The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Issue of Monday, April 27th, 2009

Linguistic Colloquium - 5/1 - Philippe Schlenker

Speaker: Philippe Schlenker (Institut Jean-Nicod and NYU)
Time: Friday, May 1st 2009, 3.30pm-5pm
Place: 32-141
Title: Local Contexts: Problems and Extensions

Since the 1980’s, it has been standard to assume that the presupposition of an expression must be entailed by its local context (Heim 1983). But how is a local context derived from the global one? Analyses developed within dynamic semantics offer a lexicalist solution: the meaning of any operator specifies what its ‘Context Change Potential’ is. However the explanatory depth of these solutions has been called into question because they can in effect stipulate in their lexical entries the data to be accounted for. We will offer a reconstruction of local contexts that circumvents this problem, and can be developed within a classical (non-dynamic) semantics. We will also discuss problems that recent experimental results raise for our analysis.

A non-technical summary of our reconstruction of local contexts is available in:
Schlenker, P. 2009. Presuppositions and Local Contexts, Manuscript, Institut Jean-Nicod and NYU

A longer and more technical version is developed in:
Schlenker, P. To appear. Local Contexts. Forthcoming in Semantics and Pragmatics

Both papers are available at https://files.nyu.edu/pds4/public/

Phonology Circle - 4/27 - Eulàlia Bonet

Time: Monday 4/27, 5pm
Location: 32-D831
Speaker: Eulàlia Bonet
Title: Stem extensions in Catalan encliticized imperatives

In Catalan, conjugation II and III 2sg imperatives consist of a bare root (e.g. [‘tem] ‘fear!’). When pronominal enclitics are added, some extra material (a stem extension) surfaces (e.g. [‘temAla] ‘fear it (fem)!’). The form of the extension can vary from dialect to dialect and from verb to verb ([A], [i], [gA], [igA]), but it is totally predictable. I will argue that the presence of the extension is enforced by a phonological constraint, and that the choice of specific extensions is determined by Lexical Conservatism constraints (Steriade 1999, 2007), epenthesis being blocked by other constraints.

LF Reading Group - 4/29 - Tue Trinh

Please join us Wednesday at 3:00 for our talk by Tue Trinh. His talk is titled “Constraining Copy Deletion”

Speaker: Tue Trinh
Title: “Constraining Copy Deletion”
Time: 3:00-4:30 Wed., 4/29
Place: 34-303

More information, incl. the schedule for the rest of the semester: