Author: Jon Gajewski

Meeting on 10/27: Teru Mizuno

We will meet on Thursday, October 27 at 1pm in Bousfield A101-A.

Teru Mizuno will present some ongoing dissertation research.  See title, abstract and suggested background reading below.

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Title: Composing counterfactual desire reports

Abstract: Counterfactual desire reports, expressed for instance by English ‘wish‘, describe one’s desires whose attainment is deemed unlikely or impossible at the actual world. Building on cross-linguistic comparison across languages, especially, English, Greek, Spanish, Slovenian and Japanese, I propose a novel, fine-grained compositional account of counterfactual desire reports.

Suggested reading:

von Fintel and Iatridou (2022) ‘Prolegomena to a theory of X-marking’ (http://lingphil.scripts.mit.edu/papers/iatridou/fintel-iatridou-2020-x.pdf)

Meeting on 10/6: Muyi Yang

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).

Updated schedule

Here is an updated schedule of upcoming presentations:

3/31: Stefan Kaufmann leads the discussion of von Prince 2019

4/7: Muyi Yang leads discussion of Tellings 2021 “When if or when Specify Modals”

4/14: OPEN

4/21: OPEN

4/28: Muyi Yang SALT practice talk