Semantics & Pragmatics

Sigríður Sæunn publishes a paper in Íslenskt mál og almenn málfræði [Icelandic language and general linguistics]

Sigríður Sæunn Sigurðardóttir published a paper entitled, “’Haf góðan dag’ Um uppkomu nýrrar kveðju út frá hugmyndum um talgjörðir” [‘Have a nice day’ The emergence of a new leave-taking term in Icelandic in the light of Speech Act Theory] in Íslenskt mál og almenn málfræði 41.-42The paper is on the leave-taking term Hafðu góðan dag (‘Have a nice day (ACC)’), which has become prominent in Modern Icelandic but has been prescriptively deemed “improper Icelandic” due to its being influenced by English Have

Veneeta Dayal will give a colloquium talk on "Puzzles from the Interrogative Left Periphery" at CUNY Graduate Center on March 11, 2021

The talk presents several inter-related puzzles:
Puzzle 1: Why does declarative syntax plus rising intonation lead to a biased question in some languages (English) but is ambiguous between a neutral and a biased interpretation in others (Hindi-Urdu)?
Puzzle 2: Why can polar questions be mono-clausal as matrix questions in every(?) language but not in at least some embedded positions in some languages (Hindi-Urdu)?

PhD Graduate Martín Fuchs to start a postdoctoral position at Utrecht University

Martín Fuchs recently graduated the PhD program with the dissertation “On the Synchrony and Diachrony of the Spanish Imperfective Domain: Contextual Modulation and Semantic Change”. In the fall, Martín will begin a postdoctoral position at the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics, as part of the “Time in Translation” NWO-funded project. Congratulations, Martín!

Martín Fuchs and María Piñango publish a book chapter in Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics

Recent PhD graduate Martín Fuchs, and professor María Piñango published a chapter, together with Ashwini Deo (The Ohio State University), in the latest volume of John Benjamins’ Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics series “Hispanic Linguistics: current issues and new directions”.

Larry Horn and Martín Fuchs publish chapters in The Oxford Handbook of Negation

Professor Emeritus Larry Horn published two chapters in The Oxford Handbook of Negation (link to online version). In “Negation and Opposition: Contradiction and contrariety in logic and language”, he addresses the complications that arise from equating Aristotle’s semantic category of contradictory opposition with the syntactic category of sentence (vs. constituent) negation.

Larry to present at two workshops in Germany

During the week of the March 2 Open House, Larry will be in Germany participating as an invited speaker at two workshops related to pragmatics. The first is a workshop (“Arbeitsgruppe”) on diversity in pragmatic inferences that’s part of the DGfS (the annual conference of the German version of the LSA) meeting in Hamburg. The second is a workshop at ZAS in Berlin on degree expressions and polarity.

Martín Fuchs teaches a course on meaning change at the Buenos Aires Summer School in Linguistics

During the first week of February 2020, Martín Fuchs taught a course on meaning change and its cognitive and communicative underpinnings at the Buenos Aires Linguistics Summer School. The goal of the course was to introduce graduate students to theories of semantic change that aim at uncovering the forces that produce the regularities that are observed in this domain.

Veneeta Dayal publishes in NLLT

Veneeta Dayal has published a paper in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. The paper, which is entitled “Polar question particles: Hindi-Urdu kya:“ (link to paper), represents joint work with Rajesh Bhatt (UMass Amherst). After drawing a distinction between different kinds of question particles, the paper focuses on the properties of the so-called polar question particles, and describe and analyze the Hindi-Urdu particle kya: as an example of this category.

Veneeta Dayal to give a plenary at SALA 35

Veneeta Dayal will give a plenary talk at SALA 35 (the 35th South Asian Languages Analysis Roundtable) later this month. The conference will take place in Paris, hosted by the National institute of oriental languages and civilizations (INALCO). Veneeta’s talk is entitled “The Multiple Faces of Hindi-Urdu bhii,” and argues that the particle bhii in Hindi-Urdu is closer to the meaning of English also than it is to English even, as has been argued in previous influential work. 

Veneeta Dayal has a chapter on specific indefinites

Veneeta Dayal has published a chapter entitled “Singleton Indefinites and the Privacy Principle: Certain Puzzles” in the 2019 book “The Semantics of Plurals, Focus, Degrees, and Times: Essays in Honor of Roger Schwarzschild” (D. Altshuler and J. Rett eds., Springer). The chapter discusses definiteness and specificity by examining bare nominals in multiple languages, as well as markers of specificity such as the word certain in a certain puzzle.

Veneeta Dayal will teach a course and give a talk at the University of São Carlos

Veneeta Dayal will teach a mini-course on “The Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics of Asserting, Asking and Answering” at the University on Aug 19-21 at the University of São Carlos, Brazil. She will also be giving and invited talk on “When does a clause become a question?” at the 3rd Referential Semantics Colloquium on August 22-23, also at the University of São Carlos. The program can be found online.

Veneeta Dayal will teach comparative semantics at the 5th African Linguistics School

Professor Veneeta Dayal will teach a course on comparative semantics at the 5th African Linguistics School (ALS5) at Rhodes University. From June 30 to July 13, the two-week African Linguistics School will take place at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. Veneeta Dayal will teach a semantics course on noun phrases, entitled “Comparative Semantics: The Noun Phrase Across Languages.”

Veneeta Dayal presents on the interrogative left periphery at UMass Amherst, NYU, and the ILLC in Amsterdam

Professor Veneeta Dayal has given presentations on “The Fine Structure of the Interrogative Left Periphery” in the US and the Netherlands. In April, she gave a colloquium talk on this topic at UMass Amherst, as well as an invited presentation at a meeting of the Semantics Group at NYU.

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