Syntax and Semantics

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

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!

LSA proceedings published

March 25, 2019

The 4th volume of the Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America has just been published, showcasing research presented in January at the 2019 Annual Meeting. In the collection are three papers by students and faculty:

Kenneth Baclawski Jr.: Optional wh-movement is discourse-connected movement in Eastern Cham Virginia Dawson: Lexicalizing disjunction scope Martha Schwarz, Myriam Lapierre, Karee Garvin, Sharon Inkelas: Recent advances in Q theory: segment strength

Congrats all!

Linguists keep busy

March 21, 2019

Last weekend was a busy one for Berkeley linguists, with department members at conferences in Dwinelle Hall dedicated to Celtic and Amazonian languages as well as attending conferences in other locations!

Numerous Berkeley attendees at the Symposium on Amazonian Languages (SAL III)

Symposium on Amazonian Languages III

Virginia Dawson and Samantha Wathugala at Formal Approaches to South Asian Languages 9, Reed College, Portland (after presenting their paper, In support of a choice functional analysis of Sinhala ðə)

Dawson and Wathugala at FASAL

And to cap things off with some true linguistics in action: here's Susan Lin presenting Linguistics: making sense from noise at the East Bay Science Cafe, last Thursday (March 14).

Susan Lin presenting

Open house colloquium

February 27, 2019

This Monday we will have a series of presentations by current graduate students in the colloquium spot -- 3:10-5pm, 370 Dwinelle:

Alice Shen: Pitch cues in the perception of code switching Amalia Skilton:Speaker and addressee in spatial deixis: Experimental evidence from Ticuna and Dutch Emily Clem:The cyclic nature of Agree: Maximal projections as probes Myriam Lapierre:Two types of [NT]s in Panãra: Evidence from production and perception