The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

LFRG 09/20 - Keny Chatain (MIT)

Speaker: Keny Chatain (MIT)
Title: Defining local contexts for anaphora
Date and time: Wednesday September 20, 1-2pm
Location: 32-D461

Schlenker (2008, 2010) has shown how one can define an incremental notion of local context for presupposition. This removes the need for encoding projection behaviour in particular lexical entries, as in Dynamic Semantics. In subsequent unpublished work, Schlenker attempts to apply the same ideas to define an incremental notion of local context relevant to anaphora. The proposal, while broad in its empirical coverage, falls short of predicting existential/universal readings of donkey anaphora. It also predicts that universal quantifiers introduce singular discourse referents, just as indefinites.

In work-in-progress, I pick up on this project and show how one could deal with the exceptionality of indefinites, taking stock on their alternative semantics, and sketch ideas on how to produce the weak/strong distinction.