We are happy to announce two talks by Sebastian Walter (Wuppertal) and Cécile Meier (Frankfurt) in the Semantics Colloquium.

The talk will take place on campus in IG 4.301.

Date: June 22, 2023

Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct


Sebastian Walter

Title: Are there salience differences between character and observer viewpoint gestures?


The present study investigates salience differences between character viewpoint gestures (CVGs) and observer viewpoint gestures (OVGs). Since co-speech gestures usually contribute not-at-issue meaning by default (cf. Ebert et al., 2020) and are thus backgrounded, it was hypothesized that there is no salience difference between CVGs and OVGs. A forced-choice study was conducted to investigate this hypothesis. The results show that there is no significant difference between CVGs and OVGs. Although further research is needed to fully clarify this matter, it is tentatively concluded that there is no difference in salience between the two gesture types. Therefore, the results of previous studies that found an overall preference for CVGs compared to OVGs (Hinterwimmer et al., 2021) can potentially be traced back to other pragmatic factors, but not to salience differences between the two gesture types.


Cécile Meier 

Title:The Square of opposition reconsidered.


In this talk, I demonstrate how weak and strong (or contrary) negation in combination with adjectives amounts to a scopal ambiguity of classical negation with respect to a hidden universal quantifier: the positive operator known from adjectival/degree semantics. The interesting conclusion with respect to Horn Scales like intelligent, brilliant is that they seem to necessitate a reinterpretation of that positive operator as an existential quantifier (or a doubly negated universal quantifier). In this, the positive operator from degree semantics seems to follow a more general pattern that we see with modal operators as well. For example, the same modal may sometimes exhibit universal force, sometimes existential force.