Syntax and Semantics

Lemon presents at Sinn und Bedeutung

September 4, 2019

Tyler Lemon is heading to Osnabrück, Germany this week to present a poster at Sinn und Bedeutung 24 titled "Clausal comparison and degree abstraction in Vietnamese exceed comparatives." Congrats, Tyler!

Bossi, Wilbanks publish in Glossa

August 25, 2019

Congrats to Madeline Bossi and Eric Wilbanks, whose papers have each appeared this summer in Glossa!!

Bossi's paper is entitled V1 in Kipsigis: Head movement and discourse-based scrambling, co-authored with Michael Diercks.

Wilbanks' paper is entitled Sound change and coarticulatory variability involving English /ɹ/, co-authored with Bridget Smith, Jeff Mielke, and Lyra Magloughlin.

Berkeley semantics in Sinn und Bedeutung 23 proceedings

August 25, 2019

The Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 23 have now been published, containing the following papers by faculty, students, and/or alumni: 

  • Pranav Anand & Maziar Toosarvandani (PhD 2010)
        Now and then: Perspectives on positional variance in temporal demonstratives
    . pdf
  • Ruyue Agnes Bi (BA 2018) and Peter Jenks
        Pronouns, null arguments, and ellipsis in Mandarin Chinese pdf
  • Emily Clem (PhD 2019)
        Attributive adjectives in Tswefap: Vague predicates in a language with degrees. pdf
  • Virginia Dawson and Amy Rose Deal
        Third readings by semantic scope lowering: Prolepsis in Tiwa. pdf
  • Amy Rose Deal and Vera Hohaus
        Vague predicates, crisp judgments. pdf
  • Rachel Etta Rudolph (PhD 2019, philosophy)
        A closer look at the perceptual source in copy raising constructions. pdf

Congrats all!

Clem to defend dissertation

May 9, 2019
Next Friday, May 19, Emily Clem will defend her dissertation, entitled Agreement, case, and switch-reference in Amahuaca. The defense will take place from 10am-1pm in Dwinelle 1229. All members of the department are invited to attend.
Abstract:
This dissertation probes the nature of the syntactic operation of Agree through the lens of the morphosyntax of Amahuaca, an endangered Panoan language of the Peruvian Amazon. I explore the language's system of split ergative marking, arguing that case marking in Amahuaca is the result of agreement with multiple functional heads. This leads to a distinction between abstract and morphological ergative (and nominative) case. I also analyze the extensive system of switch-reference marking, demonstrating that the system has the typologically unusual property of tracking the reference and abstract case of all arguments of the verb, not only subject. I argue that this system arises through adjunct complementizer agreement that probes both the adjunct and matrix arguments directly. In analyzing the case and switch-reference systems of Amahuaca, I demonstrate that the empirical facts can be most straightforwardly accounted for if we assume 1) that some probes are insatiable, agreeing with all goals in their search space, and 2) that Agree is narrowly cyclic, with each instance of Merge defining a new cycle of Agree. 

Topics in Northern Pomo grammar

Mary Catherine O'Connor
1987

Advisor: Charles J. Fillmore

Scott presents at UCSC

May 2, 2019

Graduate student Tessa Scott will be presenting on Case and agreement in Mam: PCC and syntactic ergativity effects at the Workshop on the Languages of Meso-America at UCSC on Friday, May 3rd.

Jenks in Ithaca

April 7, 2019

This Thursday Peter Jenks will give a colloquium at Cornell University, entitled Anchored definite descriptions.

Clem to UCSD

April 4, 2019

Congrats to fifth-year grad student Emily Clem, who has just accepted a tenure-track position in the linguistics department at UC San Diego!