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


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 but intuitively correct predictions about what neg-raising patterns to expect in desire reports. Fourth, it provides a semantics for factive and counterfactual infinitivals in desire reports. I argue that the arguments brought forth against Heim’s idea of “hidden conditionals” are not conclusive enough to discard the prospects of this variant of Heim’s proposal in explaining these puzzling facts that don’t yet have any explanation elsewhere in the literature.