Talk by Frank Sode (GU Frankfurt)

We are happy to announce a talk by Frank Sode (GU Frankfurt) in the Semantics Colloquium. The talk will take place on campus in IG 4.301. Title: A Neo-Heimian semantics for desire reports Date: May 19 Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct Abstract: In this talk I defend a Heimian semantics for desire reports. The basic idea in Heim (1992) is that conditionals play an essential role in the truth conditions of desire reports. I argue that if we take the idea of "hidden conditionals" quite literal and assume that conditionals not only play a role in the truth conditions but at the syntax-semantics interface in the object language (= Neo-Heimian), we have a key to a unified solution to two old and two new puzzles relating to conditional morphology in desire reports. First, it helps to explain the puzzling X-marking patterns we find in desire reports (cf. von Fintel & Iatridou (2017,2020)). Second, it gives us a plausible semantics for complement fulfilling conditionals (Williams (1974), Pesetsky (1991)). Third, it makes suprising...
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Talk by Philipp Weisser (University of Potsdam)

We are happy to announce a talk by Philipp Weisser (University of Potsdam) in the Syntax Colloquium. The talk will take place on campus in IG 4.301. Title: The Limits of Umlaut in Sinhala: Matching domains across the syntax, morphology, and phonology (joint work with Paula Fenger, Leipzig University) Date: May 16 Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct Abstract: In this talk we study the patterns of verbal umlaut in the Indo-Aryan language Sinhala (spoken in Sri Lanka), which seems to be constrained by an intricate combination of (i) lexical, (ii) morphosyntactic, and (iii) phonological factors. We study this phenomenon and show that it can be used as a window into the morphological makeup of complex words. In particular, we defend  the following claims: 1. Contrary to some claims in the literature (see e.g. Garland 2005), we argue that the limits of umlaut show that Sinhala verb morphology is, underlyingly, concatenative and in order to describe where umlaut appears and where it doesn’t, we need to refer to the notion of the morpheme. 2....
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Talk by Sebastian Walter (GU Frankfurt)

We are happy to announce a talk by Sebastian Walter (GU Frankfurt) in the Semantics Colloquium. The talk will take place on campus in IG 4.301. Title: The at-issue status of character viewpoint gestures: An experimental investigation Date: May 12 Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct Abstract: Gestures can encode perspective, meaning that they can depict an event from different viewpoints (McNeill, 1992). More specifically, researchers have distinguished between character and observer viewpoint gestures (CVGs and OVGs, respectively). While CVGs depict events from a selected person’s point of view that participated in the event, OVGs depict events as if observed from a distance. Moreover, CVGs usually involve the whole body. OVGs, by contrast, are normally only produced with the hands. In most formal semantic frameworks that model the semantic contribution of speech-accompanying gestures, it is claimed that they contribute not-at-issue meaning by default, i.e., they project and cannot be denied directly in discourse (Ebert & Ebert, 2014; Schlenker, 2018). This claim has been verified in an experimental study reported in...
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Talk by Stefan Baumann (IfL Phonetik, University of Cologne)

We are happy to announce the next talk in the Phonology Colloquium by Stefan Baumann (IfL Phonetik, University of Cologne). Title: Are highlighted words always informative? On the complex relationship between prosodic prominence and meaning Date: Wednesday, 11.05.2022 Time: 16-18 Location: in person on campus IG 4.301 (in addition, we will stream the talk via Zoom, see below) Abstract: When speakers communicate with each other, relevant parts of an utterance may either be actively highlighted through prosodic and syntactic means, or they are informative in themselves, such as novel or important discourse topics and uncommon words. As a result of both prosodic and syntactic highlighting and semantic-pragmatic informativeness, listeners perceive certain elements of an utterance as more or less prominent. The talk will examine the basic assumption that there is a direct correspondence between the two levels, such that (prosodically) highlighted elements should at the same time be more informative, and vice versa. This relationship has been shown to be much more complex, however, given the...
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Talk by Imke Driemel (Humboldt University Berlin)

We are happy to announce a talk by Imke Driemel (Humboldt University Berlin) in the Syntax Colloquium. The talk will take place on campus in IG 4.301. Title:Implicit arguments and their morpho-syntactic effects Date: May 9 Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct Abstract: Implicit arguments are covert elements whose syntactic representations questioned in some way or another (Bhatt and Pancheva 2017). While much of the literature of implicit arguments is focused on thematic arguments such as PRO, pro, or the agent of passives, this talk will present two case studies on implicit non-thematic arguments: i) the perspectival center of the come/go alternation in the Northwest Caucasian language Adyghe, and ii) the speaker/hearer representation in allocutive marking languages of East Asia and South America. For i), it will be shown that the licensing of the perspectival center matches the language's strategy to signal PCC effects. For ii), we will investigate an interaction of gender and honorific marking which runs parallel to DOM effects. Not only will the case...
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