The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling-Lunch 11/10 - Amy Rose Deal

Speaker: Amy Rose Deal (Harvard University)
Title: Nez Perce embedded indexicals
Time/Date: Thursday, Nov 10, 12:30-1:45p
Location: 32-D461

Nez Perce is a language where indexical expressions embedded under speech and attitude verbs may show “shifty” behavior. I present a first empirical overview of this system in this talk. Nez Perce person and locative indexicals are like their English counterparts in showing immunity to modal quantification in matrix contexts. Once embedded in a speech or attitude complement, however, Nez Perce indexicals optionally show quotation-like behavior, even in the face of clear indications that the entire speech or attitude complement is not a quotation. I show that this phenomenon is not straightforwardly accounted for in terms of partial quotation or binding, configurations that can lead to exceptional indexicals in English. In response to a version of the “shift together” phenomenon identified by Anand and Nevins (2004) for Zazaki, I present an approach to Nez Perce indexical shifting which makes use of operators that manipulate contextual parameters. I conclude with evidence that indexicals shifted in this way need not be interpreted de se.