The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

LF Reading Group (11/16) - Jad Wehbe (MIT)

We’re excited to welcome Jad this week! The meeting will be in person, back to our original venue, and we’ll set up OWL for people in the department who want to attend virtually.

Zoom link: https://mit.zoom.us/j/94298987190
Speaker: Jad Wehbe (MIT)
Date and time: Wednesday 11/16, 1-2pm
In-person location: 32-D461

Title: Revisiting presuppositional accounts of homogeneity

Abstract: Early accounts of homogeneity effects with definite plurals treated homogeneity as a presupposition (Schwarzschild, 1996; Löbner, 2000; Gajewski, 2005), but this characterization has recently been challenged on the basis that homogeneity does not seem to exhibit the standard projection patterns commonly attributed to presuppositions (Spector, 2013; Križ, 2015). The goal of this talk is to argue that homogeneity is in fact a presupposition, despite the apparent differences. In the first part of the talk, I will show that homogeneity is sensitive to a constraint on presupposition accommodation proposed by Heim (2015). Taking this constraint as a diagnostic of presuppositionality, this provides empirical evidence that homogeneity is a presupposition. In the second part of the talk, I will argue that the only difference between homogeneity and standard presuppositions are the conditions under which they can be locally accommodated. I discuss a related view proposed by Fox (2017) and argue that the differences in projection follow from the fact that homogeneity gives rise to non-connected propositions (in the sense of Engeuhard and Chemla (2021), while standard presuppositions are generally connected. ​