“Bonus” Friday Colloquium: Wh-quantification in Alternative Semantics

Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine (University of Helsinki, National University of Singapore)
Event time: 
Friday, January 19, 2024 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Dow Hall room 201 (LingSem) See map
Event description: 

Abstract: Many languages form quantifiers by combining a wh-phrase with an additional morpheme. The additional morpheme involved is very often a scalar focus particle or disjunctor, as noted e.g. by Haspelmath (1997, §7). I develop an approach to wh-quantification within a Roothian two-dimensional Alternative Semantics which productively explains the prevalence of scalar focus particles and disjunctors in wh-quantification, and offers a framework for describing cross-linguistic differences in non-interrogative wh interpretation. In particular, I highlight the behavior of three Tibeto-Burman languages to motivate the approach and illustrate its application.