We are happy to announce a talk by Jan Köpping  (GU) next thursday at the Semantics Colloquium. Please find an abstract below.

Since this talk will be held online, please note that you need to register beforehand. To do so, please send an email to koepping@em.uni-frankfurt.de before April 29. You will receive a reply with the access data (to zoom) on thursday at 4pm (= immediately before the colloquium starts).

Title: Transparent Negation: Retroactive specification and zilch
Date: April 30th
Time: 4pm – 6pm

Judging from examples like the following, negation seems to be capable of blocking the accessibility of potential antecedents in its scope for anaphoric pronouns in subsequent discourse.
(1) No man walks in the park. *He whistles.
(2) Peter doesn’t own a car. *It’s too expensive.

On the other hand, there are several examples that cast some doubt on this assessment, be it the ease with which referential expressions outscope negation or the impact on further negation, just to name a few:

(3) Peter didn’t bring Heidi along. She was ill.
(4) It is not the case that Peter doesn’t own a car. It’s in his garage.

My talk explores a particular way to set up negation in such a way that it allows (certain) discourse referents to project from within its scope. It is shown that this way to implement negation predicts many otherwise puzzling phenomena right away without further ado. Dynamic semantics is thus shown to behave way more ‚classical‘ than expected, since the novel take on negation sheds a new light on the definability of quantifiers and (sentential) disjunction.