Events in 2016

Friday 9th of December. Colloquium: Chris Golston (CSU Fresno). Phonological movement in Slavic. E-0105, 14.15.

November 24-25: Tammer Castro’s doctoral defense and workshop

Friday 18th of November. Susagna Tubau (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona). Negative object quantifiers and tag questions in English: evidence for decompositionality and multidominance. E-0105, 14.15.

October 27-28: Hierarchical structures in phonology, morphology, and syntax

Friday 30th of September. Colloquium:  Robert Henderson (University of Arizona). A demonstration-based account of pluractional ideophones. 14.15, B-1004.


Ideophones are a grammatically distinguished class of expressions in a language that specialize in depicting sensory imagery (Dingemanse 2011: p. 25; 2012). This talk develops a formal semantics of ideophones that can account for their meaning and compositional properties. I propose an analysis that extends work in Davidson 2015, whose demonstration-based framework provides a formal foundation for the semantics of ideophones that captures the difference between description and depiction, the kind of meaning ideophones traffic in. The talk then shows how the demonstration-based account can be use to analyze pluractionality in the ideophone domain. In particular, case studies I show that there are two previously unrecognized types of ideophonic pluractionality, and that their properties support the demonstration-based account. The first, which I call “demonstration-external pluractionality”, involves a speaker using an ideophone to do a plurality of demonstrations that characterize a plurality of events. The second kind of ideophonic pluractionality, which I call a “demonstration-internal pluractionality”, is much more similar to pluractionality in the verbal domain, and involves special morphology that derives ideophone stems that can only be used to demonstrate plural events. Finally, I use the contrast between these two types of pluractionality in the ideophone domain to investigate the line between iconic and non-iconic aspects of the semantics of ideophones.


Friday 26th of August. Eva Wittenberg (University of California, San Diego). You can lower my standards with your syntax: Computing adjectival scalar thresholds. E-0105, 14.15.


Many accounts of language assume that communication is inherently Gricean, and thus that contextually enriched meanings depend in part on a sensitivity to speaker states. However, current models of how core semantic phenomena interact with context often ignore speakerspecific information. For example, in the case of gradable adjectives, research on this topic has mainly focused on the role of extra-linguistic context, such as the distribution of a feature across a domain, or informativeness.

Here, we ask whether, in addition to statistical distributions, listener’s standards of comparison for adjectives are also sensitive to thresholds communicated by (a) existential presuppositions, to investigate whether listeners accommodate individual differences, and (b) different adjective orderings, to test whether the compositional operations involved in understanding AAN-sequences can help comprehenders decide whether scalar thresholds are affected by the speaker’s statements. The results are jointly informative for recent discussions of scalar vs. absolute adjectives, the question of how scalar thresholds are computed, and the compositional semantics of multi-adjective sequences.


Friday 19th of August. Colloquium: Kari Kinn (University of Oslo). Articles and the structure of nominals in the history of Norwegian. E-0105, 14.15.


In this talk I will present ongoing research on articles and the structure of nominal phrases in Norwegian in a diachronic perspective. In the first part of the talk I will discuss bare nouns vs. nouns with articles in Middle Norwegian, the understudied language stage between Old and Modern Norwegian (ca. 1370–1550). In the second part I will present some observations on Heritage Norwegian spoken in the US and Canada. 

Tuesday 7th of June. Bob Ladd (University of Edinburgh). Singing in tone languages: finding (and formalising) tone/melody text-setting constraints. E-0105, 14.15.

Friday 27th of May.Klaus Abels (UCL). Sluicing and constraints on movement. E-0105, 14.15

May 24: Workshop on the occasion of Olga Urek’s defense

May 23: Olga Urek’s doctoral defense

Friday 20th of May. Cécile De Cat (University of Leeds). Quantifying bilingual experience based on a composite measure. E-0105, 14:15.

Friday 13th of May. Elisabeth Gibert (Universitat de Girona). The first phase syntax of the Spanish prefix ‘des-‘. E-0105, 14.15

Friday 29th of April. Antje Sauermann (ZAS). Impact of Context and Type of Referring Expression on Sentence Comprehension in German-Speaking Children. E-0105, 14.15.

Friday 22nd of April. Julio Villa-García(University of Manchester). Multiple-complementizers, TP-ellipsis, TopicP, and FocusP in Spanish and beyond. E-0103. 14:15.

March 7-11: Minicourse by Professor II Kjell Johan Sæbø

Friday 4th of MarchTanja Kupisch (University of Hamburg / UiT). The acquisition of phonology in Italian heritage speakers. 14:15, E-0101.

Friday 5th of February. Bruce Morén-Duolljá (Nord University). Deconstructing (Lule) Saami morphology: the key role of lexical classes. B-1003, 14:15.

February 4–5: Formal Approaches to Sámi Languages

January 23: Phonology workshop on the occasion of Dragana’s defense

January 22: Dragana Šurkalović’s doctoral defense

Friday 15th of January. Antonio Balvet (Université Lille 3). Insights into argument structure realization: what sign languages tell us about predication. E-0101, 14.15.