The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Issue of Monday, February 12th, 2024

Syntax Square 2/13 - Giovanni Roversi (MIT)

Speaker: Giovanni Roversi (MIT)
Title: Workshopping φ-marking in Äiwoo
Time: Tuesday, February 13th, 1pm - 2pm
Location: 32-D461

Abstract: Äiwoo verbs usually carry markers indexing the φ-features of the subject (agreement? Clitics/reduced pronouns? We’ll talk about it). Beyond this one basic fact, not much is neat or clear. These markers show different patterns in different voices, in terms of the morphological exponents, their position (prefixes vs suffixes), their ability to simultaneously co-occur with an overt subject DP, and more. Moreover, there are also cases where these markers index the object’s φ-features instead of the subject’s. And of course, a theory that correctly derives the behavior of the φ-markers is only a good one inasmuch as it can fit well into a general theory of Äiwoo syntax (word order facts, the morphosyntax of voice, patterns of Ā-extraction, etc.). I have the data, now please help me out!

LingLunch 2/15 - Amir Anvari (MIT)

Speaker: Amir Anvari (MIT)
Title: Revisiting E-Type Theory
Time: Thursday, February 15th, 12:30pm - 2pm
Location: 32-D461

Abstract: A implementation of E-Type Theory faces two serious problems, the problem of uniqueness and the problem of formal link. In this talk, I will discuss a simple implementation of E-Type Theory that addresses the problem of uniqueness with minimal auxiliary assumptions. The predictions of the resulting theory for a number of cases, including anaphora to wh-indefinites, will be examined in detail. To address the problem of formal link, I will flesh out a rule that I will refer to as Antecedent Conversion based on the proposals in Parsons 1978 and Heim 1990. AC prevents the theory from over-generation. It also makes a prediction regarding the underlying form of pronouns that are anaphoric to nested indefinites which in turn leads to interesting predictions involving crossover phenomena and i-within-i effects which I will discuss as well.