The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling-Lunch 4/4 - Daniel Hole (Universität Stuttgart)

SpeakerDaniel Hole (Universität Stuttgart)
Title: Arguments for a universal distributed syntax of evaluation, scalarity and basic focus quantification with ‘only’
Time: Thursday, 4/4, 12:30-1:50pm
Location: 32-D461

Abstract: In this talk, I review the evidence that has been adduced for a multi-constituent syntax of focus particle constructions. Traditionally, those components that I model as independent morphemes with their own scope-taking properties have been analyzed as submorphemic components of focus particles. I use ‘only’ words to make this point. This work is based on Hole (2013, 2015, 2017), and it makes use of data from Chinese, Vietnamese, German and Dutch. However, many arguments carry over to English. Time allowing, I will also present novel data from the interaction of German nur with modals and the German NPI modal brauchen ‘need (+NPI)’.

This approach to focus particles stands in stark contrast to Büring & Hartmann (2001) or Coppock & Beaver (2013).