The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

LF Reading Group 10/2 - Filipe Kobayashi (MIT)

Speaker: Filipe Kobayashi (MIT)

Title: Scattered Reciprocals

Time: Wednesday, October 2nd, 1pm – 2pm

Location: 32-D461

Abstract: In this talk, I analyze an understudied reciprocal construction which I call Scattered Reciprocals (SRs). SRs are built from two syntactically distinct phrases, one in an adverbial position and another in an argumental position, as illustrated by the Brazilian Portuguese example in (1):

Os alunos vão um falar com a orientadora d-o outro.
the students will one speak with the supervisor of-the other
'The students will speak with each other's supervisor.'

This talk is concerned with the question of how the pieces of SRs compose to give rise to reciprocity. After discussing the main semantic and syntactic properties of SRs, I present evidence that, despite initial appearances, these constructions must involve a single quantifier over pairs, in the spirit of Dalrymple et al (1998). I then propose a compositional analysis of these constructions that is able to account for the properties shared across reciprocal constructions as well as those that are particular to SRs.