Talks by Sebastian Walter (Frankfurt) and Lennart Fritzsche (Frankfurt) in the Semantics Colloquium

We are happy to announce talks by Sebastian Walter (Frankfurt) and Lennart Fritzsche (Frankfurt) in the Semantics Colloquium. The talks will take place on campus in IG 4.301. If you wish to participate virtually via Zoom, please contact Lennart Fritzsche for the link.  Date: June 6, 2024 Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct    Sebastian Walter (first half of the session) Title: Viewpoint matters: Prototypical vs. non-prototypical co-speech gestures in the VP domain (joint work with Cornelia Ebert and Stefan Hinterwimmer) Abstract: In this talk, Ebert et al.’s (2020) theory of the semantic contribution of co-speech gestures is extended to the VP domain. We investigate the distinction between what we call prototypical and non-prototypical co-speech gestures in that domain. Prototypical gestures in general resemble the prototypical concept they depict (in the case of (1), for example, waving with one hand). Non-prototypical gestures, by contrast, can be seen as modified alternatives of a prototypical gesture that are interpreted completely iconic (in (1), e.g., waving with both hands). Crucially, an instance...
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Talk by Janek Guerrini (Paris) in the Semantics Colloquium

We are happy to announce a talk by Janek Guerrini (Paris) in the Semantics Colloquium. The talk will take place on campus in IG 4.301. If you wish to participate virtually via Zoom, please contact Lennart Fritzsche for the link.  Date: May 2, 2024 Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct Title: Distributive kind predication Abstract: Germanic bare plurals and Romance definite plurals are thought to be kind-denoting, as they provide suitable arguments for predicates that hold of kinds (Carlson, 1977), as in e.g. ‘lions are extinct’. Kinds are standardly seen as intensional sums. In this work, I argue that, if we extend to kind-denoting plurals tools independently motivated by the treatment of referential plurals, a number of puzzles concerning the distribution of kind-denoting plurals, both old and novel, fall in line. ...
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Talks by Sebastian Walter (Frankfurt/Wuppertal) and Noémi Ecsedi (Frankfurt) in the Semantics Colloquium

We are happy to announce talks by Sebastian Walter (Frankfurt/Wuppertal) and Noémi Ecsedi (Frankfurt) in the Semantics Colloquium. The talks will take place on campus in IG 4.301. If you wish to participate virtually via Zoom, please contact Lennart Fritzsche for the link.  Date: February 1, 2024 Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct   Sebastian Walter Title: Indirect discourse as mixed quotation: Evidence from self pointing Abstract: Indirect discourse, e.g., Peter said he was thirsty, is standardly viewed as a statement of what someone said or thought without quoting them directly. However, there are instances of indexicals which can receive a shifted interpretation in indirect discourse (Plank, 1986; Anderson, 2019), meaning that they are interpreted from the matrix subject’s perspective. This suggests that at least some elements in indirect discourse can be quoted. In a rating study, self pointing gestures aligned with a focalized third-person pronoun in indirect discourse were judged acceptable, cf. (1). (1) Peter complained that [HE] again had to pay the bill for the whole group. + self...
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Talk by Lennart Fritzsche (Frankfurt) in the Semantics Colloquium

We are happy to announce a talk by Lennart Fritzsche (Frankfurt) in the Semantics Colloquium. The talk will take place on campus in IG 4.301. If you wish to participate virtually via Zoom, please contact Lennart Fritzsche for the link.  Date: January 25, 2024 Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct Title: Ja or Jaaaaa? How Prosodic Modulations Influence the Scalar Interpretation of Adjectives Abstract: The traditional view that language is arbitrary (Hockett, 1960) has become increasingly challenged recently (e.g., Blasi et al., 2016): Iconic mappings between form and meaning are found throughout language, as for example in prosodic modulations of length such as looooong (Fuchs et al., 2019).  In German, it is possible to modulate the length of response particles in responses to polar questions containing a gradable adjective, cf. (1).  (1)   A: Findest du Berlin schön? (‘Do you find Berlin pretty?’)        B: Jaaaaa. (Lengthened German Ja ‘Yes’)  Empirical work on whether these instances of particle lengthening are iconic is lacking. The data presented in this work suggests...
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Talk by Nadine Bade (Potsdam) in the Semantics Colloquium

We are happy to announce a talk by Nadine Bade (Potsdam) in the Semantics Colloquium. The talk will take place on campus in IG 4.301. If you wish to participate virtually via Zoom, please contact Lennart Fritzsche for the link.  Date: January 18, 2024 Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct Title: Linguistic Illusions Revisited: The Role of Maximal Informativity (Joint work with Vera Hohaus and Ryan Walter Smith, The University of Manchester) Abstract: Sentences like (1) have featured prominently in the psycholinguistics literature since Watson & Reich (1979) and are generally construed to mean that, regardless of their severity, all head injuries must receive medical attention (see also Sanford & Garrod 1998). A large body of literature has taken this interpretation, while robustly available, to be an illusion that obscures the literal interpretation of the sentence, under which all head injuries can be ignored (see also Higginbotham 1988 and Zimmermann & Sternefeld 2013). Evidence for such a view comes from the structurally parallel case in (2), which is...
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