We are happy to announce a talk by Muyi Yang (UConn) at the Semantics Colloquium.

Please register beforehand (s.walter@em.uni-frankfurt.de) to receive the access data to zoom on Thursday shortly before the talk starts.

Title: Iffy if: Japanese moshi in conditionals and related constructions

Date: January 21

Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct


Across languages, conditional antecedents can often be marked by elements that signal the speaker’s sense of “iffiness” about the antecedent proposition, such as English if (von Fintel and Iatridou 2002), German falls (Hinterwimmer 2014)  and sollte (Sode and Sugawara 2019). This talk concerns Japanese moshi, a marker in conditional antecedents that has been traditionally described as a signal of supposition. I will first investigate the distribution of moshi in various types of conditionals such as factual conditionals and unconditionals, and show that the iffiness expressed by moshi has to do with whether the antecedent proposition is in the common ground. I will propose a presuppositional account of moshi, and further extend the analysis to capture its use in relevance topics, where the iffiness condition holds as well.