Kenny Baclawski (UCB): Topic and Focus Fronting in Cham
Vera Gribanova (Stanford)
Erik Zyman (UCSC)
Special joint meeting with Meaning Sciences
James Collins (Stanford)
Ryan Bochnak (UCB)
Maria Khachaturyan (UCB Anthropology)
Reflexives in Mano: less about syntax, more about pragmatics
In this paper I will analyse the syntax and semantics of reflexive markers in Mano (Mande < Niger-Congo). I will try to show that syntactic structure doesn't necessarily predetermine their distribution: other parameters, such as linear precedence and discursive prominence, are in play.
I will begin by the distribution of reflexive markers, I will study local and distant usages with subject controller. I will then show that the subject is not the only possible controller, and, more interestingly, that antecedents lower in the syntactic hierarchy than their anaphors can control reflexivity. I will show that linear precedence may play a more important role than syntactic structure.
I will then show examples of local reflexives used distantly. I will explain them by high discursive prominence of the referents, and show some typological parallels of the same phenomenon.
I will then turn to the distribution of simple and complex reflexive markers. Mano has a 3sg reflexive marker (ē); other persons and numbers don't have designated reflexive markers, but pronouns can also be used reflexively. Intensifier dìè is used to form complex reflexive markers (such as ē dìè). In fact, some verbs used in reflexive construction don't combine with simple markers, only with complex markers; some allow both. I will explain it by semantic particularities of the verbs. My functional explanation with be based on pragmatic factors (the speaker corrects listener's attention with the help of intensifier added to the structure of reflexive marker), in line with some typological literature on intensifiers.
Sophia Dandelet (UCB Philosophy):
A partial semantics for talking about partial desires
Sally eyes the last piece of apple pie. There is a part of her that wants to eat it, because it looks delicious. But there is another part of her that doesn’t want to eat it, since she believes that it would be rude to take the last slice of pie.
This paper is about sentences that report on desires like Sally’s. More precisely, it is about apparently contradictory desire reports — like “x wants p and x doesn’t want p,” or “x wants p and x wants q, but x doesn’t want both p and q” — and how we can make sense of them, from a philosophical and a linguistic perspective.
I begin by showing how the standard semantics for wants fails to make sense of these examples. Then, I develop an alternative analysis that makes the desired predictions for apparently contradictory desire reports. This semantics differs from its predecessors in two important respects. First, it assumes a situation-theoretic framework instead of the standard possible worlds framework. Second, it is sensitive to a parameter that allows us to set aside certain situations for the purposes of evaluating wants claims. I conclude by noting that my linguistic proposal points towards a philosophical understanding of desire on which wants may be held, so to speak, by parts of an agent — parts that take into account some of the questions and possibilities that the “whole” agent is concerned with, but ignore others.
Trio of Talks
Richard Rhodes (UCB) on Ojibwe bipartite verb structure and valence
Spencer Lamoureux (UCB): Multiple Copy Spell-Out as Constraint Interaction in Wandala (Central Chadic)
Nico Baier (UCB): An Overview of Cross-Linguistic Variation in Anti-Agreement
Syntax Circle Round Robin:
Everyone who wants to can have up to X number of minutes to discuss anything they want to related to syntax/semantics, such as an idea, a question, a problem, a controversy, or an interesting theory (where X = a number between 5 and 10, depending on how many people want to talk). Names will be drawn from a hat, so the order of turns is random. Share whatever's been on your mind!