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


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 is utilized. This talk presents a new kind of dynamic framework that allows (i) for the use of overt situation variables (which are made use of in the literature following (among others) Percus (2000) and Keshet (2008) anyway) that in turn (ii) let the linguistic material stay in situ while receiving the correct interpretation. This account furthermore (iii) takes inspiration from Layered DRT (Geurts and Maier 2003,2013) and lets these situation variables function as layers so that the introduction of discourse referents (and therefore their accessibility) can be relativized to situations as well, solving some problems of the dynamic literature as well.