The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

LangAcq/ESSL Meeting 02/21 - Martin Hackl (MIT)

Speaker: Martin Hackl
Title: On Detecting Haddock’s Puzzle
Time: Friday 02/21 2-3pm
Location: 32-D831

Haddock’s Puzzle is a famous problem regarding the following types of sentences:

(In a situation where there are two hats, one with a rabbit in it)
(1) *The happy rabbit is in the hat. (Violates uniqueness presupposition l

(2) The rabbit in the hat is happy.

The puzzle lies in the fact that sentence (2) is more acceptable than (1) despite the fact that the uniqueness presupposition is still violated. I discuss methods we have tried and are considering in the effort to detect and manipulate this effect via online crowdsourcing.