The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Course Announcements: Spring 2020

Course announcements in this post:

  • 24.979 Topics in Semantics
  • 24.964 Topics in Phonology: Sentence Prosody


24.979 Topics in Semantics: Getting High: Scope, Projection, and Evaluation Order

This seminar will provide a venue for discussing various mechanisms for scope-taking and projection, taking as our starting point continuations – a perspective on scope-taking developed by Chris Barker and Chung-chieh Shan. We will attempt to develop a solid working knowledge of the relevant mechanics, as well as arrive at a comprehensive empirical assessment of their advantages and drawbacks in selected areas of application. These will include quantifier scope, variable binding, cross-over, and presupposition projection, paying particular attention to linearity effects which continuations are designed to handle in a principled manner.

Listeners are welcome, as always. Requirements for credit will be detailed in the first session.


24.964 Topics in Phonology: Sentence Prosody

Different ways of pronouncing the same sentence can convey different messages. The properties of pronunciation that modify meaning in this way are referred to as sentence prosody. There are three components of prosody: intonational melody, prominence and phrasing. These components will be introduced through an overview of English prosody and ToBI transcription. Then we will investigate each component in more detail, exploring their phonetics and phonology, and their relationships to syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, drawing on data from a variety of languages.