Unofficial Graduate student Get-together on Semantics and pragmatics

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UGGS meetings are characterised by comfort, style, overpronation, and audience participation. With inquiries and suggestions, please contact Matthijs.

Third session April 13th, 2013, 3.30pm-5.30pm, the Cave

Oliver Northrup: Conflicting bias in high negation polar questions
This paper brings together two strands of research, work on bias in high negation polar questions (HNPQs) and work on evidentiality, to reach a novel approach to discourse bias as relevant to HNPQs and related questions. The paper formalizes bias as defective discourse evidentiality, with participants’ discourse commitments and other contextually-rooted sources acting as the evidential base. The paper presents novel data that builds on Sudo (to appear) and Roelofsen et al. (2012) to disentangle different types of contextual evidence, and what it means for an evidential base to be pro-, anti-, or neutral with regard to a given proposition.

*SECONDAIRE* February 2nd, 2013, 3pm-5pm, the Cave

Anie Thompson: What is the semantic structure of surface anaphors?
The availability of quantifiers inside ellipsis sites is often used to test for internal structure in anaphors. The ability of quantifiers to introduce new referential dependencies and to participate in inverse scope are particularly important. The talk deals with two problems for using the "availability" of quantifiers as tests for internal structure. The first problem is a set of "overactive quantifier" puzzles for the missing antecedent test; in this case, quantificational dependencies seem to be introduced where our theory predicts they shouldn't be. The second is a set of "underactive quantifier" puzzles for the inverse scope test, which deals with instances where inverse scope should be possible according to our theory---but isn't. (Note that this will be a very informal workshop---much of the data is quite raw.)

*PREMIÈRE* January 26th, 2013, 3pm-5pm, the Cave

The première of UGGS will have as its theme modified numerals, and, rumour has it, there will be rugelach (the committee had to Google this) and a frisbee!
Karl DeVries will be talking about the interaction between modified (and maybe some unmodified) numerals and aspectual modifiers.
Matthijs Westera will be talking about the pragmatics of modified numerals, based on inquisitive semantics.
The Audience will be talking about related topics.