The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling-Lunch 10/26 - Deniz Özyıldız (UMass-Amherst)

Speaker: Deniz Özyıldız (UMass-Amherst)
Title: The interaction between factivity and prosodic structure in Turkish attitude reports
Date/Time: Thursday, October 26, 12:30-1:50pm
Location: 32-D461

This talk articulates two puzzles raised by the interaction between the availability of the factive inference in Turkish attitude reports, and their prosodic structure.

Puzzle 1: Where is a trigger?
For a class of attitude reports, we observe the following contrast. 1a) and 1b) are string identical. The position of the sentences Nuclear Pitch Accent (on the matrix verb in 1a), on the embedded object in 1b), seems to correlate with the availability of the factive inference (available in 1a), unavailable in 1b)).

1a) Aybike [Dilara’nin Ankara’da oldugunu] BILIYOR.
  Aybike Dilara.GEN Ankara.LOC be.NMZ know.PRES
  Aybike knows that Dilara is in Ankara (factive).

1b) Aybike [Dilara’nin ANKARA’da oldugunu] biliyor.
  Aybike Dilara.GEN Ankara.LOC be.NMZ know.PRES
  Aybike believes that Dilara is in Ankara (non-factive).

Faced with this contrast, we must ask: Is it the prosodic structure of an attitude report that is driving the availability of the factive inference? Or is it the availability of the factive inference that has an effect on prosodic structure? The former option is appealing, but I argue for the latter. 1a) and 1b) are associated with two distinct semantic representations. Prosody follows. But how?

Puzzle 2: Getting from presupposed to given?
In out of the blue contexts, non-factive attitude reports must be realized with embedded NPA.

2a) What’s up?
  Aybike [Dilara’nin ANKARA’da oldugunu] saniyor.
  Aybike Dilara.GEN Ankara.LOC be.NMZ believe.PRES
  Aybike believes that Dilara is in Ankara.

2b) What’s up?
  #Aybike [Dilara’nin Ankara’da oldugunu] SANIYOR.
  (Out because the embedded clause isn’t given.)

On the other hand, in out of the blue contexts, factive attitude reports are realized with matrix verb NPA.

3a) What’s up?
  Aybike [Dilara’nin Ankara’da oldugunu] unuttu.
  Aybike Dilara.GEN Ankara.LOC be.NMZ forget.PST
  Aybike forgot that Dilara is in Ankara.

3b) What’s up?
  #Aybike [Dilara’nin ANKARA’da oldugunu] unuttu.
  (Out because a contrastive interpretation is triggered, but not licensed in context.)

There is mixed evidence as to whether presupposing a proposition p makes the clause that denotes p given (which would explain why the NPA migrates to the matrix verb in 3). Kallulli (2006, 2010) argues that it does. Others argue that presupposition and givenness are two independent dimensions of meaning (Wagner 2012, Rochemont 2016, Buring 2016). Do the Turkish facts offer a way out? We will see.