Talk by Jonathan Weinrich, Thursday – November 21th, 4-6 PM

We are happy to announce a talk by Jonathan Weinrich (Goethe Universität) next Thursday at the Semantics Colloquium. Please find an abstract below. Title: Towards the Correct Pragmatic Treatment of Iconic Co-Speech Gestures Room: IG 4.301 Date: November 21st Time: 4pm - 6pm Abstract: There are two proposals of classifying iconic co-speech gestures within terms of previously established kinds of meaning. While Ebert & Ebert (2014) treat them as supplements in the spirit of Potts (2005), Schlenker (2018) analyzes them as variety of presuppositions. The main criterion for evaluation will be whether the contribution made by the gesture is discourse-new or discourse-old. After a quick explanation of the previous accounts, key examples of co-predicate gestures that pose a problem or an open question for both proposals are presented, establishing observations useful for a correct formalization. Instances of informative co-speech gestures pose a problem for the cosuppositional account, and uninformative ones for the supplemental one. Both accounts are hardly falsifiable: While the one of Ebert & Ebert...
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Talk by Maciej Kleczek, Thursday 14th, 4-6 PM

We are happy to announce a talk by Maciej Kleczek. You can find the abstract below. Title: A Solution to Fine's Paradox of a Variable Room: IG 4.301 Date: November 14 Time: 4pm - 6pm A Solution to Fine's Paradox of a Variable In [2] Kit Fine formulated the paradox of a variable. Roughly, it isolates a conflict between two intuitions concerning the semantic role of a variable. According to the first intuition a semantic role of a variable is exhausted by the range of its values. Consequently, any two variables turn out to be synonymous. On the other hand, in the context of an expression (a formula and/or polynomial), it happens that distinct variables play a different semantic role. Hence, a contradiction. In the first part of the talk we zoom in the structure of Fine’s reasoning and abstract away from the Fine’s example. As the outcome, we extract tacit assumptions, which lead to the paradox. These assumptions are principle of compositionality and...
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Talk by Roland Hinterhölzl, Monday 11th 4-6 pm

We are very happy to announce the next talk of this semester’s Syntax Colloquium, which will take place on Monday, November 11, 4 – 6 pm in IG 4.301. Roland Hinterhölzl (Venice) will talk about „A new approach to control and raising: From the Case-filter to the D-filter“. Abstract: I will present a novel approach to control and raising that is embedded in a predicative interpretation of Tense and a presuppositional approach to pronominal reference. Tense is shown, like nominal predicates, to be used referentially or attributively (Donellan 1966) and pronouns are argued to possess an abstract nominal predicate of the type participant (x,s). The distribution of PRO is shown to be determined by its basic property of lacking phi-feature. Thus, PRO lacks the presuppositional features that serve to identify its antecedent. Instead, PRO is identified via a binding relation of its situation argument – via Tense - to the matrix event and the s-selection of a C-head with a participant feature (+/-...
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Talk by Jan Köpping, Thursday 7th 4-6 PM

The next talk in the semantics colloquium will be by Jan Köpping. Please find an abstract below. Title: De re without movement. Cyclic semantic interpretation Room: IG 4.301 Date: November 7 Time: 4pm - 6pm Abstract: When it comes to the interpretation of certain expressions (e.g. definite descriptions) in intensional environments, one of their readings, namely their de re reading, is derived by lifting the expression in question into a position where it receives this interpretation naturally. E.g. "Peter believes that the president of Germany is on holidays" is (roughly) interpreted as "Peter believes about the president of Germany that he is on holidays." This kind of movement step is found in other areas of semantics theorizing as well, most prominently when it comes to account for the accessibility of discourse referents introduced by such expressions. In order for their discourse referents to end up in the right universe, the expressions are dislocated while their host-DRS is construed; thus, some comparable sort of movement step...
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