On October 6th at 1pm in Bousfield A101-A, Muyi Yang will present a part of her ongoing dissertation research:
Conditional questions as definite descriptions
Abstract: Although conditional questions like “If we throw a party next week, who should we invite?” have been studied in the literature of formal semantics (Isaacs & Rawlins 2008), conditional questions about elements inside the antecedents that are allowed in many wh-in-situ languages have remained largely unnoticed. This paper discusses a phenomenon in Japanese (and Korean) that some conditional markers block wh-questions about elements inside conditional antecedents. I adopt the recent analysis of conditionals as definite descriptions (Schlenker 2004 a.o.), and argue that this blocking effect of wh-elements inside conditional antecedents is an analogue of the ban on wh-extraction out of anaphoric definites discussed by Simonenko (2015).