The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Issue of Monday, November 22nd, 2010

A new member of MIT Linguistics…

Congratulations to Yusuke and Masako Imanishi!

Yuika Sophie Imanishi, born November 14, 2010

Yuika Sophie Imanishi

Autumnal Cheer

In honor of the season, we bring you pictures from Halloween pumpkin carving in the department. Have a great Thanksgiving vacation!






No Phonology Circle this week

Phonology Circle resumes after the Thanksgiving break, with practice talks for the upcoming RUMMIT (the semesterly Rutgers, UMass, MIT phonology meeting).

Upcoming talks:
Nov 29: RUMMIT Practice talks
Dec 6: Suyeon Yun (MIT)

You can view the current, up-to-date version of the schedule here (click ‘agenda’ to see the schedule as a list), or subscribe via iCal here.

Syntax Square 11/23 - Matt Tucker

Please join us for Syntax Square this week. Matt Tucker, from UCSC (currently visiting at UPenn), will be leading the discussion.

Speaker: Matthew A. Tucker (UCSC)
Title: Even More on The Anaphor Agreement Affect: When Binding Does Not Agree
Time: Tuesday, November 23, 1-2PM
Place: 32-D461

Many recent proposals have taken Principle A to be reducible to the syntactic relation of AGREE (e.g., Chomsky, 2008), understood to be established between a locally c-commanding functional head and the anaphoric element. In this talk I discuss the so-called Anaphor Agreement Effect (AAE; Rizzi, 1990; Woolford, 1999, et seq.) and show that it is counter-evidence to the claim that binding is mediated by local inflectional heads. I then propose a theory of Principle A effects which meets four theoretical desiderata: (i) anaphoric binding is an instance of AGREE, (ii) the anaphor receives agreement features directly from the antecedent, (iii) AGREE can only operate downward, and (iv) the anaphor does not move to a position c-commanding the antecedent before binding is established. This theory is shown to provide an elegant understanding of AAE effects in subject, object, and possessor positions cross-linguistically. Finally, I explore the implications of this proposal for the typology of reflexives and the contrast between local and long-distance anaphora.

LFRG 11/24 - Luka Crnic

WHO: Luka Crnic
WHAT: On factive NPI licensers
WHEN: November 24, 1:30PM-3:00PM
WHERE: 32-D831

In LFRG this week, we will look at some factive NPI licensers. The recommended reading is Kai von Fintel’s paper on Strawson-entailment, doi:10.1093/jos/16.2.97. The session will facilitate a leisurely transition to Thanksgiving.

Upcoming LFRG meetings:
Dec 1: Peter Graff