The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Issue of Monday, February 22nd, 2010

LF Reading Group 2/22: Patrick Grosz  

LF Reading group will have its first meeting of the semester today. Please join us!

WHAT: Brainstorming/Open discussion
TITLE: “How to put things right - a brainstorming session on corrective discourse particles,” led by Patrick Grosz
WHEN: 11.30AM - 1PM
WHERE: 32-D831

Patrick will introduce some data and ideas about the distribution of German particles ‘ja’ and ‘doch’, and then there will be an open discussion of those two and similar particles in your favorite language.


BCS Cog Lunch- 2/23 - Nadya Modyanova  

Speaker: Nadya Modyanova, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Wexler Lab
Title: From Semantics to Genetics: a Biolinguistic Investigation of Reference in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Williams Syndrome
Time: Tues, 2/23, Noon
Location: 46-3310


Syntax Square 2/23: Patrick Grosz  

Please join us on Tuesday for the second meeting of syntax square:

Discussion leader: Patrick Grosz
Title: Everybody likes and nobody hates right-node raising and multidominance respectively: Some thoughts on the syntax of constructions with ‘respectively’
Location: 32-D461
Time: Tuesday, February 23, 1-2PM

This time will be our regular meeting time this semester. If you have questions or would like to volunteer to lead a discussion, please email Claire Halpert (halpert@mit.edu).


Ling-Lunch 2/25: Hiroshi Hasegawa  

Please join us for ling-lunch this week:

Speaker: Hiroshi Hasegawa (Senshu University/Harvard University)
Time: Thurs 2/25, 12:30-1:45
Place: 32-D461
Title: Swiping - preposition stranding + remnant PP extraposition analysis

Swiping is a form of ellipsis (sluicing) where a preposition appears after the remaining wh-element (John was talking, but I don’t know who to). According to Merchant (2002), Swiping is derived from application of wh-movement pied-piping the preposition, followed by sluicing (PF IP ellipsis) and PF head movement of the wh to the front of the preposition. I propose an alternative account, where Swiping is a result of wh-movement stranding a preposition, followed by remnant PP extraposition and IP ellipsis (Sluicing). I will discuss various advantages of our analysis over Merchant’s analysis, and argue that this interestingly complex phenomenon results from interactions not only of syntactic principles, but also of various others factors, namely, certain factors related to PF/phonology/prosody (e.g. PF island repair effects and Obligatory Contour Principle), to parsing/processing (e.g. crossing constraint), and to focus/information structure. I will give some cross-linguistic considerations, taking up relevant examples drawn from English, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, Norwegian, and German data.

SNEWS at Harvard 2/27  

The Southern New England Workshop in Semantics (SNEWS) is an annual workshop where graduate students in Linguistics present their work in Semantics/Pragmatics and related topics at their interfaces. This year, the workshop aims to reflect the flourishing of experimental semantics in current work, with experimental studies being presented along with theoretical papers.

Harvard is hosting SNEWS this year, on February 27th 2010 (this Saturday). The website for the event can be found here.

MIT Semantics will be represented by the following team this year:

  • Mitcho Erlewine: “Two Onlys in Mandarin Chinese”
  • Jorie Koster-Moeller
  • Hadas Kotek: “An Indefinite Amount Relative: Evidence from Romanian”
  • Yasutada Sudo