe Longobardi (eds.). 2009. Historical syntax and linguistic theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2004 Yale University 24th-27th June programme David Lightfoot, Alison Henry, Jan Terje Faarlund, David Willis, John Whitman, Paul Kiparsky, Alice Harris - Jonas, Dianne, John Whitman, & Andrew Garrett (eds.). 2012. Grammatical change: origins, nature, outcomes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2002 Universitat de Girona 27th-29th June programme Ian Roberts, David Lightfoot, Anthony Kroch, Giuseppe Longobardi, Susan Pintzuk - Batllori, Montse, Maria-Lluïsa Hernanz, Carme Picallo, & Francesc Roca (eds.). 2005. Grammaticalization and parametric variation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2000 University of Maryland 22nd-24th May programme Ian Roberts, Susan Pintzuk, Cynthia Allen, Ted Briscoe, Dianne Jonas - Lightfoot, David (ed.). 2002. Syntactic effects of morphological change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
1998 University of York 30th May-1st June programme Monique Dufresne & Fernande Dupuis, Ans van Kemenade, Anthony Kroch, David Lightfoot, Ian Roberts, Nigel Vincent - Pintzuk, Susan, George Tsoulas, & Anthony Warner (eds.). 2000. Diachronic syntax: models and mechanisms. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
1995 Université du Quebec à Montreal 31st Oct-2nd Nov programme Jean-Yves Pollock, Giuseppe Longobardi, Ian Roberts, John Lumsden, Anthony Kroch, Ans van Kemenade, Hilda Koopman, Marisa Rivero - -
1994 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 30th March-1st April programme - - van Kemenade, Ans, & Nigel Vincent (eds.). 1997. Parameters of morphosyntactic change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
1992 University of Pennsylvania 5th-8th November programme - - -
1990 University of York 10th-11th April participants - - Battye, Adrian, & Ian Roberts (eds.). 1995. Clause structure and language change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

If you can help fill in any of the gaps, or have any further information, please email me! Thanks in particular to Susan Pintzuk, Ian Roberts and Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson for help so far.

My main website is here.

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